For a resident of Bunamwaya – Wakiso, I have learned home is always best. I have tried enjoying days elsewhere but they never turn out good. Ntinda was one of these places that I had tried out. Everybody was talking about how cool it was. Everybody was moving there. But let me confess, I am never going back to Ntinda, that place tried to kill me.
It was on a Sunday. It was in Kisaasi, a bit of distance off Ntinda. I was not doing anything illegal that time, in fact I supposed I was doing a sacred deed since I had gone for service at one of Ntinda’s newest Christian hubs – KPC North. There was some sort of celebration, let me remember – something about harvests, anyway I forget. The thing is, I was particularly happy to be here because my friend friend, let’s call her Joy, was around too.
We had recently left our old church and were trying this new place out. Now, I had a crush on Joy, for the longest time ever. And the problem was that she knew. And you know how girls can be when they know you like like them.
On this particular day, she had borrowed my umbrella, sent me for airtime twice (notwithstanding the fact that Airtime had to be purchased back in the centre of Ntinda), and urged I buy lunch for her. When she was done with all that, she told me that we needed to talk.
You know what that sounds like to a “crusher”. We need to talk. It is like watching a cup final and the team you support is taking the last penalty. If they score, celebration, if they miss, tears.
I met her privately, at about 3pm and without much ado, she told me, “I have a boyfriend.” My friend, this felt like having a tooth and a jigger removed at the same time. Unpleasant. I do not know what kind of response she expected from me after all the errands I had run that day but friends, forgive me, I responded unpleasantly, the details of which are too long to share here. I got up with what was left of my dignity and left Kisaasi.
My frame of mind in Kisaasi at that moment was like Lot fleeing Gomorrah – Gerrourahea! I didn’t want to look behind. I wanted out in a hurry. When I got to the roadside to wait, all the taxis were claiming, “Bbiri bitaano Kampala.” Two thousand five hundred shillings? Where did the extra one thousand come from? I had ten thousand left in my wallet and decided for the sake of getting out of Kisaasi, I could part with two-five.
Everything outside my mind and heart was fine until the taxi stopped at the stage in Ntinda and the conductor announced. “Tukoma wano”. We’re stopping here. These people had no idea I was dealing with a broken heart and my heart was becoming a raging volcano. Why were they tempting the devil?
I thought to myself, “Cool down, at least you will only pay 500”. I gave him my one thousand shilling note and was expecting balance. The conductor responded with a dismissive “Zeezo boss!” Before disappearing into a local market.
“Cool it, just cool it.”
At this point I was hungry. I had not eaten because I had sacrificed my lunch for the crush and I decided perhaps food would sort my issue out. I enter a restaurant and look at their menu.
A quick calculation and it is about three thousand three hundred. I made my order and waited. The waitress didn’t leave. I looked at her wondering why and she pointed her head to the wall.
“Order with Cash”. I gave her the money with a grunt and waited.
When the food came I was trying to remain sane by writing in a little notebook I carried. The waitress slapped the plate of chips on the table, and then the bowl of soup and went away.
I looked at her wondering whether I was dreaming. I wasn’t. In a moment she was back with an opened Fanta. Placed it on the table with my balance and walked away.
I was still staring at her wondering where her courtesy was but she disappeared into the kitchen again. I felt like pouring everything and walking away but the inner me pleaded. “It’s a Sunday, you’re from church…” I obliged.
One taste of the chips and the soup and that was it – my other inner me said the words himself -”To hell with church and being a Sunday. Waiter!!!” I shouted. The sunken eyed waitress came out again, slow as a snail and asked what the problem was.
“This food is terrible. Your soup is very light. There’s too much salt and your chips are uncooked… Look!” I said pointing at the plate.
“Sir you’ve already paid. I do not cook the food. If you have a problem, go to the kitchen.” And she walked away calm as the blue sky.
At this point, I was seething. I wondered what I had done to Ntinda to deserve this treatment. It was draining not just my money, but my sanity. I picked up my notebook and walked out and in that moment, the rain began to fall. It wasn’t a mere fall of rain, it was a fundamental fall of rain. Hailstorm. I remembered I didn’t have my umbrella – my “crush” had borrowed it. As I was deciding to go back into the restaurant, its doors shut. I stood waiting to stop any taxi, but none…
To be continued. The story continues here – muwado.com/ntinda-nzibu