I am in Kampala city visiting friends and old acquaintances! I must say that my visit to Kampala is fast becoming one hell of a blast! My old friends have been so good to me. I mean, the liters of Bell beers that have washed down my throat are unbelievably cold and uplifting. All this is courtesy of my old colleagues from the past. Most of them have since chewed biggish posts and are earning real salaries. Some of them are business associates of Aggrey. In short, they have been giving me a very nice time ever since I set foot in here.
Unlike my other friends who insist on drinking at the posh Serena hotel in Kampala , these Kampala colleagues preferred guzzling from the popular drinking holes in and around Ntinda.
This is a Kampala suburb which is quite popular because of the delicious roasted pork. It is at these roadside pubs that we have been doing justice to the cold Bell bottles and several plates of pork mixed with tomatoes and onions. The barmaid at one of the pubs assured us that the raw onions do provide some ingredients that enable one’s body to fully absorb all tribes of booze without really driving you nuts. So, with these onions and tomatoes, we munched the pork as we emptied bottle after bottle.
The music at these roadside pubs is at the highest volume possible. It appears that the pubs along the road try to out-compete each other by blasting our ears with loud music. And by midnight, the patrons are seen with bottles in their hands dancing to the tunes. They toss away their jackets and start to shake their bones until the wee hours of the night.
As for me, I have failed to dance at these pubs because they do not play Zouk music. You see, for us we enjoy waltzing around enjoying the Zouk beats with our partners. But here at the Ntinda bars, there is nothing like Zouk music. Instead, the people dance vigorously to the sounds of Ragga Dee and Dr. Jose Chameleon.
aThe lack of Zouk music means that while my friends are busy dancing at the congested veranda, for me I am busy swallowing more cold ones. By 4am-ish in the morning, we are too zonked and tired. My hosts then guide me through the crowd to where their sleek vehicles are parked outside. We climb inside and take off to their homes somewhere in Kitintale to catch some sleep. The next morning is the most troubling because our heads are pounding so hard. The headache is unbearable. This is the mother of all hangovers.
Last Saturday was unique. Apparently, one of my hosts by the names of Pato had taken his car to the garage for maintenance. This implied that we had no car to use! So, we decided to use a taxi for the whole evening. Pato summoned a taxi driver that he usually uses whenever he is stranded. The elderly looking driver came to pick us and we headed straight to the Ntinda pubs. As usual, when it struck midnight, people sprung to their feet ready to dance. As for me and the driver, we engaged in some small conversation. The driver told me that he never touched alcohol at all.
Instead, he just enjoyed drinking Fantas. So, as I guzzled Bell beers, the driver sipped his orange Fanta. But to my surprise, I somehow noticed that the driver was secretly ordering for Uganda Waragi small bottles. Then he emptied all the Waragi into his Fanta bottles.
I pretended not to see what was going on. Instead we continued talking and drinking in a dark corner as other revelers danced along. By our usual 4am, Pato advised that it was time to go home. The taxi driver quickly hid his booze under the chair so that Pato could not catch him. When we were safely seated in the taxi, the driver started to behave himself in a strange manner. He started to laugh out loudly as if someone was tickling him. Then he stepped on the accelerator and sped off at breakneck speed.
Pato was perplexed. He had never seen this driver behave like this before. It was obvious that this elderly Mzee had taken more Waragi than he could handle. And all this booze was to be paid by Pato himself!
We couldn’t help but wait for our fate. The driver was taking us back to Pato’s home in Kitintale. When we approached the Mulago Hospital roundabout, the driver became confused. He did not really know which route to take. Was it the road to Garden City? Or was it the one to Nakulabye? Or indeed was it the one back to Ntinda? His eyes could not focus properly.
Unfortunately, neither Pato nor I could figure out which route was correct; we were too drunk and spent. In the end, the taxi driver just kept driving in circles around the roundabout with no clue at all. Besides, it was soon going to be dawn and perhaps we would find ourselves out of this mess…