Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In America, Everything is for Sale - How Uganda is Different

On Saturday J and I went to Garden City in search of supplies to carry home the art we purchased here. We purchased vellum at Aristoc to place between the canvases when we roll them up and we needed a tube to place them in, which we thought we might find at the FedEx stand at Uchumi. Two employees sat behind the FedEx counter with a triangular sort of tube standing upright between them.

“Hey, can we buy that tube?” we asked.
“The what?”
“The tube. Right there.” We pointed.
“You want this tube?”
“Yes, can we buy that, please?”
“You cannot buy it.”
“Why not?”
“It’s for shipping.”
“But we just want to buy it off you.”
“It’s only for shipping.”
“We can’t buy it?”
“You’ll have to go to Serena offices and ask.”
“We can buy a tube from the Serena office?”
Big shrug.
“But if we had something to ship in that tube, we could have it?”
“You have something to ship?”
“Yes, but it’s at home. Can we take the tube home and pack it up and then bring it back?” Which was obviously a total lie, except that they believed us.
“Of course. Here you go.” And they handed us the tube. For free.


We wanted to give them money, we really did.

4 comments:

Scarlett Lion said...

I didn't realize you were leaving... What the next step for you and hubby? Back to NY?

And speaking of things being for sale, you aren't by any chance trying to dispose of furniture and/or appliances or what not??

hannah said...

We're moving to Boston - many details are up in the air, but we know at least this much.

Someone is taking over our apartment for the summer, so we're not selling anything, but I will let you know if that changes!

antipop said...

hahaha. stealing by any other name is called, well, its called stealing. i happened by your blog trying to find info on pastor muwanguzi, and actuali found where you say that the daily monitor is your favorite paper(but badly written)or something like that. that did hit a bit of a nerve- i write for the monitor-
but wat the heck? you have a great blog.

DeTamble said...

I do enjoy a good theft! And that rather takes the cake :-)

@Antipop: You write for the Monitor? I didn't realise!! Now if only your wrote for New Vision then I could whine to you about Mystery Date :-( Want to change papers so I can whine?