Where is the best place to sit in a taxi?

Check out my badass MS Paint skillz: Click to enlarge

I hate the middle front seat. I got my wallet and cellphone stolen and was dumped in the middle of Meatpacker’s because of that seat. Plus, half the time you sit there, the driver feels up your thigh every time he changes gear.

This handy diagram is here to help for those times when doing complicated algorithms (= n- x/y where n is the number of people you will have to step over to exit, x is the number of people who will have to step over you to exit and y is the number of people who are likely to exit) just won’t cut it.

Of course none of this is really relevant because 90% of the time you don’t have a choice…. but I have too much time on my hands.

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Link Africa

Yakubu Al Hassan, 20 mines for valuable materials at Africa's largest digital technology dump

At Agbogboshie Market in Accra, computers and other secondhand equipment are taken apart and often burned to 
extract metals for resale. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary 
Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal of 1989 prohibits the dumping of toxic waste in poor 
countries. Much of the equipment arrived as secondhand donations 
meant to reduce the “digital divide”  The site is associated with child trafficking, tribal rivalries, drug-related crime. Reports by Greenpeace and other international agencies detail massive emissions of noxious fumes,  and high levels poisonous chemicals found in the soil. [New York Times Magazine, Flavorwire]

If you find something online that would be of interest to Vuga! readers and contributors, email tips to vugaafrica@gmail.com

Link Africa

Efé children of the Ituri Forest in Zaire (Rep. of Congo, central Africa) begin the Osani game by sitting in a circle, feet touching, all connected. Each child in turn names a round object like the sun (oi), the moon (tiba), a star (bibi) an eye (ue) and then goes on to name a figurative expression of “round” like the circle of the family, togetherness, a baby in the womb, or the cycle of the moon. As players fail to come up with a term that is “circular” they are eliminated from the game. Eventually, only one remains. Tradition has it that this player will live a long and prosperous life.

If you find something online that would be of interest to Vuga! readers and contributors, email tips to vugaafrica@gmail.com

Kampala is for hustlers: Boda Negotiation 101

1. Don’t be white

2. Rather than flagging a boda rider from the road, go to a stage where you have several options. Pick the guy who looks hungriest. (NB Don’t confuse high-as-a-kite  for the lethargy associated with stage one starvation)

3. Speak in Luganda

3 a) If you can’t speak Luganda, Speak Ugandan English, and punctuate your sentences with as many Neddas, Ssebos, and Kales as possible

3 b) Don’t have a Mzungu* accent

4. State your destination, avoid naming obviously “high-class” places, if you’re going to Serena hotel, say Crested Towers (opposite) instead.

5. When he names his price, be aware of the anchoring effect, most experienced salespeople name an absurdly high price because once you begin negotiating, anything below that seems like a reasonable bargain. (Be wary of the rider who has no idea where you are going or how to get there and is simply pulling prices out of his butt-crack.)

6. It is said that you should never pay more than 3, 000 UGsh for a boda within central Kampala. You will learn more about this in advanced Boda negotiation classes (this is in the same course unit as “how to balance telephone poles on the back of a boda”, and “Boda biology: How clean is that helmet?”).

If the rider refuses to come down to a reasonable price (perhaps because of your peach-pale skin/Kiwi accent/ destination: Kabira Country Club), simply find another. Out of 40 000 boda bodas in Kampala, surely you can find a hungrier more willing one.

For more advice on picking and choosing the right Boda, see Matooke Nation’s post on “That Boda”

*Person of European descent, one who travels or wanders without particular destination in mind.

Got any interesting stories about boda-boda? Email them to vugaafrica@gmail.com

To Protect and serve

Sometime last week one of my cousins was driving in Kampala when another car hit hers. The driver of the other car was clearly at fault and when he tried to drive off, bystanders stopped him, dragged him out of the car and roughed him up in typical Ugandan mob-justice style. Traffic police intervened and both my cousin and the perpetrator were taken to the police station. This is where things swiftly began to deteriorate.

Continue reading

MP utters sense, shocks nation

By our reporter

Journalists were yesterday shocked during a parliament session when an otherwise harmless member of parliament uttered a statement that haboured traces of intelligence. According to several reliable sources the incident happened at exactly 0807hours GMT.

The scene of the dreadful incident

The unprecedented incident caused mayhem for several hours before joint CIA and Uganda police forces were called in to restore calm and order. Because of the shock, one of the witnesses was rushed to Mulago hospital after suffering a near-fatal stroke.

“I’ve been a journalist for twenty years now I tell you but I’ve never seen anything like this. Me am telling you,” a journalist was heard saying. Other witnesses claimed it was only a prank and there was nothing to be afraid of while others thought it was a sign that the world was ending soon. “I think he has a demon. This nation needs prayers,” another MP was quoted.

Reactions about the MP in question were mixed though several of his fellow MPs were mostly negative about the incident.

“It is very unconstitutional. That man has been my friend for many years now but I’ve never seen him acting like this. That was very unethical of him and I think this nation deserves a public apology,” said the representative for Sibafaako North, Hon. John-Bosco Pilawo.

Another MP who preferred anonymity but told us his name was Slumber Yebase also expressed bitterness. “Very bad I tell you. Such things will ruin this country’s political future if they are not curbed early enough. He never said anything, he always dozed with admirable dedication and with that kind of attitude to his work, we even thought he would become the next speaker of this honourable house. He should be suspended immediately.”

However, Chogam Fandizi, Youth MP for Nalyasente East was of a different opinion. “I think this will be good for our economy. I don’t know how but I know it will be good,” he said adding that the said MP would be thrown out and the salaries of those left will consequently be increased. “Which is good,” he added. “Very good for us and for this country but mostly for us.”

CIA analyst Names McGood was baffled saying that it was a major science breakthrough. We’ve excavated and studied remains of previous forms of this kind of thing…person, sorry, without much success. This marks the first form of intelligence in a Ugandan parliament. We’ll continue studying it…him until we know for sure that there’s some intellect in that house.

Waaa: The president refuses to believe any such thing happened in his country

submitted by (or hijacked from) Erique

You can read more of his searing insights and bollockry here

You might also like:

The cocacola-isation of Waving Flag

eh eh eh eh!

“Whatever cry we cry is not heard outside of here”

By our reporter

Journalists were yesterday shocked during a parliament session when an otherwise harmless member of parliament uttered a statement that haboured traces of intelligence. According to several reliable sources the incident happened at exactly 0807hours GMT.

The unprecedented incident caused mayhem for several hours before joint CIA and Uganda police forces were called in to restore calm and order. Because of the shock, one of the witnesses was rushed to Mulago hospital after suffering a near-fatal stroke.

“I’ve been a journalist for twenty years now I tell you but I’ve never seen anything like this. Me am telling you,” a journalist was heard saying. Other witnesses claimed it was only a prank and there was nothing to be afraid of while others thought it was a sign that the world was ending soon. “I think he has a demon. This nation needs prayers,” another MP was quoted.

Reactions about the MP in question were mixed though several of his fellow MPs were mostly negative about the incident.

“It is very unconstitutional. That man has been my friend for many years now but I’ve never seen him acting like this. That was very unethical of him and I think this nation deserves a public apology,” said the representative for Sibafaako North, Hon. John-Bosco Pilawo.

Another MP who preferred anonymity but told us his name was Slumber Yebase also expressed bitterness. “Very bad I tell you. Such things will ruin this country’s political future if they are not curbed early enough. He never said anything, he always dozed with admirable dedication and with that kind of attitude to his work, we even thought he would become the next speaker of this honourable house. He should be suspended immediately.”

However, Chogam Fandizi, Youth MP for Nalyasente East was of a different opinion. “I think this will be good for our economy. I don’t know how but I know it will be good,” he said adding that the said MP would be thrown out and the salaries of those left will consequently be increased. “Which is good,” he added. “Very good for us and for this country but mostly for us.”

CIA analyst Names McGood was baffled saying that it was a major science breakthrough. We’ve excavated and studied remains of previous forms of this kind of thing…person, sorry, without much success. This marks the first form of intelligence in a Ugandan parliament. We’ll continue studying it…him until we know for sure that there’s some intellect in that house.

submitted by (or hijacked from) Erique

You can read more of his searing insights and bollockry here

You might also like:

The cocacola-isation of Waving Flag

eh eh eh eh!

“Whatever cry we cry is not heard outside of here”