I’ve successfully arrived in Kampala - sans my fellow Nova Scotian, Aaron, but I am here and I am safe. The journey here was interesting… mostly because it began a lot earlier than I tend to travel, and it lasted a lot longer than I’m used to, as well. Thankfully, I was able to sleep throughout most of the flight between Doha, Qatar and Entebbe, Uganda. I’m sure it was a lovely movie that I intended to watch! I also somehow managed to sleep through a Samuel L. Jackson flick, so either it was really lame, or I was pretty pooped.
Last time I travelled to this great continent that is Africa, I noted a fear of pill swallowing. That still exists in case anyone needed an update, but at least the new antimalarial prescription – which comes with a warning that they cannot be smashed into sand-like granules and gulped down Mary Poppins style (as in, a spoonful of sugar) – are much smaller than what I had in Ghana. So, fingers crossed on that one. But, this trip I had to face a much greater/more irrational fear: the airplane washroom. The flight from Philadelphia (where I am sad to report, I did NOT run into the Fresh Prince) to Doha was just short of 13 hours. This is nearly double what had, prior to the other day, been my longest flight (7-sh hours). Now, many of you will know that if there’s one mode of transport I enjoy more than anything, it’s flying. But, I also have the attention span of a three-year-old, and as a result, I tend to get a little stir crazy around the 2-3 hour mark. So, this 13-ish hour (14 on the way home) foolishness had me a little on edge. Not for the length though – no, because that would have made sense given the information I have just provided. No, I was worried about having to use an airplane washroom for the very first time!
I will say this: I have mastered the art of airplane peeing. Yes, I said it. But, the old adage of practice makes perfect, certainly rung true in this case. And because, what would be a blog post without me throwing in at least one embarrassing story, I will recap my first attempt. To start, I was pretty sleepy – I’d only had about 3 hours sleep in the 24 hours leading up to my flight time – and I hadn’t had any coffee. I’d had a hard enough time getting through customs and checking in my bag at the Halifax airport, let alone being required to sort out such a complex system*. Anyway, I did my thing, all went well, and then came the moment of truth: how the heck do I flush this thing? Well, I’ll tell you what doesn’t – the emergency button. Also, who even knew that an emergency button was a thing in a public washroom?! So, I accidentally hit the wrong button, the flight attendant starts banging on the door asking if I’m alright, and in all of this confusion, I have somehow lost the ability to function where door opening skills are concerned. This woman probably thought I was nuts! But, in the end, she directed me to the proper flush button, and I walked back to my seat where I had a good chuckle to myself. To be fair though, the other flights that followed where marked far more clearly than that first one… so maybe it wasn’t just my inabilities to function as a grown human being.
Anyway, I made it. Customs was a breeze, my luggage arrived, and a delightful chap named Rogers, who brought me to where I’ll be crashing for the next few nights, welcomed me at the airport. I had a lovely chat upon my arrival at the Visitor’s Village in Kampala, with both Rogers and the property owner, Emmanuel.
Now I’m just having a little downtime, taking in the sights and sounds of my new/temporary surroundings. It’s amazing to me how comfortable I already feel, as so much of it reminds me of Ghana – a place I have felt homesick for, for the past year. So the next few days will be busy, but relaxed as I await the arrival of Aaron, and we start to sort out living arrangements, the city, and all of the fun things that go along with living in a new place!
-the Orange Canadian.