One of the things that made our seniors the people they are today is because they were accountable to each other. A friend was one known in all the other person’s circles. I am reliably told that in those days (90s and before) people used to carry their friends home, for a visit. But things have changed and we’ve moved on.
Today, we meet in restaurants for quick meals our own hands can barely make. We eat the burgers and forms of meals with the bound morpheme –so, talk of the espressos our intestines need not negotiate but digest. If having a friend ever was a problem, it never still is. All you need is open up a Facebook account and there you will have 5000 of them all waiting. It doesn’t matter whether you meet them along the streets and cannot say a word to each other, relax, we have the time to chat on line. America has no WhatsApp that’s why Richard Quest is always having his piece of pie in a restaurant alongside his growing statistics. China has never sipped from the source of this malwa pot called Facebook yet they keep churning out phones with Facebook enabled apps. Restaurants have become quite an item that nearly every corporate in a big institution has a bar and restaurant as a side dish where he catches the winding down of the evening with a cold beer in handy.
The wealthy have also sought their hand on the trade. Big men and women own these places that house the afternoon side deals and the official contract setups. If you want to know any restaurant that seems to be unknown to you ask the Lawyer friend, they will tell you. If you are a restaurant owner and in your sitting, you don’t host lawyers, then you may as well consider relocating along parliamentary avenue or Kampala road for quick identification.
In our restaurants, it’s not about having ice cream, soda, yoghurt or beer in one’s fridge for a week as long as it is kept cold, one day the destined consumer like Ugandan rain will fall.
Don’t you worry of where labour shall come from; Kampala waitresses and waiters are accountants who found the counter full and opted to help with the waiting, just to have the service done. In case you went to a restaurant where your needs were not met, feel extremely free, to go to the next door, Ugandan businesses understand the concept of “an industry” as my commerce teacher taught me n S3, they always keep together. There is no lonely place in the world like a restaurant which neighbours itself.
In Uganda, and in our restaurants, don’t mind of service unless you make your order in English and the better if you have specs, the services are usually nearer for those. If you can, walk in with a Mzungu, it doesn’t matter whether they have money or not, you’ll be served first and fast. Our only challenge is that we only and usually tip coins. If you don’t mind, you can also carry them home. You know that waiters need the tips.
It is a growing trend as well to see greying gentlemen and ladies who have retired but for the goodness of the city won’t give up on Kampala. They are here to stay. Behind the counters, they dice it up; working on your menu.
Next time don’t ask where to find me, just be specific in which restaurant you want us to meet.