Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Screening, Mexican Food and Dancing Under the Stars. Not Bad, Eh?

Yesterday we went out on the town here in Kampala. We visited Crocodile (a restaurant within walking distance of the house) and had a little mini screening on the patio for some American friends that we met through Linda. They gave us some comments, but we were pleased to discover that they could follow what we’ve cobbled together. Most importantly, they could decipher the thick Ugandan and Kenyan English being spoken throughout.

Then we walked next store to “Phat Boyz”, which is apparently run by an American ex-pat who has a passing resemblance to Snoop Dog. He’s got the complete look going with a velour tracksuit, gold accessories and cane. It is one of the only places we’ve seen in Kampala that does Mexican food. We quite enjoyed their nachos and quesadillas, not because they were good necessarily, but because of the rarity of Mexican food here in Africa.

And after that we visited a favorite place of Linda’s called Ablagato, which had live African music on a patio under the stars. (Think Caribbean music, but even softer, with guitars that sound like xylophones.) The music was great and Chris convinced us all to try some roasted pork skewers, which were completely delicious. We had a great time watching everyone shuffling and swaying to the music and we even had a go at it. Eric was reluctant, of course, but he eventually really got into the swing of things.

A huge misconception we Americans have about Africa is that people dress casually here. We think of safari clothes; khakis and linen and hats and boots on cast offs from the Goodwill. But the reality is much snappier, at least in the cities. Men are dressed to the nines and have the beautiful dress shoes, sort of to deny the horrible muddy pavement. And there are lots of shoe shiners on the corners to help them to continue in their delusions. There are lovely big fat women here, who don’t seem down trodden like fat ladies in the U.S. They look proud and happy and beautiful. Their clothes fit them and they take pride in their appearance. They dance slowly and gently; if you aren’t looking closely enough, it just seems easy. But it is sophisticated, like a subtle, subtle kind of salsa dancing. The beat moves really quickly and so you adapt by dancing sort of slowly, shuffling your feet and shaking your legs and disconnecting your rear end from your torso. It was a beautiful night and I think I’ll remember it for a long time.


tangata said...

Hello darling,
I'm home today trying to get caught up on my laundry and house cleaning. I 've had three days off since christmas and starting to feel a little ragged around the edges. Ed has been on call and had a bum knee so not much dancing either, NOT GOOD. Had a good short visit with Jake, he gave me a netflix subscription so any move suggestions you might have, send them along! I have the constant gardener on the list along with a yoga workout, foriegn film and MI3, I wonder what the profiler thinks about that mix! I'm quite intriged by the Hairy Lemon, how did you end up with a bunch of kayakers?? I think you're displaying an amazing amount of versatility in this whole thing and am very glad to hear your "first cut" is getting some favorable comments. I'm trying to do some forward planning as the schedule requests need to be in a month beforehand. You know how much I hate this stretch of the year, so it might be good to have a little treat to look forward to( like two days off in a row!) when/if you're back in town.

tangata said...

My dear,
I just wrote you a good long bit and lost it! Boo HOO! I love you and will try again when I've got more time. I'm working and not much else, Ed's knee has been bad too.Had a good visit with Jake over christmas but very short as he and I both had work schedules to contend with.

Anonymous said...

I just love your descriptions. I could FEEL that dance...

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