To my generation who don’t know Uganda,Entebbe means one thing. Days of tension,anguish ,heat and dehydration and then the storming of the hijacked plane on the runway by Israel.It was a brutal week in a land being schooled in brutality.
But Uganda has moved a long way under the current leadership and brutality is not its voice and the Lords resistance army’s active terror is diminished.
Entebbe may still mean airport,but it means connections,and travel,modernity and progress.A new connecting road to Kampala is being built.
But until then, the route is a dodge game of gap grabbing drivers of cars,minibuses,trucks,motorbikes,bicycles ,interspersed with risk taking pedestrians and impatient in-line skaters.Yes ,rollerbladers,squeezing the gaps.
So many capital cities catch up with ‘How to reach the airport’ years after the cumulative delay time can be measured in decades. So collecting at Entebbe twice in 24 hours was a special call on patience. Two carefully co ordinated arrivals expected on the same plane were thwarted by strength of wind in Yeadon and arrival times were shifted to a separation of 11 hours.
The very early second start for Entebbe was almost featureless,but not the first call out at 7 pm.
The traffic flow,full of disbelief and absent risk aversion included an inner circle of roundabout motorcyclists in the dark travelling in opposite flow to the main traffic.As a choreographed piece of theatre it may have looked wonderful,but the lights on the vehicles were random and the jerky braking of late see-ers spoilt the ballet .And anyway the in line skater proved unpredictable.
Then the stops.Stop.
And the motorcycles moving as if they were plaiting threads around the stationery vehicles.
And the fuel consumption on standing still and the concentration needed but teased by the texting taxi driver.
It was horrible and I don’t want to write anymore about it.
Well done,my drivers,you were superb.