Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Easing Stress by getting out of Kampala

I had a very troubled week both in my physical and cyber world especially on face book. At first it looked little more like just a chat and exchange of information on both sides on the world, before I knew it, stress was all over my face. My close friends started asking me, what was the problem and I could hardly answer.

Yes I faced it tough struggling with money and life but also kept a closer eye for my steps since there were suggestions of expelling me from the groups that I belong to online. This wouldn’t be an issue at all, but religionists started suggesting that I deserved to be buried alive and others hinted on beheading me.

This was a very strong blow that almost knocked me off the chair when my free thinker’s friends started strongly opposing me and siding with my now religious enemies.  I truly felt abandoned and lost in some way or another. My free thinkers (read atheists) even uttered statements on face book that “they are distancing themselves from me” because they feared for religious attacks. Despite of all this, I decided to go on with my stand and the online community names the previous week a bloody week from their observation. This fracas all started Sunday 9th May 2010.

Many of my online friends, both in Uganda and outside Uganda begged me to step back a minute that the community cools down, but I resisted and said NO and went ahead to keep my word. Everyone was puzzled on why I was doing something they thought was not abiding by my own principles in life, but what I was rejecting is to the “Creation of immunity for Islamic religions”. Even now I say, if other religions can be criticized, so can Islam.

No religion should enjoy immunity of any kind and as a result, Islamic fanatics have used fear, intimidations, threats and violence to win the sympathy of group members and I see that they have managed to get them on their side.  Thanks to my strong boldness that led some members to say that “he is a hard nut to crush”.

When temperature arose higher and even higher, my best friend who I will name KK in this post suggested if I could join him on a trip to Kisumu Kenya and to make sure that I don’t turn him down, he also said he will fund all my expenses and that we will travel by day time in gapped taxis, meaning that we will have a taxi from Kampala to Ugandan border at Busia and then get on another taxi to Kisumu.

I welcomed the offer with open arms and saw it as a chance to escape some toughness in Kampala and the pressure from my foreign friends who were worried that Moslems can easily kidnap and slaughter me. I didn’t even ask him what he was going to do in Kisumu.

We agreed that departing time is 6:30 am on Friday 14th May 2010. He stays in Namasuba and I stay in Kawempe. We agreed to meet in the old taxi park. I called him on Thursday to confirm the trip. I really felt like not leaving. I had no clean clothes; all the dishes in my house were stinking after keeping them in water for weeks and am surely lazy on cleaning my house.

 I somehow imagined how everything will be after the trip. I went to Nakasero market, bought a 0.5 kilos of beans and went home, made my posho and dumped again my utilities in water, headed to my dirty unfriendly bed. The night was so .long and I slept badly.

On Friday morning, I awoke at 5am, still was lazy to clean the saucepans and other dishes. Cleaned some few clothes and picked some two things that I felt I would need them on the way. That’s a tooth brush and, of course, a comb  having made my hair grow now.   Despite of having awaked very early, I left home at around 6:10am.

By this time, Bombo road is up in traffic jams. This automatically meant that I needed a boda-boda ride. I picked one and the rider was a little bit of mad.  He rode so fast that I started recalling all the war on face book in which members expressed their wish for my death, and were praying for an accident to occur. I imagined becoming a victim of an accident that cool morning and thought of how they would celebrate that “their prayers work”.

I gave a pat of the shoulder of the rider and told him to be very careful. Thankfully we arrived at the park safely and within the ten minutes as we agreed to.   

Minutes after I secured my seat, KK arrived and he came with a cup of coffee for me. I really wanted it. I said thank you to him. It took minutes for the taxi to be full. Legally the Taxis (read matatus or call them min-bus) are supposed to carry 14 passengers. Meaning that a seat must accommodate three people.

The driver was a fully bolded moustache guy who spoke softly and kindly with an Islamic cap, meaning that he was a Moslem. He also had a wirey beard that represents how loyal he was at the Islamic teachings and the Sharia law.

I expected him to respect the law since he presented himself as a religious person, but just like many of them, he went ahead and squeezed another fourth passenger on my seat. Pious people present themselves as oh so correct, abiding by the law and showing respect for their fellow man--and then we quickly see their hypocrisy!.

The three passengers were women. Then he requested if I could swift to another seat and leave the seat for only women especially when I was inbetween them. I think he wanted to apply Islamic laws on me but I asked why with a harsh voice that scared him.  I remained in my seat, but again protested his having put a fourth passenger on this seat, but he turned a deaf ear to me. I told KK that we should get off and wait for the next taxi.   KK agreed with me, but later we choose to remain.  Then, in the next two minutes, the driver maneuvered through the taxi park and later on to Jinja road. We were now on our way to Busia.

Apart from me and KK, most passengers who were almost 85% women were local traders. I say this because they had much luggage. The taxi didn’t have a radio hence these traders used their voices to talk to the deafening ears. It felt good to be leaving Kampala. I took my coffee, KK also gave me some snack that he asked if I ever tasted them when I answered no, he said it was called the American pie, I laughed loud because many Ugandans are struggling to be Americanised especially by behaving like what you see on American black music and movies which leaves me with the impression that this is another kind of Colonisation . I didn’t comment on that. But took my coffee while other passengers looked envious of me.

We cruised through large and small towns, and the residents looked more desperate with no hope of where the next meal will come from. Most small towns in Uganda has no electricity and they all looked like the ghost towns. All youth are migrating to Kampala where they are busy creating babies and send them to their granies. So seeing kids playing on the smooth road proved that no activity or any business is taking place. I must add that our driver was quite good and he was very careful on that tiny road.

It took three hours to get to the Ugandan Border. I visited the loo to the Ugandan side and I was amazed to see that the loo had running water and a little bit cleaner in comparison to the public toilets in Kampala. I also paid 200 (7.2KSh) but then they usually charge 10 KSh which translates into 270 UGX, therefore I choose to pay in Ugandan shillings.

The Immigration was almost empty so it took us five more minutes both to check and walk through the No man’s land. Wait for my next Edition of this trip


Anonymous said...

Interesting read Quitstorm, can hardly wait for your next edition and the rest of the story. How did the American Pie taste?

Anonymous said...

...very moving so far...

Jozef said...

i think that explains why u didnt attend the freethought k'la meeting on saturday.interesting story...waiting for the next edition

Keeranl said...

Nice story Quitstorm. Can't wait to read the rest of it. Good writer.

Quitstorm said...

It's nice to know that you all enjoyed that first edition.I will immediately have my second edition on.

Anonymous said...

QS, you had a study trip. Do you notice this? One is that single men can do anything with their lives (refer to your house.) Two is that the wishes of the religious do not work (the bodaboda did not break your leg.) Then most religious men and women and not well-intentioned people, they are hypocrites, exploiters! (remember the moslem conductor?) And Ugandans have lost the whole plot in approaching development (deserted villages.)

Anonymous said...

man that was good for you, you must have had fun.

Joshua senyange said...

he u guy,welcome back but i think u thought u can run away from ur world but thats is not possible.you created ur own enemies.KK must be a real good friend but he might spoil u with trips.make sure u dont run away from stress but engage in the batle of the mind.