At the Crocodile in Kisementi.
I pray that the Good Lord and all the powers that be out there where the universe is financed reach an agreement regarding the punishment that is the Mayor of Kampala.
This gentleman, father of at least one pal of mine, is the human equivalent of that rat that you spot one night scuttling for cover behind the cooker.
From the moment you see the damn rodent your life becomes physically and emotionally uncomfortable.
You begin to suspect that all the cutlery needs constant washing because the dirty rat might have been rummaging through the drawers at some point in the night. Food starts going bad because you can’t bear to touch it, what with all those images of the filthy thing with its paws on the potatoes and its teeth gnawing at the bananas. At night, every sound you hear seems to be the rat smashing things to bits in the dark.
Seriously, I can’t eat in some restaurants any more because I have no idea where the water they use to wash the plates comes from. I won’t go down certain roads for fear of getting lost in a pot hole. And no, I will certainly not go into the heart of the city unless I have four hours to spare for the parking, negotiating safety bribes to multiplex and other chaps so car parts stay intact, and motion progress at the rate of three metres per twenty minutes.
Use a boda-boda?
Yeah – that’s about the only way to get around in the city.
It’s actually a well-designed plan worthy of a mafioso master planner: kill all the roads to such an extent that using cars to get around is unviable, then introduce boda-boda.
This guy is a businessman, baasi!
He has actually created road sections that are so pot-holed that they are basically boda-boda tracks.
It’s not an accident, this deterioration of Kampala.
Just the same way that rat in your house creates holes in corners of cabinets that you could never find without re-modeling the entire kitchen. The blasted animal knows how to carefully bite a hole through the bottom of the sack but not in the corner where your audits might find it, but in the middle of the seam.
Then, it eats all the way up to the middle of the sack in such a way that you’re sharing the food in almost equal measure (yet YOU paid for it!)
Sometimes the rat becomes so entrenched that you draw a line in the sand and agree with yourself that so long as it doesn’t cross that line, it can eat some of your food and you’ll both live peacefully.
Simple rules: 1. Don’t make noise when I’m in the kitchen. 2. Don’t come to the sitting room when I have visitors. 3. NEVER walk around with wet feet, especially on the kitchen counter top. 4. NO DROPPINGS IN THE PANTRY 5. NO CHEWING CABLES ANYWHERE.
His Loathe-ship the Mayor, Ssimwaggala, has broken all the rules. He simply can’t shut up when it’s necessary, which to be fair is all the time; he not only shows up in public, but even has personalized car license plates; and his garbage trucks leave droppings everywhere.
Speaking of garbage trucks, I reckon the mayor’s official car is the cleanest and most expensive garbage transportation vehicle in Kampala. I wish it were being used for disposal rather than transportation…
My experience with rats has been rather extensive, since I lived in both the Buganda Road and the Bugolobi Flats at different points.
These annoying animals have a tendency to overflow their territories, which is why you make accommodation for one rat and three weeks later find that you have twenty running amok. Go to Nakasero Market and see what has become of that road connecting Luwum and Market Streets. Or swing by Kalerwe market and get dismayed.
Well, this election season I will be singing off one of my favorite bands: “There’s a rat in my kitchen, what I’m not gonna do…!”
And I hope everyone else takes up the anthem as well, because you know what happens after rats have taken over any part of your house: next come cockroaches, then lizards, snakes, God know what else! That’s why the Mayor being thick-skulled, greedy and inept will almost certainly lead to urban planners and city engineers who seem to have no clue how to compose a mathematical equation or a statement of logic…thus the roads.
I can see them in a council meeting right now: