A Bit About This Kampala

A Bit About This Kampala

I have my reservations on public transport and I have earlier expressed them here, in letters, in rants and most recently in satire to the woman who runs this city, Jennifer Musisi. So when they were not answered, I figured I should do something about it, which something was to start driving, myself.

I got a good RaV4 and heck I had half the mess sorted, I didn’t need to sit in a taxi for three hours waiting for a conductor to call all the cows home. I didn’t need to worry about whether my trousers will get fresh designs from metals creeping out of the normally retired seats, heck I didn’t even have to worry about losing lanes and disobeying traffic laws as they come.

This period of my life was hugely rewarding – or atleast I have convinced myself.

So, just like all cars, the Rav4 got it’s fair share of problems on Sunday, parts (or a part) of the car, I later learnt are called shafts got messed. My mechanic was generous enough to explain how I couldn’t drive it with – what I considered – a minor mechanical error and also he insisted that he takes it and replaces the shafts. Shafts – as google has been kind enough to explain – help the car tyres in rotation, they majorly break down when a car is hit in deep trenches (add potholes if you wish). But I digress.

I grudgingly agreed and he has, at his own pace, not been able to return the car to this point.

Now that public transport would be my new form of travel, a lot of planning had to be done.

First, I needed to map out how I was going to get to Bunga on Tuesday morning. Bunga, is a suburb of town located a few kilometres away from the famous Kabalagala town. You would think, that with all the fame, public transport to the place would be simple.

I couldn’t use a taxi,that we can all agree!

You disagree? Here is the mathematics, to get to Bunga from my home in Bukoto, you need to board a taxi to town. A journey, in the course of the morning, that lasts about an hour. While in town, you need to take a boda-boda to the newly established Usafi Market – never mind the place reeks of theft and robbery all through. At Usafi market, you will sit in the Bunga bound taxis that take no less than 30 minutes to fill and get into the crazy central town jam that will last you another hour. So from my home to Bunga in a taxi(s) is worth 3 hours of your time and 4500 Uganda shillings of your money (a whole *excuse my French* freaking 2 dollars)!

Let that sink in!

So as fate would have it, to get to Bunga, on time and comfortably, my only left option in public transport was a boda-boda. Which I took for 7000 Uganda shillings. The way back is what should interest you though!
We got into a taxi in town at Crane Bank, it took the casual 10 minutes to fill up even when I was the 11th passenger to join the ride. Then the hustle with the city jam started. The general consensus by all passengers was that we stick to the main road – which the taxi driver took up until Wandegeya.
I must agree the jam was unbearable but that was no excuse for him to turn back.

“Tugenda kuyita wagulu ku Aki Bua” He snorted!

You need to know that when in Kampala traffic jam, your best bet is sticking to the main lane. Long story short, two hours on and we were still at Aki Bua Road!

“Okoze wo kaki akatiisa” the first passenger complained from the back, his voice tore through the silence in the taxi.

A barrage of insults then followed through, from where the driver had gone to school, to what village he stays on, to who hired him, to where he possibly could go for psychiatric treatment!

All that time I just sat there wishing everyone could just focus this energy on the Kampala Capital City Authority and its never coming plan for our public transport!

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