Uganda Days 39 & 40: Food and Music
Well this is a first for me—I'm writing this on Saturday morning. By the time I got home on Thursday night it was too late, so I said I'd do a two-in-one the next night. Then last night I got home even later, and here we are. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
At this point I don't even remember what I did at work on Thursday, so I'm not going to try to write anything interesting about it. After work, however, I had plans to meet André for dinner. This has become an (almost) weekly thing now, choosing a new restaurant and going for dinner during the week. Our cuisine of choice this week was Japanese, at a restaurant called Yujo, which I've been talking about trying for weeks. So after work I came home, changed, killed a bit of time, and left in search of sushi.
And sushi was found. Please do pardon the blurry image, it was dark and, at any rate, I imagine you have some sense of what sushi looks like already.
I believe that was called a nile perch avocado roll—I figured I might as well get the local fish, right? It was delicious. I also got a couple of pieces of salmon nagiri and we shared gyoza to start, all of which was really good. And the restaurant itself was pretty cool, though I neglected to take any pictures of it, so you'll have to take me at my word. I also ordered an old fashioned, because why not?
We were there for about 3 hours, which is a long time even for us, and also the reason why I decided just to shower and sleep when I got home. I was already pretty exhausted from the week in general and I was not about to write a blog post! I figured, I'll write two on Friday.
I originally had no plans for Friday evening other than writing the blogs and sleeping, and maybe watching a movie at some point (because I'm just that exciting). Again, I won't bore you with work. In the afternoon, we were sitting in the boardroom, willing the clocks to speed up, when Neil dropped in to say hi. Neil is that Canadian expat who works in our building and with whom we had lunch at the Mexican place a couple of weeks back. He had an extra ticket to a charity dinner that night, and he was generous enough to invite me. So I cleared my very, very busy schedule and said yes.
Okay, I'm going to try and explain what this charity dinner was all about. So there's a theatre downtown called Theatre La Bonita, which is home to a group called The Ebonies. The Ebonies are a drama group, but the way that Neil described them sounded intriguing and bizarre (I can't remember his exact words). Apparently they put on these shows where they sort of bastardize other shows, performing them in a mix of English and Luganda, acting, singing, the works. I believe the theatre is owned by one of the partners at Neil's wife's law firm (she's a lawyer), and apparently a lot of the cast are actually people with other jobs (including other lawyers!) who do this in their spare time. I think the person that writes the shows is a lawyer? Anyway, it's very difficult to describe, especially since I haven't seen a performance yet. I'm also liable to have mixed up this explanation in some way, but you get the idea, I hope.
Back to the charity dinner. I'm still not sure if the proceeds of the dinner were going to The Ebonies or to some other cause, but at any rate, it was also meant to act as a promotion for the new show starting next week, called "Think Like a Man".
Can you tell I was thrown into this last minute? Mostly I was just going with the flow.
We arrived at 7 precisely, which is when the invitation said things were set to start. Of course, in Kampala, being too on time is definitely a thing. We were the first ones there and they weren't even close to being ready, so we sat in the theatre's café area, just inside, which they had set up as a sort of red carpet situation.
Some time later we realized that Neil's wife Alice had somehow arrived without us noticing and was already in the restaurant upstairs, which was finally ready. I'm still a little bit confused about the building itself, which seemed like a bit of a carnival maze with a whole smattering of rooms and staircases. There's a restaurant called Spectrum two or three floors up. It was actually quite nice up there. We sat at a table with Alice, another lawyer, and two others (who may or may not be lawyers, I don't know), one of whom was the son of the guy that owned the theatre? Or something like that. I was told about so many connections and family ventures and things, I can't keep it all straight.
Even then, dinner took a while to start. Eventually we were let loose on the buffet. It couldn't have been much earlier than 9.
Maybe I was just starving, but the food was really good. And did I mention the live jazz band? Here they are getting started, just as we were sitting down with our food.
They did a mix of cover songs and instrumental stuff. For the covers, the guy on the right there was the main vocalist. I don't think I've ever experienced more of a disconnect between someone's actual voice and the voice you'd expect them to have. This guy had the voice of an angel. If you were following my Snapchat last night, you might have heard a bit of it, though I have no idea how well it came through in the recording. Anyway, he was really good, and the band was really good. And the saxophonist!
He played during the cover songs of course, but they did a lot of instrumental songs where he was the focus. Who doesn't love saxophone? He was walking around the place, jamming with the band. It was great!
At some point in the middle they stopped the band for a while so they could do a little speech, announce the funds raised, and introduce the members of The Ebonies. Then one of them did a little preview of the new show next week, which consisted of singing a couple of songs.
He was also great. I wish I could remember his name, but I don't and their website isn't exactly super informative. I actually met this guy very briefly as we were leaving. Apparently it's his first time doing a show with them and, from what I gathered, he was one of those with a different job (maybe also a lawyer? Not sure).
We didn't end up leaving until something like 11, and then it took me a while longer to get an Uber. By the time I got home, a blog post was most definitely not in the cards.
Basically, it was a really fun night. Nothing quite like live music. And I was sufficiently impressed (and intrigued) that I'm going back next Friday for the opening night of "Walk Like a Man"! Should be a great time.
And with that, I think we're all caught up on the blogs for the moment. Hope you're all having a wonderful long weekend! And for anyone not in Canada, hope you're having a wonderful normal weekend!