Archive for October, 2007

October 30, 2007

Not a Hair Out of Place

Egg.  Rotting egg with a hint of vinegar and dead roses. 

That’s what the hair removal cream I am currently using smells like.  It does the job and my armpits as smooth as a baby’s bottom, but the stench stays for days.  I once raised my arms in a crowd and the disgusting odor knocked unsuspecting bystanders unconscious, sparking fears of a massive toxic gas attack.  And in the morning mist you can see a sickly yellow-green vapor seeping out from under my shirt.

It doesn’t help that when the smell has just started to fade, the hair grows again and it’s off for a date with me and eggy again.

I try to convince myself that these measures are necessary for hygiene, for beauty, for finding a Christian husband from a good family with lots of old money. Like millions of women around the world I have been told that nice girls have hair in only one place – the head.   Hair anywhere else is frowned upon as masculine and unsightly.  

I wish I was born in the days of the militant women’s lib.  The days of burn-your-bra, hit-your-man, get-a-female-lover and may-you-be-damned-if-you-shave-your-hair.

I have shaved, waxed and nicked my legs so many times that my skin has lost all feeling.  However each time I shave stronger, longer, more resilient hair grows back almost immediately.  Thanks to Wicked DNA, Hairy Bakiga and Poor Genes Company Limited, my arms have also seen their fair share of creaming and waxing and bleeding because God forbid that I should be confused with a yeti.

And of course there is the issue of the hair in My Land Down Under.  Some like it long, some like it short, others don’t like it at all.  One sexpert says it adds mystery, another says it’s dirty and another still says an errant hair on a skinned member can bring a man to his knees.

I constantly battle with conformity and in my feeble attempt at rebellion, I have refused to comb/treat/braid/weave the hair on my head.  And I WILL NOT PLUCK MY EYEBROWS no way, no here, no how. 

I WILL NOT PLUCK MY EYEBROWS because it hurts like hell.  Each hair pulled or tweezed or threaded sends a hot searing pain right through my skull. 

I WILL NOT PLUCK MY EYEBROWS because I don’t want to have a perpetual shocked, surprised or angry look that scares off potential ‘investors’. 

I WILL NOT PLUCK MY EYEBROWS because contrary to popular belief there is nothing alluring or sexy about pencil-thin line floating somewhere between your eyelids and your hairline. 

I WILL NOT PLUCK MY EYEBROWS because it is not true that what you’ve got going on above your eyes is way more important than what’s going on behind them.

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October 29, 2007

Smelling of Smoke

To Sir Whom I Loved, 

I found some of your personal effects in my closet yesterday.  I made a crude effigy of you out of them and burned it in my compound with angry rocker chick music blaring loudly in the background. 

Then suddenly I panicked and put out the fire.  The charred heel of one white sock was all that remained.   

The similarity of that incident to my kill-it-heal-it-want-it-lose-it-build-it-burn-it relationship with you was uncanny.  And I don’t know whether to wash off the smell of smoke.

October 29, 2007

In Which Nothingness Blogs Me

Living

liv.ing/ Ñ ‘lIvIN; NAmE Ñ /adjective, noun

Meaning – alive now; also – used or practiced now. 

Legend

le·gend / Ñ ‘ledZJnd; NAmE Ñ /noun

Meaning – a story from ancient times about people and events, that may or may not be true; also – a very famous person, especially in a particular field, who is admired by other people, e.g. Many of golf’s living legends were playing; also – the explanation of a map or a diagram in a book. 

Aha.  ?!!

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Ever wondered why women of all ages spend millions every year on Mosquito Net Gowns (a.k.a Prisons Garb a.k.a bridal dresses)? It is because every little girl dreams of being a princess.  And no one epitomizes princessomnity as much as Cinderella, she of the practical, albeit square step-sisters and boyfriend with a glass shoe fetish.

Until last night, I too dreamed of riding in a pumpkin turned into a royal carriage and being swept away at the stroke of midnight.  But with just two spelling errors this guy ruined it for me. If I’m still single by this time tomorrow, I know who to blame.

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I bought supper from the Kibuye/Makindye/Unwilling to Cook-famous New Friends Restaurant on Saturday.  After spending the night counting the tiles in my toilet courtesy of Daios and Associates, I think the sign above the restaurant is a warning rather than an invitation. 

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And just when you thought Ugandans cannot be less acquiescent than they already are these guys add a new dimension to “resigning oneself to one’s fate.”

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October 26, 2007

Randomnity

Of course the word ‘randomnity’ doesn’t exit, but language is supposed to be dynamic, and so apparently is my eye. 

I know, I know … doesn’t make sense, but you can’t blame me.  Not really anyway.  It’s a Friday, after all, and I spent most of my day horsing around with my workmate’s new Nokia Torch Phone Reloaded and pondering the Liar Paradox. 

For those not acquainted with quack ancient philosophy, this is the Liar Paradox 

(I promise you this is not what the blog post is about.  Exciting electrifying exhilarating stuff to come in a moment, so just indulge my insanity a little longer.) 

“I am lying now.” 

“This statement is false.”

These statements are paradoxical because there is no way to assign them a consistent truth value.  In other words, if “This statement is false” is true, then everything asserted in it is true.  But if what it says is that it is false, then it is false. Under either theory, you end up concluding that the statement is both true and false.  

“This statement is not true.” 

It “This statement is not true” it is neither true nor false and so must be not true. On the other hand it must be true because what it states is true. 

Maddeningly fascinating stuff! 

In 270 BC, the poet Philitas of Cos wasted away and died of insomnia while brooding about the Liar Paradox.

His bizarre death was nothing compared to Edward II of England who was murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus in 1372 or French president Felix Faure who died of a stroke while receiving oral sex in his office.  And of course who can forget this week’s Most Bizarre Death involving Surinder Singh Bajwa, the Deputy Mayor of Delhi, who was kicked by a monkey at his home and fell to his death from a first floor balcony.

Useless info courtesy of Wikipedia, Free Internet and An Idle Mind.

Now for the Most Thrilling Blog Ever a.k.a Randomnity of the Eye.

Or not. 

It’s like when you are going mad and you have to keep talking to assure yourself that you are sane.  I AM going mad, but in a sexy, silent, broody way and have to keep taking pictures of meaningless things to stay out of Butabika.

So um … taxis … yes!  I know they aren’t as flamboyant as the Kenyan crazies of old, but Ugandan taxi owners are trying to use what little leeway the law has given them to stamp their identity on their cars. 

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This one wasn’t on a taxi, but on the tyres of a lorry I followed down Ggaba Road.

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Get a load of this! 

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Normally, I have no use for tools and machines apart from using them to reenact Chainsaw Massacre all by myself on those nights when I can’t go to sleep.  But this shop renewed my interest in becoming a handyman.  What’s the politically correct term of handyman? Handy person?

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When I finally lose it, I will come back to this nondescript building in Katwe in search of this beautiful sunset to enjoy the randomnity of it all.

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October 25, 2007

I am Not Smarter than a 12-Year-Old

I am as dumb as I look. 

It is 20 years since I took the national Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) and apart from the endless prayers of my family, I can’t figure out how on earth I managed to get top results.  Up to today my mom can’t believe that I actually passed/annihilated/famoozed/squashed/obliterated the mathematics exam.

But I digress.

Today I attempted to answer the questions in the PLE pull-out in the Daily Monitor.  I failed miserably.  Either there is something terribly wrong with the questions asked or it is true, I am a Black Blonde.

Here’s an example of some of the questions: 

  1. Identify one neighbouring country of East Africa that is landlocked.
  2. Give one value of myths and legends to tribal groups.
  3. State one example of a tertiary industry in Uganda.
  4. Why should a country have a constitution?
  5. State one factor that enabled the setting up of Gezira irrigation scheme.
  6. Give one reason for the political unrest in Buganda a year before signing the Namirembe conference.

??!!! 

Here are my answers:

1 – Do you mean a neighbouring country of the East African Community or the East African region?  Or perhaps you are asking about Eastern Africa.

2What are tribal groups?  Do you mean tribes or ethnic groups?  I don’t know any legends apart from the intriguing one of sex, death, world domination and love triangle involving Walumbe, Kintu and Nambi.  I think the only value of that particular legend is to teach people that weird family drama isn’t a preserve of soap operas.

3I think the proper term is ‘Tertiary Sector of Industry’ or the Service Sector/Industry.  Why don’t you get your facts right before asking me silly questions?

4 – It is a fallacy to believe that countries need to have constitutions.  Remember that country that you worship so much, whose Head of Government you consider to be a goddess? You know the one with Queeny E-Squared who is the de facto head of Commo … CHOGM-based thingy? Those guys don’t have a constitution and they are doing well. Compare it to Uganda which has had various versions of the same document with little effect on democracy and the rule of law. Useless pieces of bad literature, that’s what I think of constitutions.

5Where on earth is Gezira?  Is it where Al Jazeera is based?

6Now really!  First, you don’t sign a conference.  You sign an agreement/MoU/letter/off your radio show/etc.  Secondly, you guys know you are questioning 12-year-olds, not their great great great grandfathers, right? What I really want you to ask is the reason for the political unrest in Uganda a year before the signing of the Nairobi Peace Agreement in December 1985.  Let’s talk about that instead and how our beloved President reneged on his promise to uphold the Uganda Peace Talks Agreement for the Restoration of Peace to the Sovereign State of the Republic of Uganda.

See, I told you.  I am as dumb as I look.

October 25, 2007

Aribtrary Beauty II

Granted that the views from the rest of our solar system are equally magnificent,

I am glad that I live on the Third Rock from the Sun.

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October 24, 2007

Easy Money

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Exclusive – only to be used by one person or group; of high quality and expensive; not including somebody/something. 

Privatebelonging to or for the use of a particular person or group; not for public use; not owned by the State; not connected with your work or official position. 

Home – the house or flat/apartment that you live in; the town, district, country that you come from; a family living together; a place where people who cannot care for themselves live and are cared for by others. 

Methinks I have one of those (only renting one, I know, but whatever).  Finally, I too can benefit from CHOGM.

Yay!

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October 24, 2007

So Near Yet So Far

I was born in the same year as – 

Drew Barrymore; Eva Longoria; Fergie; Anouk; David Beckham; Enrique Iglesias; Angelina Jolie; Tobey Maguire; 50 Cent; Charlieze Theron; Kate Winslet; Mila Jovovich; Tiger Woods; Mekhi Phifer; Andre 3000; Casey Affleck; Bradley Cooper; Kimora Lee Simmons; Larenz Tate; Zach Braff; Scary Spice; Natalie Imbruglia; Jamie Oliver; Li’l Kim; … 

One topped People’s 2007 Most Beautiful People list and another is a major sports/sex god.  One is the sexiest humanitarian worker alive and another earns more money for each tee off than I will for the rest of my life.  One is an internationally famed naked chef and another rhymes and curses for a living.  They are rich and young and famous and know how to kick vampire ass. 

And I … 

… I can’t raise money for next month’s rent.

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October 23, 2007

Humbly Supercilious

Apparently modesty wasn’t a requirement in judging the candidates for the Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership.

Reuters TV reports: 

Mozambique’s former President Joaquim Chissano, who led his country to peace after a vicious war before willingly stepping down, said he was not surprised to win the first Mo Ibrahim Prize for African leadership. 

In a Reuters Television interview late on Monday in Kampala, Chissano, one of Africa’s most revered statesmen, also said that he was unsure whether the $5 million prize should be seen as an incentive for good conduct in power. 

“I am not surprised … I have received many other rewards for the same reasons. Even before I left power I had been praised on several occasions and I have the appreciation of my colleagues, other African leaders,” he said. 

The bearded Chissano, who was appointed last year as a U.N. special envoy for Uganda’s conflict, was speaking at a Kampala hotel after visiting delegates at Ugandan peace talks being mediated in Juba by South Sudanese officials. 

The Mo Ibrahim prize, the world’s biggest individual award, was presented by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a ceremony in London on Monday.

October 18, 2007

No Answers on Poverty

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So, did anyone go for the public forum on Wednesday? 

Anyone apart from a couple of MPs, NGO types and Gerald Tenywa who reported about the excitement of the parliamentarians “when they watched an Oscar award-winning film on climate change acted by the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former US vice-president, Al Gore”? 

Did they get answers as to why, despite the fact that I have been working for the past nine years, I am still as poor as the day I was born?  I have no property to speak of, I am constantly broke and if I died, only the bats in my ceiling would contest my will. 

Did they find a solution to the increasing number of children dropping out of school before Primary Seven because they are forced by their parents to join the family trade?  Did they discuss the fine balance between child labor and child exploitation and the declining household wealth? 

I wonder if my uncle from Kanungu was a case study at the public forum?  Did they talk about how his 10 acres of land are somehow not enough to feed him and his family of five?  How his formal education is of no greater use to him that shouting English expletives when he gets drunk? 

A group of men who participated in a workshop by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative last weekend asked for a law to declare women part of their personal property.  They reasoned that since they spend millions on bride price, they deserve to have their wives listed as an item of their wealth.  Maybe this was on the agenda at the public forum … but maybe not. 

Did they (re)define poverty?  Did they speak of poverty of the mind? 

Or did they merely use the event as a networking opportunity and an excuse to miss work for the day, rushing to the organizer’s table at the end of the forum for the Ushs. 50,000 delegates’ allowance? 

Did anyone go for the public forum on Wednesday?

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