Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bed, Bugs

We are moving tomorrow. Seriously. No, seriously. We’ve even moved a few things into the apartment. Like, our new bed frame. P. took us to a bed warehouse. There were about a dozen on this street, so I’m not sure how he chose one, but we trust him on things like this.

I will say this about Kampala: there is no shortage of labor.

Out on the “sidewalk,” P. started talking to the guy who seemed to be in charge. We entered the warehouse, which was stacked with beds of all sizes, and were immediately surrounded by about ten guys. Wherever we moved, we remained inside this circle of men, all wanting to help or just listen or maybe they were just curious, it was unclear. P. seemed to be negotiating with at least three of them, all of them speaking in Luganda. Another dozen guys continued to work in other parts of the shop. In the corner, about a dozen more women were cooking.

P. pointed out a frame on top of a tall stack and named their price, which we agreed to. Then the guys all climbed up and handed the bed down to the floor and out to the pick-up truck that would follow us to the apartment. Outside there was more negotiating. We paid extra to have posts added to the frame from which we can hang a mosquito net. Then the guy in charge seemed displeased with the money we handed him, like it wasn’t enough, even though it was exactly what we had agreed upon. He and P. and a few other guys got in a heated discussion. We had no idea what it was about. They could have been debating the latest soccer game for all we knew. We stood idly by, trying to look cheerful. It turned out they wanted us to pay for transport. Five of the guys followed us in the pick-up truck and put the bed together for us.

The apartment looks to be in pretty good shape, so much so that I believe A. when he tells us we can definitely move in tomorrow morning. From what I can see, they just have a lot of dead bugs to sweep up.

Tomorrow we move over the rest of our stuff, buy a stove and a couch, and then we will be officially moved in.


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