Monday, 22 August 2016

My know it all classmate

As an adult, we are continuously plagued by the perils of professional education.  No one wants to do the work but we all want to benefit from the results of these new found insights that comes from studying a professional course. 

Not to digress, I was recently at Uganda Management Institute for my Saturday morning class for one of my final papers for my course.  Sadly, I was the only student in class that day with my tutor for close to an hour before anyone else arrived. Then in walked a middle-aged gentleman who asked;

Student 1: ‘’Is John around?’’ he asked he pointed at the tutor’s laptop which was open at the head of the long table.

Me: ‘’Yes he is,’’ I responded as I looked up.

 Student 1: ‘’Where is he?’’

Me: ‘’He stepped out to go and get some airtime.’’

Student 1: ‘’Are you on a break?’’

Me: ‘’Yes,’’ I said as I went back to my crunchy pack of cookies.

The tutor returned after a brief while and found us seated across from each other on either side of our long class table and after glancing at our new addition to the class he asked;

Tutor: ‘’Jim, where is your material for class? Where is your laptop, notebook, pen and flash disk?’’

Student 1: ‘’I have it with me.’’

Tutor: ‘’Where is it? I do not see a laptop.’’

Student 1: ‘’I do not need a laptop, all I need is,’’ he said as he tapped his forehead and I allowed a chuckle to escape under my breath.

Tutor: ‘’Okay, well will that capture your assignment? The assignment for your December sitting is out, give me a flash disk.’’

With a grin on my face, I watched the gentleman dig deep into his pockets and fish out a flash disk which he passed on to the tutor.

Tutor: ‘’So why did you come to class, ….now how are you going to view what am giving you as we read through the assignment.’’

Student 1: ‘’………,’’ he paused for a while as silent as a bat before responding, ‘’I was on my way somewhere when you called me so I came to class.

Tutor: ‘’So you did not receive the class timetable?’’

Student 1: ‘’Yes I did but I did not expect you to come to class for the first lecture.’’

As he spoke these words the other 2 members of our class snuck in behind the tutor as he faced the soft board. When he faced the class again, he saw 4 instead of 2 faces and said;

Tutor: ‘’Eh, we keep multiplying.’’

Student 2: ‘’Yes, we were not sure you would be coming to teach today.’’

Tutor: ‘’Yes, this is level 7 so there are no games. So did you also bring just your heads? Where are your class items, study material?’’

Student 2 & 3: ‘’……’’ There was dead silence as the students looked on stunned. Jim and I could not help but laugh because we were the only ones who could understand this joke.

The moral of the story is if you are going to show up, own it and make sure you are not simply physically present.


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Lovers quarrel at the sauna


After a long trip to and from the Eastern region, I decided to treat myself to much-needed sauna session at Paradise gym  to relieve myself of some of the fatigue that comes with driving a long distance. I had not had one in 6 months so I thought I deserved it enough especially since I could do with the quiet time to reflect. 

Anyway, enough about me, so I checked in at the front desk and after 1 session I came out to decompress and saw a young couple in their late 20’s and I thought to myself, how cute. I quickly forgot about the 2 love birds and went in for my second session only for them to follow me in and for my flowery impression of them to quickly dissipate.

Lady: ‘’I want to buy a watch so could you call the other guy who had the 2 cute white watches? After the gu thief grabbed my watch I need to replace it.’’

I sat there as I closed my eyes and had no choice but to take in their conversation that seemed very innocent but suddenly took a sour turn.

Gentleman: ‘’So do you have money to buy the watch?’’ he asked.

There was a long drawn out minute of silence with no word spoken from either party until the young lady broke the silence.

Lady: ‘’So you think that your girlfriend can not afford to buy herself a watch?’’ she responded spitefully.

Gentleman: ‘’I only asked, whether you have money to buy the watch if you recall I bought the last one.’’

Lady: ‘’Which one, mine or Shakila’s? You remember that there were only 2 pieces of the same design and I bought one the other you bought her.’’

Gentleman: ‘’Stop talking nonsense!’’

Lady: ‘’Hm, should I show you the picture she sent you on WhatsApp showing you how lovely it looked on her arm?’’

Gentleman: ‘’Where did you see that?’’

Lady: ‘’On your phone. We could go out, get the phone and I show you where I saw it. Are you denying it?’’

Gentleman: ‘’Who gave you the right to check my phone?’’

Lady: ‘’Are you denying it?’’

Gentleman: ‘’Are you idle, or don’t you have anything to do?’’

Lady: ‘’Are you also, are you so idle enough to be fooling around with Shakila.

At the sound of that, my eyes burst open as I could not block out this conversation that had quickly turned into a lovers quarrel. The gentleman stormed out of the sauna into the sitting area and I believe that even though the young lady had made her point to her beau, she had crossed a line. The young lady followed him a few minutes later and even though I found her sitting next to him when I noticed that he was definitely giving her the silent treatment. She tried to engage him so that she could break the ice but he was clearly engrossed in his mobile phone and given how tense the situation was I preferred to go back for my third session. When I returned from it the love birds were gone.

The moral of the story for me was, even when you have all the ammunition and are the offended party, learn that there is a time and a place to bring up such torrid details and a public area is not the place. If only that gorgeous white watch knew how much drama it had caused, it would have never run off with that petty thief that snatched it. :-) :-)



Saturday, 6 August 2016

Double Star Hotel Mbale that became a Single Star

During my recent travel to Mbale, I stayed at the double star hotel for a couple of nights. Now whereas the first night was decent, the nights that followed were very uncomfortable and constituted very odd conversations with the lady at the reception with the most peculiar taking place on night 2. I returned to the hotel after a long and tiring day and found that the lady at the reception had made an error and given away my perfectly lovely room to a new customer.

Me: ‘’Hello, can I please check into my room?’’

Reception Lady: ‘’Eh, you have come back!’’

Me: ‘’Yes, when I checked out for the room to be cleaned this morning I told your other counterpart I would be coming back.’’

Reception Lady: ‘’No, you did not communicate so we gave it away.’’

Me: ‘’Fine, give me another room at the same rate.’’

Reception Lady: ‘’I only have 1, room C305.’’

Me: ‘’Okay, fine.’’
I carried my luggage upstairs and sat down to do some work for an hour or so after which I decided to charge my laptop only to realise that none of the sockets were working. 

I tried to turn on the TV and realised that socket too was not working. I went into the bathroom to turn on the heater and yes you can guess it was not working as well. In frustration at about11:30pm, I went down 3 flights of stairs to ask to be moved to a new room.

Me: ‘’Hello, me again. Can you move me to another room, I need to charge my gadgets (mobile phone and laptop) but the sockets are not working and neither is the heater.

Reception Lady: ‘’That is the only room I have available at that rate, can I give you another room at 7,000 extra?’’

Me: ‘’No, fine I will bear with it, ‘’ I said in response as I walked away very disappointed.

I continued to work for 30 minutes longer and then went to try and take a bath with cold water that I had mentally prepared myself to stomach. Sadly, when I stepped into the bathroom to shower the faucet for the tap for the shower was off and it did not work and the sink did not have any running water either. That was the final straw for me, I packed my luggage and carried it downstairs the 3 flights of stairs.

Me: ‘’Can I be moved to another room at the same rate now?’’

Reception Lady: ‘’Did you use the room?’’

Me: ‘’Of course I used it I have been in it for 2 and a half hours.’’

Reception Lady: ‘’Yes, but did you use the bathroom to shower or the bed?’’

Me: ‘’I sat on the bed to work but I have not showered in the bathroom,’’ I said although this was the oddest question I have ever been asked during my hotel stay for all my travel.

Me: ‘’No I have not yet showered.’’

Reception Lady: ‘’Eh after 2hours in it.’’

Me: ‘’Yes, after 2 hours. I was working.’’

Reception Lady: ‘’Okay, so I move you to the other room and you pay extra?’’

Me: ‘’I am not paying extra for a mistake you made by forgetting that I was coming to stay here for an extra night.’’

Reception Lady: ‘’But the only rooms I have left are doubles.’’

Me: ‘’Madam either get me a room with running water and sockets that work or refund my money and I check out and find another place to sleep for the night.’’
Now as I said this I was well aware that it was midnight and this lady probably thought I was half mad but I was not bluffing.

Reception Lady: ‘’Okay take A102, it has 2 beds but only use one. Make sure you only use one and I will talk to the manager in the morning so that you pay the same rate.

Me: ‘’Fine, I said as I carried my luggage back 2 flights of stairs to the 2nd floor and went to shower.

As much as I have constantly passed through Mbale on the way to other destinations, I finally have a memorable reminder of my travel as a local tourist within my country.  But on a serious note, people who come from Mbale how would I possibly be able to sleep I 2 beds?

Ariel shot from hotel roof


Ariel shot of near by bar