Well, I had to transit through Kampala to a Peace Corps workshop this past week and, while there, we were told that now we are also banned from all public transport in/out of Kampala, especially the bus and taxi parks. This made sense, considering terrorist targets in the past, but made less sense concerning my present location in….Kampala. Anticipating this situation, a Peace Corps van loaded several of us in a van and shuttled us to the soon-to-be-hub of all my essential Kampala travel– the Post Office.
Enter the “Post Bus”. Yes, the post office sells some seats on its mail-delivery vehicle. Assuming a cowboy or two in the past had ever hitched a ride with the passing pony express, it’s likely that the Ugandan Postal Office has adapted this idea into something much more modern and yet, somehow, probably much slower. Actually, riding on the bus that travels once daily to deliver the mail to southwestern Uganda was a rather pleasant experience, and one that I shared with my good friend Sarah. There were roasted bananas. There were g-nuts and sim-sim. There was plenty of good conversation. There was….water on all of the seats. Really, they were soaked through. It was as we were boarding the Post Bus that I both realized and ended up appreciating that I had forgotten to remove my pajama pants from under my skirt that morning. By the time we de-boarded at Mbarara I don’t know if my skirt was soaking wet from seat-water or from sweat but I didn’t think too much about it. It ended up great– I could buy apples and green beans in the “other big city” before heading home on the last leg of the trip.
So I guess what I’m saying is, if Peace Corps doesn’t work out, I suppose it’s not a bad gig riding around with the mail!