Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unanswered Questions and Little-known Facts

* The best bookstore in Kampala has a shelf devoted to maps. On the shelf there are several maps of Kampala, Ugandan maps, maps of Tanzania and maps of Florida.

* When one visits a classroom in a Ugandan primary school, the students stand and greet their visitor by saying, "Good-morning-and-welcome-sir-or-madam-whichever-the-case-may-be."

* Is it odd that, at just 10 months shy of 60 years old, I put a kitten in a bag and ride on the back of a motorcycle through the streets of Kampala, Uganda to my job everyday?

* Idi Amin once gave a speech to the Queen of England in which he said, "Before I go back to my country with a plane from the Entebbe airport of London I wish to invite you, Mr. Queen, to become home to Uganda so that we can also revenge on you and you will eat a full cow and also feel up your stomach and walk with difficult because of full stomach completely. Even when you want to rest at night, I will make sure that you rest on top of me. Thank you very much to allow me undress you you completely before these extinguished ladies under gentlemen, sir."

* Two friends rode from Jinja on a bus whose horn got stuck and blasted continuously for over one hour. They were most grateful for their i-pods.

* Ugandans have an unusual speech pattern that sounds like a teacher talking to students. They ask a question and then answer it themselves. Some examples from real life:
"He needs to what? To study."
"Jesus drank what? He drank wine so therefore it is allowed for us to do what? To drink wine."
"I got my what? My paycheck so I can do what? Go shopping."
Sometimes I feel like I'm in Miss Jones' second grade class again and I try to guess the answers.

* The Ugandan military had three helicopters. One of the helicopters had to be used for parts to repair the other two. The second helicopter ran out of fuel in the air and crashed to earth. Perhaps the gas guage was stuck. The Ugandan military now has one helicopter.

* Are the employees at the Nice House of Plastics friendlier than those at other plastic factories in Uganda?

* Soda in Uganda comes only in glass bottles. You are required to pay a deposit on the bottle or they will kindly pour the soda into a recycled plastic bag and give you a straw.

* Is there one comfortable chair in Uganda? I haven't found it.

* Are Ugandans the most resilient, joyful, strong, resourceful, humorous, kind, courageous people in the world? I think yes.

* Average life expectancy in Uganda is forty-one.