The best way to save these directions is by going straight there and eating the damn chicken.
If you have to ask why anyone would want a fried chicken breakfast, you obviously have not been to a mid-week kasiki and had to experiment with methods of managing your internal systems.
So, go to Garden City, preferably alighting from the boda-boda or parking your car at the Uchumi parking level. Go up the stairs two flights, or take the lift one level, and head for the food court.
To be sure you’re headed for the food court, on your way there you will notice a child’s play area on your left that will look like it was opened about fifteen years ago and has not seen a drop of paint since. It will evoke memories of Didi’s World or children’s entertainment options in the Obote II regime.
Shortly after that sad interlude, you will get to the Food Court. Take your seat as I did on Friday morning, and appear hungry, bored and anxious. This has to be, remember, before mid-day, otherwise it will not be a breakfast excursion.
Within ten minutes, each and every waiter and waitress on the floor will have ignored you. Your motivation being system disorders from the abovementioned kasiki action, you will find yourself waving down various levels of staff from a wide range of fast food options on the Fast Food floor.
Among the service staff who will ignore you as you do this will be Chicken Something staff wearing red, The Wok staff wearing black waistcoats, An Indian Restaurant with unclear principles, a Cuban Restaurant that doesn’t serve cigars, a Lebanese Restaurant, an Ice Cream joint.
Digress Not: These are directions to the worst fried chicken breakfast in Uganda. You therefore will have to summon the staff of the Chicken Something outlet. It is the first window of them all, and behind the counter desk there will be about fifty people doing a variety of things that have no relation to customers or, it would appear, chicken.
Eventually, after about thirty minutes – oh, I forgot to mention! ENSURE YOU CARRY WITH YOU EITHER: a) A LAPTOP or b) LARGE AMOUNTS OF URGENT WORK TO DO or c) AN ENTHRALLING NOVEL WHOSE CLIMAX YOU HAVE JUST ARRIVED AT. This will help you count the minutes go by without damage to your mentality.
So, as I was saying, after thirty minutes, the staff of The Wok will get up and notice your predicament. They will notify about twenty-five of the people behind the Chicken Something counter, who will then hold a tepid debate over who should serve you. After about two minutes of debate, during which they keep looking (not glancing or peeping, but LOOKING) at you, they will get bored, all twenty-five of them, and go back to doing what they were doing before the chap from The Wok alerted them.
Ten minutes later, a lady in a dirty-white shirt, the uniform of six hundred take-aways spread across Uganda’s two hundred districts, will show up from the direction of the Cuban restaurant and take your order for African Tea.
After a full hour and fifteen minutes, the chap from The Wok will get fed up of your evident suffering and volunteer to bring you a copy of the Chicken Something menu. Without trying too hard, the menu will meet your expectations by showing up covered in dust, grease, far-more-suspicious liquid matter, and bits of food that will make the word Chips read like Chaps. You easily identify the situation since the bit of food in the way is obviously that coating they put on fried chicken and, anyway, there’s no way even these stupid guys can be offering something called Chaps and Chaps.
Finally, six minutes after the short woman in a dirty-white shirt brings your African tea (the teapot of lukewarm milk with one teabag of tea called ‘Africana’) and has left again to bring you a cup, the guy from The Wok will show up with your fried chicken.
On a side plate.
Without a fork, salt, tomato sauce, chillis, or anything but the side plate.
And part of a napkin that was unfolded, cut into four pieces, then folded up again to make it look whole.
You will have to eat this:
The first bite will give you that feeling experienced by most people who board taxis at Kitintale heading for town, when they look into the eyes of a fellow who has been released from Luzira prison on murder charges because “a key witness went missing”.
The second bite will be taken mostly because of an aforementioned activity related to the impending wedding of a friend who does not have the good sense to hold a bachelor’s party on a Friday or Saturday.
Whereas you strongly consider that it would be fair to vomit up both bites at once, a general sense of decency and a good upbringing will force your weak constitution to hold down the fried chicken, and you will attempt to improve your opinion of things by turning the plate around a little bit.
You will then see this:
You have arrived.
Ps. To avoid vomiting or making impolite noises that may be mistaken as attempts at doing so, DO NOT SIP at the now cold ‘African Tea’. Walk away.