This week in Kampala…

… a young man of maybe 25 walked up the stairs to our office (all five flights) and approached me on the front balcony – he looked a bit old for secondary school but with a bundle of papers under one arm and an ill fitted tie I was prepared for either the “I’d like a job” pitch or the “can you help me with school fees” pitch.  Instead I got:

Him: Hi, I have just started an investment company.

Me: Oh.  Ok, what can I do for you today?

Him: Well, how can your business help my business?

Me: Well, we’re not a business.  Wait a second, what did you just say?!

By far the best business pitch I’ve heard all week.  I debated, and then refrained from, explaining that occasionally we evaluate interventions that seek to train micro-entrepreneurs in basic business practices and maybe he could sign up to learn something about sales.

… a four car freight train came rumbling through town, crossing a main artery during rush hour, backwards.  Here there aren’t exactly any flashing lights or electric wands that descend to block the flow of traffic.  Fortunately a few astute drivers had their windows down, heard the extending blare of the fog horn and looked up in time to stop traffic.  I pulled up just in time to see the unlit backside of a freight car leading the way through town as the conductor, at the other end, was leaning out his door to see if they were about to crush anyone.  And then we proceeded.

… a man riding a bicycle down a hill by my flat with a full size six foot overstuffed couch strapped to the back.  Of all the things I’ve seen carried, that takes the cake – I hope someone was meeting him at the bottom of the hill.

… MTN, the largest telcom provider in Uganda, has a massive new billboard up the road that reads:

The UN has declared that internet access is a human right.  So we’re giving you that access for free.

Definitely the wittiest crack at the UN I’ve seen in the public forum.  Also an indication that internet here is really starting to catch on.  For a town without too many internet cafes (professionals / expats all have wireless USB modems) there are now a slew of billboards by Google promoting Gmail and the wireless providers promoting various packages.

Part of the challenge with keeping the blog going has been that many of the things I see day to day are no longer such novelties – this was a good week for novelties.

2 responses to “This week in Kampala…

  1. Matt

    The blog… lives!!!!

  2. Alice

    Don’t give Tim any ideas about what to carry on a bike. We all know where this leads…

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A collection of observations, thoughts and experienced going back to 2010.