City Centre Alert!!!

Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
Trip End Jul 22, 2009

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

In my last entry I promised to let you know when I started driving in the city centre. Well let me say that the city centre is no longer safe - I have been let loose!
Up until the last week I was quite reluctant to leave my nice safe Hospice-Buziga (that's the area I am living in) route. Then I got seduced by the idea of going to a little taylor's shop that I'd seen on my way back from Mulago one day; that took me a short distance away from my comfortable route (shopping has a lot to answer for!). After that it was only 1 small measure of petrol ...
Of course I may have gradually left my comfort zone in small steps, had it not been for a young man called Izwa. Izwa was the special hire man that I was using if I needed to get back from town in the dark. He was kind, reliable and trustworthy. In fact when I went out for dinner on Friday night, I told my friends about how great it was to have a special hire guy who seemed to genuinely care about his passengers whilst not trying to sleaze on them!
So naturally, when Izwa drove me home after dinner, he tried to chat me up!
Now it's worth saying here that being asked out is no special reflection on me - as a half-muzungu, I am asked out on a daily basis. I am sure I will get withdrawal from all this lovely attention (!!!) when I get back to the UK!
Special hire divorce was imminent with the breaching of this new 'asking-out' territory ... But our fate was sealed when he then tried to overcharge me. Thus on Tuesday, when I wanted to go out to a live music night, I was faced with the prospect of finding a new special hire man, risking a boda or taxi (both distinctly unwise ideas), not going at all ... Or driving into town myself.
Remember the entry where I described being in a taxi at rush hour? Now try to recall how you feel when stuck in a traffic jam and you don't quite know where you're going ... Put those 2 together and you have me on Tuesday night! Needless to say the whole experience was quite stressful!
Fortunately the music night was worth it - we were treated to a myriad of styles ranging from jazz to African soul to Christina Aguilera pop! I was very impressed actually - there was a polish to the whole thing which is not something you find every day here. Plus it only cost 10,000 Ush which is about $2! Having been sweetened up by that experience, I started to think that driving there hadn't really been that bad ... So yesterday I repeated the experience by driving into town to meet a friend for coffee! And of course now, it's the only way to travel ...
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