Monday, March 10, 2008


My parents left this morning to return to the States. I had two articles due today, but I called my editor and because of delays on the last issue (seriously, more on this soon, I’m just waiting for damn thing to come out so I have something to show you), which no one is surprised about, the next issue has been pushed back and I have some extra time to write. My parents, J, and I saw and did a lot in the past two weeks; I’ll start at the beginning.

The Trusty Escudo: Not So Trusty?

On my parents second day in Kampala, which was also their second day ever in Africa, I planned on taking them on a small gallery tour in the morning starting with Tulifanya. I missed the turn to the street the gallery is on and had to circle around. As I turned left onto Nile Avenue, I felt something pop and give in the back left tire. I thought I’d blown the tire, but when we pulled the tire itself looked fine. I got back in the car and drove backward and forward a little ways up the street. The tire wobbled in its well and felt lose. What do we do in an emergency? We call P.

P. arrived after a short wait. My dad and I were convinced it was the axle; P. was convinced otherwise. We followed him to a garage he trusts and the whole time I kept waiting for the wheel to just fall off entirely. At the garage, as they tried to remove the tire, it quickly became apparent that when we bought our used car, it did not come with the special thing you need to remove the locking lug nut. I tore that damn car apart looking for special hiding places, having no clue really what the thing was suppose to look like. As everyone else stood around contemplating this problem, others joined in from off the street and one guy jury-rigged a contraption out of his own tire iron and a small nail. We were in business.

The tire came off. The tire went onto some machine. The tire was deemed to be not the problem. Some people in the crowd might have been surprised by this. My father and I were not. P. called his mechanic.

Okay, so it wasn’t the axle either. The mechanic took one look and said we needed to replace the mountings. I was not happy about the cost (see picture above) but it could have been worse. The mechanic drove the car away, P. took us to Kabira for the afternoon. No galleries for us. Later, we couldn’t find an Internet connection anywhere, nor could we find an ATM to dispense any money. It was an Africa day. My parents, however, loved it. They got to see what my life is really like.

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