Saturday, August 25, 2007

Kampala

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda, and as far as African captial cities go, it's a pretty mellow place. It's much smaller and more approachable than Nairobi, and we decided to take a few days to slow down and relax there.

There is a huge Indian influence in Uganda, and Kampala is no exception. Despite the important role they played in developing the country commercially, all Asians were forced to leave the country by Idi Amin. (Rent "The Last King of Scotland" ASAP if you haven't seen it yet to learn about the other crazy things this dictator did.) They have since been asked by the goverment to return with the promise that confiscated property would be given back. Although I am sure many have stayed away given the trauma they experienced being terrorized and kicked out of their homes with nothing, there seemed to us to be somewhat of a reemergence of the Indian population and culture.

I mention this because it seems like the majority of our time in Kampala was spent enjoying the plentiful Indian restaurants around the city. Somehow we passed day after day just wandering around, reading the paper or talking with locals in the coffee houses, catching up on the blog, and of course, eating lots of dosas and samosas.

Kampala is known for it's night life, and although we didn't hit any of the big clubs, we did enjoy a night out at the Musicians Club 1989, a weekly event in which local musicians get together to play. I can't say it entirely quenched our thirst for live music, but at least it wet it!

We also got to catch the Simpsons Movie, which was playing at the local mall. We almost forgot we were half way around the world that afternoon...

Ok, we didn't slack the whole time. We did take in one cultural activity with a visit to the former home and tomb of the Buganda kings. Buganda is the largest tribe in Uganda and the king was restored as a figurehead in the early 1990's. We were fascinated to learn that our guide to Murchasin Falls, Tony, actually comes from the royal Buganda line, although this isn't exactly a rarity given that the king traditionally had from 500 - 900 wives! we wondered how he had time to rule the kingdom.

1 comment:

joey said...

i think i was watching the simpsons at the same time at a mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...
doh!