Updated: Feb 26, 2021
A couple of months ago i went back home to Uganda to visit my family.I had not seen them for a year, so reuniting was so good!It’s a blessing to live here in USA for sure and i’m grateful to God for that. But going back home (i call it home because i was born and raised there until way into my adult years but here is my home now) is good..for better words.
When i go home,i join the millions of other people that use public transport.The means of public transport include commuter taxis, buses bicycles and motorcycles.Themotorcycles are quite risky because most of the drivers are reckless especially in and around the city center.They do a lot of maneuvering in traffic and if not that, they drive way too fast!But they, and the commuter taxis were some of my main means of transport.
It can be irritating, funny,annoying,gross..name it, using public transport in Uganda.It’s best to try not let any of the negative emotions come through.I had to try that almost everyday,sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t.
But each day i had a story when i got to my destination or when i went back home at the end of the day.I’m going to share some of those stories.
Visiting A relative in Hospital
I’m on my way to the hospital to check on a sick relative. I wasn’t very sure where to get off at, so i ask a guy seated next to me for help. He told me where to get off from and asked if he can get off with me.Wait what?!He said that he can get off with me if i want him to.At that point i wanted to laugh out loud..literally but i did my best to suppress it.I told him no, it wasn’t necessary.He asked for my cell phone number so we could meet later.I told him i was married and he said he didn’t mind.I gave him “a number” and he got out his phone to call it so i could get his number.At that point i told him my battery was dead so the phone was off. He said he would call in a couple of hours for sure.Itwasn’t long before i had to get off,and i burst out and laughed!!!
I visited my relative in the hospital for a couple of days,and this was a few days before i had to leave so i tried to maximize my last days with her.So still on another trip there,in a commuter taxi (the seating capacity for these is a maximum of 14 passengers but usually during rush hour they will exceed that number to about 19 passengers).This wasn’t full to capacity so was the one in the story above.There’s two passenger seats next to the driver in the front.Only one seat was occupied by a female passenger.I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation.She had started off by asking the driver for directions of where she was going(this is very common in Uganda).He attempted to direct her but in the process starts to tell her that he can drop off all the passengers at their final destinations and be her chauffeur.That he basically could drop her there and wait for her and take her wherever else she wanted to go..hmm mm..She kept telling him she had to be there at a certain time so waiting on him to do the drop off wouldn’t work for her.
But she seemed receptive to his suggestion.As i secretly watched i kept saying to her silently, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT!i had to get off.I will never know if she did or not.Either way i hope she was safe,because i think it’s quite risky to go with a stranger just like that.And there’s many kind men in the world out there but women have got to be cautious.Oh and men too:)
The countless times since cell phones became popular in Uganda is when you are in a taxi or restaurant, market or out somewhere and someone answers their phone and goes “hello…i’m stuck in traffic..i’m at home sick.. i’m in a meeting..” all sorts of lies you can possibly think of. Sometimes i have felt like asking these people why are telling lies(yes i know it’s none of my business) and other times i have felt like screaming!But i have always left it at that;feelings.