Monday, May 5, 2008


It’s funny. I woke up early Sunday morning and went out onto the porch of our little cottage at Ndali Lodge where we spent the weekend (more on that later) to read while I waited for our absurdly good coffee to be delivered at 8:00 AM. That morning I finished Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (I finished it weeping, no weeping – again, more on that later) only to find J and myself later in the day on an epic and depressing road adventure of our own. It was the day of the road.

After arriving at Ndali on Friday afternoon, Saturday we passed by the car and saw that we had a flat tire. We put on the spare (and when I say “we” I mean the four lovely men who work at Ndali) and on Sunday morning J and I drove into Fort Portal on our way back to Kampala to patch up the tire. They found the nail and fixed the puncture and put the tire back on the car. Good to go.

Two hours later we were on the side of the road with the same flat tire. We put the spare back on and drove forty kilometers to Mubende. Here they found a second nail – had it been there all along or was it a brand new nail? – and we were told we needed a new tube inside the tire. An hour later we were back on the road and moving right along.

We felt confident about the car and let me tell you why. Last week J took the car in to get fully serviced in anticipation of selling our car in the next couple of weeks. Among other things we fixed the passenger side door handle so you no longer need to roll down the window and open the door from the outside to let yourself out; we reattached the speaker wires on the driver’s side; we had the radiator sealed so it no longer leaked fluid and overheated.

So when we ended up on the side of the road – again – with the front of the car smoking just outside of Mityana and only about 50 kilometers from Kampala, it was a bit of a surprise. The sealant on the radiator had busted open and the radiator was as dry as a bone. We sat on the ground and waited for the car to cool off. (We had some cooling off to do ourselves.) Eight hours later (it should have taken five hours, tops) we arrived back home to two whacked-out cats who were not altogether pleased with us for leaving them alone inside for two days.

Now, who wants to buy our car?

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