SAMOSA MASTER

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Samosa Master and his two daughters

Before I head out of town I give a ride to Samosa Master (aka Emma), who is returning home with some groceries. He’s a Samosa baker and vendor. Samosas are small fried triangles of dough with meat or vegetables inside. It’s very clear how Samosa Master got his name. His product is just delicious. The best Samosa I’ve tasted in East-Africa so far (believe me, I have some experience!). He makes and sells samosas during daytime and at night he returns home to open his little movie theatre. He calls Emma ‘master’ because he’s so grateful for the opportunity he gave him.

“Emma is a great man. Thanks to him I opened my small cinema and built my own house with the profits.” He tells me.

When I drop him off he shows me with a lot of pride his little house. “All of this is built with movie money. It’s maybe not like your European houses, but I’m going step by step to get there”. After a short introduction to his four children and the obligatory blessing I drive off towards Mbale. I meet up with a Belgian friend of mine, Bram, for coffee.

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On my way to Mbale I cross one of the many deserted railroad tracks in Uganda. The Ugandan railway company was recently bought by a Kenyan company. They took all the functional train equipment and exported it to Kenya. Looks like there won’t be any trains passing in the near future… 

I try to spend the night in Sukali Bar and hostel. I try, because it turns out to be the  local hotspot for Sunday night binche drinking. It’s a place where people who can forget their sorrow of the coming workweek. I decide to move without any hard feeling to the place across the street, the mountain inn. The supervisor of Sukali bar/hostel completely agrees with the sound problem and helps me even to move my luggage to the competitor across the street. As a favor I offer him a drink and return to his bar for a last beer.

A bar is always a good place to meet interesting people. My beer buddy for the night is Enos, a painter, who likes to discuss American politics. Enos works mostly in Kampala where he paints big villas. He proudly shows me his work on his smartphone. From what I could see on the little, murky screen, he does a very good job. We have an animated discussion about his support for Donald Trump and his rejection of foreign aid. He also informs me about the smuggling activity at the border with Kenya. The border between Kenya and Uganda divides a lot of people from the same tribes, a permanent gift from the British colonizers. That’s why there is a lot of border traffic, legal and illegal. Coffee, tea, sugar, salt and even arms go unofficially from one country to another. The arms come from Somalia and go to DRC, to provide government troops and rebels. A bit later and a bit more intoxicated than I expected, I return to bed.


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