Uganda Day 6: Trip to the Mall

Hello there everybody. Happy Saturday!

I slept in a little bit this morning, then got ready and headed down to La Patisserie for a coffee and a cheeky almond croissant. I brought my book with me and stayed a good two hours, reading on the patio. It's actually not the most comfortable seating situation for reading, but it's still quite lovely.

I also went to check out the butcher shop next door to it, but I didn't feel like preparing and cooking meat—way too much work, plus I have very limited kitchen supplies—so I didn't get anything. I did go to the grocery store again, just to pick up a few things. I desperately needed some hand sanitizer. It doesn't seem to matter what I do or where I go, my hands are disgusting within minutes of washing them. Also essential for after every boda ride.

Speaking of bodas, this afternoon I took one of them out to a place called Acacia Mall. (Not to worry—I ordered a SafeBoda, so I had a nice bright orange helmet for the ride.) Acacia Mall looks essentially like the malls back in Canada, just with different stores. It's actually nicer than some of the malls back home! I met Aliana there. We weren't there for too long, though. A quick stop into the supermarket to buy some hand/dish towels (the two the landlady gave me are barely a step up from paper towel and are already gross), stopped into a couple of phone stores (trying to figure out Aliana's phone situation), and had lunch at a really nice restaurant in the mall. It was just a chicken sandwich, but it was probably the best meal I've had since leaving home.

We also met up with some people that Aliana knows and walked around for a bit with them. Her friend initially offered to drive me home, but it would have been completely in the wrong direction so he hooked me up with a taxi instead. I had been planning on just taking a boda back, but I figured I could splurge on the cab just this once. Which was, of course, a mistake. There's a reason that bodas are the best way to get around here. The cab ride took forever, and for most of it we were stopped. We also detoured down a dirt road to get out of traffic, which was slightly worrying. These roads are essentially very poor neighbourhoods, lined with small storefronts and homes, people working and walking everywhere. The disparity is often marked and quite sad, here. Even just to get to the main road by my place, I take a little shortcut that brings me past a row of very, very poor homes. I'm sure I'll have more to say about this and to ruminate on in later posts.

Anyway, we finally made it back to my place. I made some eggs for dinner and here I am. No major plans for the rest of the evening...just relaxing. My place seems very warm today for some reason (even before I made tea), so I'll be moving as little as possible. Oh, and I saw the plumber today. Apparently some other piece connected to the pump is broken, so he has to replace it. Unfortunately that won't happen till Monday at the earliest. Unfortunately I am stuck with he trickle shower for a couple more days. But hey, I'm just relieved to have running water.

As I'm writing this, something keeps clicking/creaking/banging in the kitchenette next to me, and I have no idea what it is. Just hoping it's not something else that's about to break...

Here's a serious question: Why does boiled water taste so bad? I boiled a large pot and filled a few water bottles a couple of days ago, but the water has an awful, flat taste. I was hoping to save myself from having to buy cases of water repeatedly—it's astounding how many water bottles you go through when the tap water is unsafe. Plus, having to lug a case of water down the street and then back up that hill to my place...we'll see. I'll try and stick it out with the boiled water for a little while and see if I adjust.

Update on the sound—it is coming from inside the range hood. Curiously, it seems to be connecting and disconnecting the power to the hood. It clicks and I'm able to turn it on, and then it clicks again a few minutes later and there's no power. Is it frustrating? Yes. Should I be worried? I don't know, at this point I feel like anything going wrong in this place could escalate quickly. The worst part is, I can't do a single thing about it right now. I don't have any ladder or anything to look over the top, and the caretaker is long gone for the day. Let's just hope it stops soon...if it keeps going through the night, I might go crazy. The walls and windows are already so thin here. Something happening outside sounds like it's happening right next to you. Almost every night it sounds like there's someone sneaking around in my place outside the bedroom, but of course no one ever is. I know because it freaks me out enough that I check. The noises from outside sound that close by. The last thing I need is a constant loud clang every few minutes.

I want to love it here, but there have been so many things happening since I arrived that I really haven't been able to lower the stress level yet and settle in. I'm just hoping stuff stops breaking/malfunctioning/clanging so I can start to get comfortable with being here. I really want to start genuinely enjoying myself! It's just been hard with something going wrong seemingly every few hours.

Fingers crossed. Good night!