Following yesterday’s write-up, we are here again…
You now have a picture of the people living on the streets of Kampala however, there is another sweet life of the ones working in the markets of Nakasero and Owino who in the early mornings have to head to the market to purchase items especially foodstuffs from the farmers in bulk. They have different stalls in these markets where they keep whatever they have got in bulk and sell to the final consumers when the day breaks. In the later afternoon, these market venders head home to refresh and sleep before preparing to come back in the late evening to carry on with business as usual.
In downtown Kampala taxi touts are often heard shouting the routes of the different taxis the whole day, some actually have gazetted stages where they work from. They are continually seen sipping on bottles of water while others take an ice cold soda to cool off. Around the old taxi park is where you find a number of commuter taxis pointing towards the different directions of the city. This is the busiest place of the city center characterized with a higher number of people walking, boda bodas and commuter taxis. This traffic jam here is cited the whole day and yet it is work during the peak hours (after work hours from 6pm).
The boda boda riders in the city center are in itself something to revere. There is a traffic offense in Uganda which apprehends any motorist driving on the shoulders. However, this is a very common practice around Kampala especially during those times when the traffic is too much.
If you are walking on the pavements, be sure to watch out for a motorcycle rider from any angle of the road, they surely fit in all the small spaces of the road. There has been a debate to push them out of the city but nothing has come to pass so far. Most vehicle drivers say they are reckless and can literally cause an accident any time because they are always coming from your blind side. On the other side, these boda guys are really effective in transporting you faster to any destination around the city, they are rarely affected by the traffic on the roads, and they literally know almost all corners of the city. Even if you are going to a place that you have no idea about, these guys will always take you there.
For first time visitors in Kampala, it is highly recommended that you get to hire a car with a driver as opposed to opting to drive the car by yourself. It is not about the experience you have had driving on your own in the different cities in the world, but for your own good and safety. For people who are very much used to driving in Kampala, there is order in the seeming chaos but for first timers, all you are likely to see is chaos on the roads. In the city center, as mentioned above, the boda bodas will always want to cover the entire road circumference as well as the shoulders of the road, then come the commuter taxi drivers who believe the roads belong to them. Be sure that is case of an accident, a boda guy will just run away and a commuter taxi guy might even decide to kneel down to ask for your forgiveness because he does not have the money to compensate you. The most logical thing to do would always be to give way for these guys.
The night life in the city dubbed as the city that does not sleep is something worth exploring especially for the people who enjoying hanging out in the night. Kampala has different night clubs that appeal to different age groups. In addition, there are bars that offer an alternative to night clubs. In the night clubs, there is an entrance fee charged while there is no entrance fee charged in the different bars around the city hence, people tend to very much opt for the bars where there is no entrance fee charged as opposed to the night clubs where you have to part with not less than $2 to enter, and yet that would be about 2 beers in a bar.
On the downside, the retired have found life in Kampala quite perplexing because they prefer the quiet and not so crowded environment which Kampala does not offer, however, the youth have found Kampala the most thrilling. This is based on testimonials given by people from different walks of life who enjoy a different twist to what they are used to especially the busy streets and most importantly the night life of the City the does not sleep.