Bus-y day. In-tebbe. Leaving tomorrow N-I’m-robi to go. Almost time to hit the Cai-road.

I’m in Entebbe.

I boarded a bus at 5:45am.  I arrived in Kampala at 2pm.  I met with Sempa and took care of a few last bits of business then headed to Entebbe at 4 (which of course took 2 hours on a matatu but should only have taken 45 minutes).  Grand total of travel and business today:  12 hours.  Ugh.

Here are some “highlights” from my day”

1. Getting up at 4:45am.  That’s always fun.  I think it should be illegal for anyone to ever have to get up before daybreak.  Dean, you know people in government.  Could we work on that?

2. Having to carefully plan what I was wearing based on packing, being freezing cold in the morning, and being swelteringly hot in the afternoon.  Was still cold in the morning and drenched in sweat by 1pm.

3. Thinking about and strategizing the best place to sit on the bus and then being epically wrong.

4. Getting yelled at for having my window open by some guy because it was bad for his baby.  You know what’s bad for your baby, buddy?  That worm infested goat meat on a stick that bought on the side of the road and are feeding her!

5. Having my bags in the seat next to me and being forced to move them for some guy despite there being plenty of empty seats on the bus.  Why do I only get special treatment because of the color of my skin when I don’t want it?!

6. Peeing on the side of the road alongside about two dozen strangers.  This is normal here on long bus rides.

7. Meeting up with Sempa and chit-chatting with him as we got everything taken care of before I left.  He was so kind to pick me up from the bus and drop me off at a matatu and it was pleasure spending the small time I got to spend with him!

8. Waiting in the car with Sempa’s three daughters while he grabbed them lunch.  They play fought the whole time (the two youngest ganging up on the oldest).  It was hilarious.  When I told them that dad was coming back they straightened up forthwith.  Sneaky.

9. Matatu ride from Kampala to Entebbe.  A bunch of African leaders are here in Kampala for a big meeting (sorry for the lack of specifics – I have been in a news void for 9 weeks).  That plus the bombs = police EVERYWHERE!  We passed at least 4 of these VIPs en route flanked by police cars and ambulances and military vehicles.  Kinda cool.

10. Backpacker’s Hostel Entebbe.  This is my third stay at the Backpacker’s chain (Kampala and Kabale are the other two).  I’m renting and sleeping in a tent.  There are tons of munzungus here including a group doing an overland tour of Africa which sounds amazing.  They started in Nairobi and some are going all the way to South Africa stopping at various national parks.  The place is off the beaten path (no bombs) and very close to the airport and they have a car which will take me at 7am for $6.  Pimp.

BONUS:  The word for a public van taxi here is “matatu.”  It comes from Swahili meaning “to pay 3 cents.”  In the 1960’s it cost 3 cents to get from Nairobi to a suburb and it was easier to just say, “matatu” than say, “I’m taking the taxi that costs 3 cents.”  The term just stuck.

DOUBLE BONUS: Boda bodas are motorcycle taxis.  The word “boda” means “border.”  The original boda bodas were bicycle taxis that took people from Kenya to Uganda, from border to border…or “boda boda.”

I’m leaving at 10am.  6 hour layover in Nairobi so I’m going into the city.  Met a tour guide with the overland tour group who is from Nairobi and whose friend drives a taxi.  He will be picking me up and rushing me into the city to have lunch then get back for my flight.  Wish me luck.

I land in Cairo at 11:30pm tomorrow.  Crazy.  Is it more important to study up on Arabic phrases or Bangles lyrics?  Discuss.

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3 Responses to “Bus-y day. In-tebbe. Leaving tomorrow N-I’m-robi to go. Almost time to hit the Cai-road.”

  1. Count that title as a quadruple pun score. It’s similar to a triple word score but it scores times infinity to the bazilliontrillionth power.

  2. Next time, by two tix: One for you and one for your bags. Then show them to the guys that wants you to move your bags 🙂

  3. Awesome tales as always. Those overland travellers are pretty amazing. When I was in Senegal we visited this place called ZebraBar which was sort of an oasis for people traveling overland across Africa. They had a scrapbook of people’s stories and all kinds of crazy stuff, it was great.

    Quadruple pun score noted and tallied.


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