When you wake up at 5:30 in the morning and attempt to get dressed and finish packing in preparation for a 12-day trip while there is no power, something is destined to go array. For example, while i was preparing to go to Kampala, I had to wake up at 5:30 and the power was out, I struggled to find the correct shirt, but at the time it didn’t matter because it was cold and I had to cover myself with a scarf anyway. Let me qualify that statement – it did not matter until the bus arrived in Kampala at noon and the day presented itself as very sunny and warm. I relieved myself of the scarf and took off by foot to my favorite café. It is about a 20-minute walk, just long enough to become sweaty due to the double bag and uphill walk combination.
Whenever I walk around Kampala, or any town in Uganda, I am bound to get stares. The primary reason is that I am clearly not Ugandan, or east African by any means. However, in contrast to most towns, while I am in Kampala, I do not receive so much of the verbal attention as the visual attention. Still, that morning I had one man try to stop me to say “I love you so much” and another say, “Hey, hey! You come, I like you!” Additionally, as I was walking, I noticed that the stares were even more so than usual, but stopping to readjust on the streets of Kampala only invites several boda boda drivers to harass you and attempt to convince you that you want ride to your destination. So instead, ignoring both the stares and the boda boda drivers, I continued walking.
When I finally arrived at said café, I went to the bathroom to clean myself off. As I looked in the mirror, I realized that the pale yellow shirt I chose to wear was not entirely opaque and, in fact, did not hide a green lace-lined bra with tan and black leopard print. ‘Oh, well that does explain a lot.’ I was then stuck with wearing the inappropriate outfit for the remainder of the day.
Note to self: pick out your clothes the night before when there is power and you know what you will be putting on yourself . Remember, you are not at your best before the sunrises, before coffee, without power and without the ability to assure appropriateness.