Today was about food – and I found myself thinking back to Swati ‘slow food chef’, Dolores Goddeffrey, and how she said that food is networked to the heart. And walking through the Owino Market in Kampala’s CBD this morning our hearts (and stomachs) were filled to bursting.
To get here we had to ditch the cars and catch a taxi because the traffic is so bad that finding parking might’ve meant a 5km walk to and from the bustle of these sprawling street stalls. This market is totally awesome you can find anything you need here; from radios to shoes to mountains of the afore-mentioned food.
A lovely lady by the name of Mama Chogam greeted us with a giant smile and served us a late breakfast of smoked fish stew and ‘posho’ (a maize-meal porridge, which we know in South Africa as ‘pap’). Everyone else that we met was just as smiley and friendly. At one point someone called out what sounded to me like my name and so on instinct I turned and found myself confronted by another smiling face and an igloo of shoes. It was an amazing stall! The smiling proprietor introduced himself as Bosco ‘The God father of Shoes’. He certainly had a lot of them. I never found out what it was that he had actually shouted out to us, but I think it highly unlikely that it was actually my name.
Every step through this gigantic maze of a market battered the senses with new sights and sounds and odd juxtapositions. Time passed quickly as we walked and browsed and our appetites (no doubt helped along by all the delicious smells) made a welcome return. I’ve been wanting to try a signature Ugandan meal called a ‘Rolex’ for ages and the opportunity now finally presented itself… It’s made with chipati flat bread, a round omlette, some cabbage and tomato, all rolled together and then cut into round slices and served. After all the build up and everything that I’d been told it was a bit of an anti-climax; basically it was just simple egg and tomato sandwich of sorts. That said the familiarity of the taste reminded of home, which is always nice when you’re on a long journey.
And tomorrow the journey will take us someplace else and we will again be feasting on new sites and smells and tastes.