I recently remembered a saga that happened about four years ago, in 2007. A friend of mine from the US came to Uganda on a filmmaking workshop – or something like that – and in the short period he was in Kampala, he fell in love with a girl, let’s call her Vicky (and we call him Peepy 🙂
Anyway, one day, Peepy and I went to see this Bahai temple in the outskirts of Kampala. It’s an amazing structure, that has stood since 1959, but I wasn’t aware of it. Since I grew up in the rural areas, and not in Kampala. And while we were touring this breathtaking structures, taking photos and feeling inspired by some unknown religious force, Peepy blurts out, “Dilman, do you know of any emergency pills?”
“What emergency pills?”
Was the first time I was hearing of such a thing as an emergency pill, and I couldn’t figure out what it’s purpose could be. Was it something you carried in a first aid kit, such that when you hurt your toe while walking, you swallow it? Or was it something that you carried around in a war-prone area, such that the moment the gunshots go off, you swallow one – and then what happens? you develop superhuman abilities to outrun a bullet?
“I banged Vicky last night, and I was too drunk to use a condom! Isn’t there like a pill I can give her to swallow?”
And my first thought was, why is he worried about that?
“You know she is afraid that she might have contracted some disease,” he went on. “But that’s really not the problem, my friend. “I don’t want to give her a baby!”
Ah, I couldn’t stomach my shock. While one of them was frightened about dying because of the incident, the other was frightened about making a life. He started to think that maybe she had trapped him, and now will make him marry her, or he’ll have to send her money for the rest of his life.
I couldn’t blame him. He probably came from a background where they didn’t have to bomb his brains senseless with AIDS information, so his only concern would be not to get her pregnant. But she would have lived every single day of her life with someone screaming at her something about AIDS – and about using a condom – so much so that when it happened, she just freaked out.
Why am I blogging this, more than four years after it happened? I don’t know. Just getting into an inter-racial relationship myself, and I know that getting entangled with someone who grew up in a totally different culture and environment has it’s own challenges.
For one thing, your reactions to the same incident will be so totally different that if you don’t learn how to handle it, you might fail to handle the relationship.