Sunday, March 22, 2009

My job > Your job

So here we are, another day down. I can't speak for the big man Pat, but I'm having an absolute blast in Kampala. We have the best hosts a person could possibly ask for. Actually this whole trip (Boston and Italy included) has really been amazing in that I've had locals showing me the real scene. I have never really felt sketched out since I've been here, and I know that if anything were to go wrong we have one of the best problem solvers in the game in our corner from the business school.

So we're having lunch the other day with like a who's who of the business school in East Africa. It comes up that there's an event on Friday night, do we want to come? Ofcoursewedo, what is it? It was a beauty pageant. We went to an African beauty pageant. I can honestly say it was in the top few most coolest cultural experiences of my life. But it wasn't just any beauty pageant, it was to crown miss MUBS (that the name of the business school). I cannot even begin to imagine this going down with the women from my business school. They have a whole active club and movement (holla back ladies?) for something like equality between women and men in business. If you were to even suggest something like this, you'd be chased out of town with pitchforks and torches.

So anyway, I guess it's like the biggest event of the year that the school puts on, and lots of the biggest pop stars in Uganda performed there (I'm told, I certainly have no clue who these people are). I guess what I'm trying to say here is that it was a pretty big deal. The winner won a car. Now that I've set the scene, enter Luke and Pat. VIP passes, front and center, right behind the dean. Just red carpet all the way, like this whole experience with the university has been. So it's a beauty pageant more or less like you'd expect (reggaeton and gangsta rap though). The musical acts for the most part were not that different from home. A lot of usher-like guys, a destiny's child like group, a lot of reggaeton-ish stuff. Except the first act: a guy in whitewashed and fully shredded out jeans, a muscleman shirt, a tasseled white leather jacket and a cowboy hat. Playing guitar and singing Phil Collins, Kenny Rogers and Michael Jackson in his best American country-music voice. It was absolutely the strangest, possibly-unintentionally hilarious-est thing I've ever seen. Oh, and he danced. If it wasn't strange yet, now it's like 5 alarm fire. It was like this popping & locking/ Elvis shake dance. Moving in ways that I've never seen a body move. Really nutty. Then he took off the jacket and things really got started.

So the miss MUBS was a great time, by far the most fun I've had yet. Plus we got a personal shout-out from the emcee. Like we're Mike Tyson or something (probably a bad choice of celebrity). I guess I should explain that we're talking with this school about doing a joint venture between our universities. So they're making us feel welcome, big time.

Afterward, our homebwa took us out on the town. He wanted to show us the nightlife of Kampala, so we bar hopped around town till like 4am. Oh, and there's no open container laws here, so it was like get a beer at every third bar and just take it with you in between. Also a great time, its such a cool thing to have people to take you around to see real life in a new city. We hit up the Rolex's, which are kinda sorta like breakfast burritos (my old nemesis breakfast-for-dinner strikes again).

Great night, great time, great people.

We were taking a little tour around the grounds of the hostel/campsite we're staying at, called The Red Chilli. In my periphery I see some sort of creature. I was wearing sunglasses, which means I wasn't wearing normal glasses which means I had no clue what this thing was. Is that a cat? No, too big. Is that a dog? No, too sitting up like a human. What could it be? And with a tail like that?....



A MONKEY! Just chillin, minding his business, examining his sweater. We go to investigate and there's a whole family (troop I believe, for the biologists in the audience), like probably 10. Even little baby ones, still too dumb to climb on their own too. All just hanging out in the garden like they pay rent here or something, not givin a - . Our friend was just like "yea they're monkeys, no big deal." They come they go, they're visitors here just like you. Except they don't pay rent. Silly little monkeys.


Posting is hard so we've been writing them up offline then posting when we can. As such, all references to time are close to meaningless.

2 comments:

  1. Those little critters are likely vervet monkeys. Also known as green monkeys. So popular with the colonialists the West Indies are infested with them. Turns out monkeys are just as hard to keep as pets as you'd guess, plus "males have a blue scrotum and red penis" so I'm sure you want that in your house.

    -Dr. Abu Wazeem

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  2. Well folks, we're lucky to have an expert in the house. It's a good thing too, cause I was just thinking that I might smuggle one up to Lira for entertainment/ beer fetching. Plus the whole scrotum thing might get awkward.

    Thanks for the insight. I think someone should open a club called the Velvet Monkey.

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