I always appreciate hearing first time visitors comments about things they see/hear/smell that are different from the American norms. Having been away for 6 months, here were some of the things that caught my attention.
First 24 hour reminders
- African accents and word choices
- Patience with African time-always have a book
- The place of perpetual summer warmth
- Street vendors selling everything: binoculars, car mats, hologram Jesus
- Skirts displayed on "wide hip" hangers
- How disgustingly ugly the storks are
- Megaphone announcements that echo the streets
- The chaos that is Kampala roundabouts- two lanes turned to four, cars, trucks, bodas, people all intertwined in all directions with the police "directing" traffic
- Water is life (and clean drinking water - straight from the tap- is not to be taken for granted)
- Distinct smells- matooke cooking, burning rubbish, sweaty BO
- The courteous usage of "Madame" when strangers passing by greet me.
- That fashions and styles and swagger is like no other.
- The names (and misspelling of names) on the storefronts
- Men holding an armful of (2nd hand) bras for convenient trying on and purchase of anyone who might be in need
- The "in your face chicken place" food stops
- That two lanes is only a suggestion on the Jinja/Kpla road
- How this truly is the pearl of Africa and everything is so green
- Driving over the Nile River never gets old.
And then a few days beyond....
- these precious faces I have been longing to see
- giant fruits and veggies
- personal shopping helpers that find you at your car and follow you around carrying your heavy bags are wonderful!!