Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Day of Shadows?

In truth it is not, a day of shadows. Just that the sun was bright in the morning, and now the afternoon is shadowed. Maybe there will be some rain, later, in a few hours. And maybe the smile on the sun’s face will soon be restored.

But at the moment, there is an overcast, and a breeze, un-directional, tugging at the trees and the leaves. And there is a drizzle, which may become rain by the time I finish posting this.

But there is no hurry.

I am convinced that there is something very wrong with the world- from death and mayhem in Darfur, Pakistan, Iraq to nearer home. And I am convinced that violent death is such a feature in the life of man, that it is useless for us to live in castles of cloud, not acknowledging that fact, even when it thrusts itself so insistently into our lives.

Morbid thoughts. Yesterday, was in the Games Shoprite building, Lugogo, when a behemoth of a truck lost control and rolled downhill.

I looked at the scene afterwards. The monster tore through 4 street lights, unstoppable. Even by the huge concrete blocks that are supposed to halt and stop smaller cars. Those blocks are unique to Kampala, I think. So many of our drivers seem to have an affinity hitting roadside lights that the city council decided to put huge blocks of concrete next to them. You hit them, the car wraps itself around that concrete.

This truck passed through them, a ball in a bowling alley scattering the pins; went off the road, rolled back on, then off, passing through a couple of trees. I saw it smashed against another tree, stopped. Just near that new Warid telecom billboard over Jinja Road.

Must have been a terrifying sight.

I was busy waiting, bored, looking up at the ceilings for the best part of an hour during all that fracas. Only saw it when I stepped out of the shoprite building. Into my mind came the thought that we were all very lucky. If it had lost control just a little bit lower on the hill, if it had just gained enough momentum to veer into the Games Store packing, not even the cars in the park would have stopped it. It would have ploughed into the building itself.

Truly a horrible thought.

But it was not to be, and luckily, or unluckily, only one person lost his life. Saw the torn, crumpled remnants of a human being besides the smashed truck. Didn’t go too near.

Poor Ugandans. I listened to some people talk about the accident, and how people rushed to steal things from those involved, including the dead. Typical behaviour, I am afraid. Far cry from Tanzania, where a stranger will go out of his way to help another.

No, it is not a day of shadows. The sun is smiling, though the wind is still unsettled. And I am still alive, though indications are that I am growing older. All this heavy philosophical thought…

Err, someone took umbrage at my massacre of the Queen's language. Funny is, I love it that way. And in my old age, seems I love changing the meanings of words. Which tends to mean that I take the meaning and turn it on its head. Please tell me if you mind, though I am not sure that I will tell you that I will improve. I mean, the only new spots this leopard is going to grow are the white in the hair, showing a degree of senility in my lease on earth.

It is truly a beautiful day out.

Sun on the green leaves, the air stirring, the leaves dancing, not too hot, not cold at all, but like living in paradise. Yesterday I heard someone saying that Kanungu district in the west of Uganda is the most beautiful part of the country. As I look out, now, at this particular moment, I am ready to swear on the head of any deity, that here, where I am, this is the most beautiful place on earth.

Be well



Anonymous said...

That truck thing was very scary...

Sorry for the death it caused but the way u describe it shows that many survived.

Kanungu? Is that near Lake Bunyonyi? I saw pics of Kigezi-Kisoro and the Lake Bunyonyi area and I dicided that thoese places are too beautiful.


gayuganda said...

Lake Bunyonyi is another reputed beautiful place. I've been to Kisoro. Beautiful. Yet to see Kanungu.


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