Seven Tricks Ugandan Girls Use to Hook Men

A man has a lot of tricks to seduce a woman. Some are outright crude, like using his middle finger to scratch her palm when they greet. Some are outrageous, like whistling at her as she walks down the streets. Others are ludicrous, like telling her lies about his wealth. Because of the gender power play in society, boy-tricks are almost everyday happenings, they are out there in the open. Often, when a woman sees them she knows what’s up, and either slaps him in retort, or kick his balls, or plays along. But the girl-tricks are not always obvious. Sometimes a man has to look real hard to figure out what she is saying. Here are some that I experienced. If you know any, leave a comment below.
A scene from my film, Cursed Widow Blues
 1.      Sing Me A Song
A long time ago, a certain girl would sing Marc Anthony’s ‘I Need You’ every time she saw me. I always wondered about that, but I never got the hint. She was still a teenager, maybe nineteen, and I had just started working. She was my neighbor. I had a computer, a rare thing in those days, and boasted of a large collection of mp3 songs. She would always urge me to play her that song. Once she came to my room, sat on my bed, and made me play the song seven times in about thirty minutes. I never got the hint. Several months later, she came again to my bed, and she was very angry. She asked me to play for her Ciara’s ‘If that boy don’t love you by now…’ and that is when I got the hint. By then, another neighbor (a married man) had ballooned her, and I could only bite my lips in regret.
 
2.     The Panty-Flash
Some girls however not so coy about it, and one bold trick I encountered many times is the ‘panty-flash’. This first time it happened I was in university. I was alone in my hostel room, reading a novel, when a lady walked in. I don’t remember what she said to me, or what she was looking for, but she bent down to pick up something, and in that moment, from the corner of my eyes, I saw her panties. White. I looked up from my book, and she was smiling, talking, but I did not understand what she was saying. Then she dropped what she had picked up – all these years I try to remember what it was and I can’t! – and again she bent down to pick it up, turning her butt to me, and showing off clean white panties. I did not know how to react. I sat frozen, just staring at her, and she was there smiling at me for a long time. You see, I was still a virgin and I was still very terrified of women. After a while and I did not respond, she jeered and stomped out.
 
The next morning, I saw her get out of my roommate’s bed. My roommate obviously knew how to read the signs and he took the opportunity without hesitation when she repeated the ritual for him (I think she was in a certain mood and had no boyfriend). I slept through their tryst, didn’t even wake up to notice something wild was going on just a few feet away. Only when I saw her walking out, without so much as a ‘good morning’ to me, did the significance of her pant-showing antic strike me.

 Watch my most famous short film, WHAT HAPPENED IN ROOM 13, feat. Anne Kansiime, Richard Tuwangye, Veronica Namanda, and Gerald Rutaro

Later, I heard another story, of another guy whose girlfriend had bought new panties and she wanted him to see what they looked like. She hid behind a curtain, wore the stuff, and then strutted around the room showing it off. This poor guy was obviously worse than me, for this was his girlfriend, and he did not even read it right? I mean, she tried on like seven panties, or so I heard, and he never made a move. She dumped him straight away.
 
A few years later, I was in living in Kamuli town. I rented the boy’s quarters of an old bungalow. One day, I looked out of my window to the landlady’s backyard, where the house girl was cooking a meal in the veranda. She sat on a three-legged stool. She saw me looking out, and then her legs parted, slowly at first, hesitantly, then full wide until she could show off her panties. Green with black dots. She left it wide open for about a second, and snapped it closed shut so quickly that if I had blinked I wouldn’t have noticed. When I did not react, she repeated it, the slow, hesitant, teasing opening, then the quick close. I could clearly see what she was up to, but I did not pursue the matter because I had a girlfriend at that time. Besides, this house girl was underage, about sixteen. A few hours later, she crept to my window and whispered “Coward!” and ran away before I could respond. Every day for a week, while she was fixing lunch, she showed me that green piece with black dots (Did she have only one, or many of the same color?), and after lunch she would creep to my window and whisper-shout “Coward!” I was so much relieved when they fired her. Apparently, the landlady caught her doing something with a banana….
Actors do selfie while shooting my horror/sci-fi film
What Happened to Jilted Lovers
3.     Selfie
These days, with a proliferation of smart phones, a woman does not have to flash her panties. Last year, I was at a friend’s shop and I saw this girl looking through the racks. She was a beauty, with a natural, short hair-do and hardly any make-up. Her jeans were tight and the friend caught me looking at her. Apparently, he was her good friend. He called her over and said, ‘Hey, you both are single. Why don’t you check each other out?’ We exchanged numbers, and a few days later went for a movie at Acacia mall. As we waited outside the theater, she started to take selfies. Then she showed me the selfies, commenting on how she looked weird in each. As she scrolled through the pics, I saw a nude one. She quickly snatched away the phone and she screamed.
 
‘Oh gash! You weren’t supposed to see that!’
 
She looked really terrified that I had seen it, and she looked around to see if anyone had seen it. Out of politeness, to calm her down, I said, ‘Oh, I really did not see anything. What is it you are scared about?’
 
Her face folded from horror to a frown. ‘You did not see it?’ She asked, full of doubt.
 
‘No,’ I said. ‘I did not see anything.’
 
‘Okay,’ she said. She took some more selfies, and started to scroll again. The selfies came up, and then the nude came up again. This time, she did not snatch away the phone. Pic after pic came up, some with Desire-poses, and others – well, she was screaming ‘Oh god! This is so embarrassing! Please don’t look! Please look away! What are all these nudes doing on my phone? Oh my god! Don’t look!’
 
Of course I did not look away. But I was not thrilled either. I bit my lips, and cursed myself: ‘Did I really have to buy overpriced 3D tickets to get into these pants? I could have done it with a rolex!’

 Watch my new short film, a sci-fi horror, Cursed Widow blues

We watched the movie, we ate at Sky Lounge, and then I bade her goodnight. She was genuinely surprised. I think she wanted me to say something other than goodnight.  But being the good girl that she was, she said, ‘Okay. Let me take a farewell selfie.’
 
I knew exactly what she had in mind. She would take the selfie, then start scrolling…. At that time I was a little angry. She was treating me like a kid who did not know anything, I mean, you know how you would show a child how to peel a banana?
 
‘That won’t be necessary,’ I replied, and walked away.
 
A few days later, I told the shopkeeper friend what had happened and he explained it all. ‘Sorry about that. She asked me how to approach you, and I advised her that you are the shy type so she should take a lead in everything. I guess she scared you off with her boldness.’
 
I agreed. I wish she had taken the lead in a less subtle manner. She looked nice :-))
Does he look innocent?
Filming Cursed Widow Blues, a horror sci-fi film. 
4.     I’m A Virgin
The most common trick, and probably the most effective still, is when they claim to be virgins, or to have never been kissed. It that excites a certain instinct in men. You see, men want to have bragging rights – Speke: ‘I was the first man to discover River Nile!’ Masaba: ‘That’s nothing. I was the first man to climb Mount Elgon!’ – and so when men hear of an innocent place waiting to be explored…..
 
The first time a girl used the trick on me, I fell for the trap, and was utterly disappointed to find that she was not a virgin. I was really disappointed. The second time it happened, the girl looked the innocent type, but when we kissed, hmm, she was an expert. I didn’t bother to find out if she was a virgin. I swear I did not!
Monica and Favor, play man and wife,
in my short film Cursed Widow Blues
 5.     I’m Married
Closely related to that is them saying ‘I’m single but not searching,’ for men want women who are free, absolutely free. But again, some women know men go for married women, for it’s a bang-wham without a lot of attachments, and even if you end up ballooning her, well, she has a husband at home to blame. A while back when I had a day job, I shared an office with a certain woman and so we spent nearly eight hours together every day. After five months, I knew everything about her husband, and especially how he could not satisfy her, and how she had always wanted a dark, tall guy who did not tuck in his shirts…. I got the hint, but nothing happened. Believe me. I was so relieved when a third workmate joined our office.
Smell that baby. G’dah and Philip perform on stage
Kampala International Theater Festival, 2014
6.     Perfume
Another date. Another disaster. This one a little bit of a spectacular disaster. You see, I have a poor sense of smell. Unless it is really, really very strong, I can’t notice it. Sometime in 2014, I was dating this bombshell, and it went on for a few months without things moving forward. Remember, I’m the shy type, the cowardly type; I fear rejection so much that even when a girl is so obviously into me I’ll hesitate to ask her to take things a notch higher. And so this time, we were at a fancy restaurant (I won’t tell you which one), enjoying a nice evening, and I was jittery, wondering how to tell her I wanted to be her boyfriend. I did not know she was thinking the same thing, and that she had decided to let me know with a perfume. But I have a poor sense of smell, and so I did not notice her perfume.
 
‘This smells nice,’ she said, sniffing at a bottle of mineral water.
 
I frowned. Mineral water? I wondered if they had started producing scented water. I sniffed at my bottle. Nothing. So I explained to her, ‘I have a poor nose.’
 
Shortly after, she excused herself and went to the bathroom. When she came back, she again picked up the water bottle and sniffed at it. ‘Can you now smell it?’ she asked. I did not know that she had added a bit more of her perfume to tickle my poor nose, so I said, a little confused, ‘No. I still don’t smell it.’
 
And again, she went to the bathroom, and again she asked if I noticed the smell, and still, I didn’t realize it. Honestly, I did not know she was hinting at her own perfume (I’m very slow in these things, which is why I’m still single) and all along I thought she was indeed talking of the scent of the mineral water. I did wonder why she thought the mineral water bottle would smell differently after she visited the bathroom, yet it stayed on the table. If she had taken it to the toilet, that would have been a different matter, I would have thought she had peed in it or something, but she left it behind, and believe me, her question troubled me a lot. I nearly told her that I noticed the smell, out of politeness, for she seemed very eager for me to realize the water companies had started packing scented water, but I am the honest kind, so I said I did not notice the smell. If only she had spoken directly of her perfume, I would have pretended I noticed it and the disaster wouldn’t have happened. But she kept talking in metaphors, and so she kept going to the bathroom, and adding the perfume, and adding, until eventually everyone in the restaurant was sneezing.
 
Okay, at that moment, I did realize there was a new smell in the air, a little different from the fumes and dust that wafted in from the streets, and I asked her; ‘Are you wearing perfume?’
 
Before she could reply, a waiter approached us. He had a handkerchief over his nose, and he spoke firmly. ‘I’m sorry, your perfume is bothering everyone. You have to leave.’ When she hesitated, the waiter grabbed her by the arms and dragged her out of the chair. Poor girl.
 
I caught up with her on the pavement outside the restaurant. She was trying to flag down a boda, but oh gash, each boda who came close to her rode off very quickly without even bothering to ask her anything. She was in near tears. ‘I did this to show you I want to be your girlfriend but you are too stupid!’ She slapped me, a real hot slap that I still feel to this day, and then she stormed off into the night. I wonder how she got home. I haven’t heard from her since then.
 
If you want to know the seventh trick, subscribe to my YouTube channel because I’ll make a movie about it 🙂 Hey, if you enjoyed this article, you sure will enjoy the films I make. They are free to watch on YouTube. Naye do you know how expensive making a good quality film is? Kati if I have a lot of subscribers, and hence a lot of views, I’ll make enough money to invest in the seventh trick. Show me some love 🙂 Subscribe www.youtube.com/dilstories
 
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Seven Reasons Why Women Fear Commitment

I Was Arrested for Abandoning a Baby

I did not want to talk about it, but this lady at OleeBranch went public about it, and so I have to continue the conversation, to tell you what her actions did to me. I don’t think she meant harm. I think she is a nice person, but there is an Acholi saying that goes ‘Yom cwin oneko latina’ – forgive my inability to write in Luo – which means ‘being too kind hearted killed my child’. She says she kindly offered to baby-sit for a stranger in a taxi, even as this strange mother showed no gratitude at all, and I believe her for she seems like a good person.

A child cries for something. I took this photo in Kit Mikaye, Kisumi
At that time, I did not know her. We had met maybe only once before. I can’t remember where – one of those art things (was it Bayimba last year?) and we had barely talked. Just a dry hello and brief introduction. So that day, when she walked into the taxi, I thought I recognized her from her sandy-colored dreadlocks, but I was not sure.
 
I was not sure either where I was going. I am more used to Jinja-Mukono road, I know all the stages. But with Entebbe road, I only know where to pick the taxis, and where to get off in Entebbe town. So I was fidgety all the time, wary of being robbed if I asked fellow passengers for directions. See, I had a camera bag. I was going for a gig, to take photos at someone’s birthday party. With Kampala what it is today, I feared if someone thought I was a stranger to the place, they might want to take advantage of it and mug me. I had to get off in Zana and I was not sure where that was. If she was near me, I would have asked, but she was like three rows in front, and I was squeezed in the back-row. Besides, I was not sure if she was the lady I knew. She had a baby, which confused things some more.
 
So when she alighted, I followed her to ask for directions. I thought a woman with a baby would not try to rob me. By the time I got out, I found her arguing with another mother. My Luganda is not the best, and I could only understand fragments here and there, but I thought they were arguing about a child. Olive said to the other woman ‘Have you forgotten the child you gave me?’ Now, I was certain I had misunderstood that Luganda phrase. Surely, a woman can’t give another woman a child unless they use hi-tech reproduction and cloning, which, as far as I know, is still science fiction. ‘Me? I gave you a child?’ the other woman asked Olive. ‘You rasta must have smoked weed and it is making you deny your own child.’
 
That’s what I thought I heard. My brain still refused to process the information, for I thought I was misunderstanding. But then, someone had paid me to take photos at a birthday party, and I had to get there, so I interrupted the quarreling. ‘Excuse me, are you Olive?’ I asked her, tapping on her shoulder. She turned to me and her face was folded in a frown, her glasses caught the lights from a street lamp so I could not see her eyes. I wondered if indeed she had smoked weed and forgotten her own baby. I once read a story about a woman in the US who smoked and then put her baby in a blender to make juice. She later told the police that she thought the baby was a giant pineapple.
 

‘Yes,’ she replied. ‘I’m Olive.’ And then she recognized me. ‘Dilman!’ Yep, she was the one I met. ‘You are the guy who writes those crazy scifi stories.’ I was impressed that she remembered what I do. ‘Can you believe this woman? She gave me her baby and now she’s denying it!’ A tear rolled down from beneath her glasses and I felt sorry for her. Either she was too high or she was telling the truth. I could not decide which was which.

Grandmother and Child in Kit Mikaye, Kisumu
I turned to the woman, but to our great surprise, the woman was gone. Just like that. We looked around, and I saw her disappearing into an alley. ‘There!’ I said.
 
‘Hold the baby,’ Olive said. ‘I’ll bring her back.’
 

She thrust the baby at me. She was so mad that I could not refuse, and so I took the baby. Olive sprinted off after the woman and soon she too disappeared in the same alley. I do not remember the last time I had a baby in my arms. I did not even know if I was holding it right, since I was wary of my camera bag being snatched, but the little thing seemed happy to be in my arms and it was laughing and smiling at me. Its toothless gum caught the street lights and glistened like (an angel? I suck at such descriptions) but yes, it glistened, and it gave me an idea for a sci-fi horror story, in which a man finds what looks like a human baby but a weird light radiates from its mouth……

Nearly thirty minutes passed and Olive did not return. Now I got worried. My phone was ringing. The birthday people were calling, but I could not answer for my arms were the full of baby. And my legs being weak, my knees were wobbly, my ankles hurting. Standing for so long had left me woozy. I had to find this Olive fast, and give her back her baby, but I didn’t have her number. As my phone continued to ring, it occurred to me that I was stuck in a place I didn’t know with a strange baby in my arms. It was early night, just coming to 9pm, and the street was already largely deserted. Only a few boda-bodas laughed at a stage, and a rolex stand glowed somewhere in the scene. I thought maybe I could give a boda guy the baby, and ask him to take it to the nearest police station, so I walked over to the charlies.

A calabash protects a baby from the harsh world in Kitgum district
‘What?’ one guy said, after I explained, and I knew he had not understood my Luganda. ‘You want us to do what?’
 
‘I’ll pay for the transport,’ I said, speaking slowly so they would understand me, mixing in a lot of English. ‘Just take it to the nearest police station. I have to work. I can come later to make a statement. I’ll leave my number. Bambi, help, I have to work.’
 
‘Are you throwing away your baby?’ the body guy said.
 
‘It’s not my baby!’ I said.
 
‘We saw you and your wife coming out of the taxi with it,’ another boda guy said. ‘Now you want to throw it away?’
 
‘That was not my wife!’ I said.
 
‘Da-dee,’ the baby said. Now, I’m sure it did not say those exact words, but it made a sound that could pass off for Daddy, and it was laughing with me, pulling on my shirt.
 
‘See how it calls you daddy,’ one guy said. ‘See how it laughs with you? And you deny it?’
 
Things happened really fast after that. A mob formed quickly. They threw all sorts of accusations at me. ‘He stole the baby.’ ‘He impregnated a woman and she dumped the baby on him and now he wants to dump it on us.’ And the mob grew rowdy. Someone suggested they lynch me. Another said it would not be a wise idea for what would they do with the baby? Another suggested they beat me up to teach me a lesson. Then a police car showed up. God, was I glad to see the cops? At least the mob wouldn’t beat me up, or lynch me.
 
‘What is the problem here?’ a policeman asked.
 
‘This man wants to throw away his baby,’ the bodabodas chorused.
 
‘Take him in,’ the officer said to one of his juniors.
 
They ripped the baby off my hands, and the baby started to howl. They handcuffed me, and threw me into the back of the pickup. We sped off to the police station, the baby howling all the way. When we reached, they gave me back the baby, and the moment it was in my hands, the baby stopped crying, and promptly fell asleep, snuggling against my chest.
 
‘You are in big trouble,’ the policeman said.
 
~~
If you enjoyed this, you will enjoy my short films. Subscribe to my channel and watch them on youtube.com/dilstories Do subscribe and share with your friends. I upload a great short film every month. Remember to follow me on twitter and facebook and you can donate to my films here
Beautiful drooly smile in Kitgum district.

~~

Do you know what happened next? Then please, tell us. Leave a comment, or write it in your blog and let Olive know. This is a chain story for the #UGBlogWeek. The first is available here. Another response is here.

 
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Seven Reasons Why Women Fear Commitment

Women are more afraid of commitment than men. They’ll end perfectly good relationships for no reason at all. Even when they seem perfectly happy in a relationship, so happy that the man is encouraged to buy a ring, the moment he proposes, things start to go downhill. Some of them become serial heartbreakers. They make men need them, and when he’s firmly in a girl’s grasp, when he starts to dream of having children with her, she gets scared and tells him, ‘You are too clingy.’ Well, no man has ever figured out what women want, but I think I have. You might think of the good old reasons, that they are pursuing a career, or that they want to travel and see the world, or that they fear children will make them shapeless, or that they were hurt once and so would rather stay single. Far from it.

 

A Labwor woman in Karenga. I wonder if she would fear commitment!
What reasons would she give to avoid getting hitched?
 1. Women are afraid of men who love them too much.
Apparently, the modern guy has seen Titanic, and wants to be a replica of Jack. But the modern girl isn’t impressed. She doesn’t want a man who superglues on her, who calls her every few minutes. They don’t want men who stay home to help with supper rather than go to the bar to watch soccer. Don’t call me pig. I heard all this from women themselves. I thought about this article after I stumbled upon a note a friend of mine, the writer and poet Rosey Sembatya, made on facebook. In it she gives eighteen reasons as to why she is afraid to commit, and four of these had something to do with the attention the man gives her. “He’ll adore me and I won’t know what to do,” she writes. “He’ll be my friend and I won’t know what to do. He’ll like coming home at 5pm just to chat as I prepare dinner. Who said I’ll be home at 5pm? He’ll like crazy buy me flowers like I said I like them.”

2. Women fear the knight will transform into a pig.
The man she falls in love with might be a fantasy figure straight out of the glossy magazines, a dashing bombshell with a six-pack. But disfigures all man. He will advance in his career, and get too busy to go to the gym. The money will flow in, and he’ll have one too many beers, and too much pork, and then his tummy will balloon until he looks pregnant, and the fat will cause his neck to disappear. And as Rosey writes, “He’ll grow hair in his nose. Then he’ll refuse, or forget, to clip the hair in his nose until it escapes and connects with his moustache, until it becomes gray. Then he will wake up having drooled and want to kiss me on the lips.”
 
3. Women never know what they want.
In researching this article, I took a peek into the abanonya (those searching for love) section of Bukedi newspaper, where the bold women put ads for the kind of men they are looking for. Many of them give very contradictory characteristics in what they want to see in a man. There are those who write that they want a man who is either a Born Again Christian (the radical holy-spirit firebrands) or a Muslim. Does that make sense?

 

A Nepali woman. She lives in a culture where staying single is not an option.
4. Women fear men who cook better than they do.
This is a strange one. You would imagine that with all this feminist talk and women liberation circus, they would fall head over heels for a man who does the cooking. But no. They prefer to do the cooking. Maybe they are afraid that if the man is a good cook, then he will always find fault with their cooking, and thus they will never be able to satisfy him. I was once in a relationship where she never allowed me to cook. She limited my role in the kitchen to washing the dishes, boiling water for tea, and boiling rice. She thought if she allowed me to cook, I would feed her blackened beans, or half-cooked potatoes. Then one day she saw a picture of a dish I made, and she flipped out. ‘You must have bought it from a Chinese restaurant,’ she said. Maybe we broke up because she realized I was a master chef. 🙂
 
 
There are no secrets to cooking great dishes, as many modern men have discovered. They stay single well into their thirties (often because they cannot find women who are ready to settle down), and this forces them to learn to cook. Some will go to restaurants, but eating out every meal is not only costly but outright boring, so these men spend the long years of bachelorhood unconsciously perfecting their culinary skills. When they get bored of pasta and boiled eggs, they search the internet for recipes, then they simply turn on the stove, throw a few things into the pan, and bingo, a Chinese dish. Why then are women afraid of men who cook better than they do?
A dish of pasta, vegetables and beef, made by a bachelor. Me 🙂
5. Women are afraid of a man’s wardrobe.
‘My future one will love pink,’ Rosey writes, ‘and have pink boxers, and pink shorts, and pink shirts, and a pink key holder to match.’ Hmmm…. They will force him to wear costumes of their choice. They think his choice of clothing will kill them with the laundry. ‘He’ll say he feels adored when he sees me washing his jeans with my bare hands.’ A long time ago, an aunt visited us, and she was telling my mother how she hates washing her husband’s jeans. She decided to hide them, and instead bought him a bunch of coats and ties. ‘You look more charming in these,’ she said. He had never won a coat or tie in his life. He drove a bus for a living. She complained about how impossible it is to wash grease off jeans. He did not see how he could go to work in a tie. He wanted his jeans. A fight broke up. They divorced.
 
6. Women set very weird standards in what they look for in a man.
Recently, I was talking to a woman who works at the driving school I went to. She is in her thirties, and not yet married. I asked her what she is waiting for, and she said she has not yet met the right kind of man. She wants a widower, or if not a divorcee, who already has a child under the age of three. She is a born again Christian, and she says it has been her prayer request for seven years now. Every Sunday, she goes to church and asks God for that one thing. Please send me a single man who already has a child under three. ‘Why?’ I asked her. ‘So that I can test myself and see if I am a good woman,’ she said. ‘You see,’ she added, ‘loving another woman’s child is the hardest test a mother can face. I want God to give me such a man so that I can see if I turn into an evil step mother.’
 
Nothing she said made sense to me, but it clearly was an excuse to stay single. I don’t know what her history is. Maybe she suffered a terrible childhood under a step mother and wants to make amends. I don’t know why she bothers God with such an insane request. I can only pity the scores of men whose heart she has broken because they don’t meet her criteria.
 
She reminded me of another lady I tried to date, a long time ago, a Mutoro who said she preferred light skinned men. Not white men, just light skinned Africans. Unfortunately for her, most of the men who picked interest in her were dark, like me, and the most insistent of all was a guy so dark he looked blue. He was a sweet man who sent her flowers and chocolates every week. Poor guy.

 

Rosey Sembatya, who wrote the note. Pre-commitment fears.
Read it here on facebook 
7. Women are afraid they will get less sex once they are married.
This has to be one of the greatest paradoxes in life. Single men think they don’t get enough bed action because they don’t have a hole dedicated solely to them. They know how difficult it is to convince a woman to open her legs, that’s why they use their hands, or end up gay 😀
 
Single men envy married men, who they think get bongobongo whenever they are horny. But married women complain that their husbands don’t poke them at all. They think single women get all the action because single ladies have all the freedom in the world. At least when you are still single, a commitment-shy lady will say, you can do bongobongo anytime you wish to. All you have to do is wink at any man you see, whether he is a bodaboda rider, or a drunkard staggering home, or a hunky model, and you’ll be sure to catch his attention for chances are that he is a starving animal. But when you are married, hmmm, you are stuck with one guy whose performance leaves you hanging in suspense.
 
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The Total Agony of Being in Love

A few days back, my facebook status read: Dear God, please help me. I want to be funny, but the only jokes I can come up with have either sex or poop in them. I don’t know why I’m fascinated with the two, but I also do not know why they are taboo. It’s something everybody does, and both are vital to human life. Still, they do not seem to be something people want to talk about. Or joke about. So recently, I set out to make a series of funny videos, for distribution via youtube. In this series, I will try very hard to make only clean jokes that can be enjoyed around the family dinner table, in front of your children.

That I called it The Total Agony of Being in Love should tell you where I got inspiration. Love Actually. That film. I loved it when I first watch it, sometime in 2004, and I loved the way they portrayed sex, and relationships, and it made me want to tell funny stories. I believe many stories I’ve come up with were inspired by this film. I have made four episodes of the series, and I plan to make more. Like the title says, the series will revolve around the pains of being in love.

The episode I love the most is When An African Man Cheats. I first heard a similar joke in secondary school, and it made us laugh real hard at that time. It is a man’s joke. I don’t think women will find it funny. Well, I adapted the joke, and added a whole new punchline to it. You can enjoy it below.

The other episodes include this one, Why do Men Make Love. We were one time having a chat, a few mornings ago, and a woman was complaining that her husband only makes love to her when he wants to go to sleep. He uses her as a sleeping pill. I at once thought it’s something worth talking about. I wonder, how many men use women in this way?

One of the first episodes we did was about a Lonely Girl. It is based on a poem by Rashida Namulondo, who won the BN Poetry Prize in 2013. I have had this wild idea for a long time now, of turning poems into videos, the way they make music videos. It’s not an entirely new idea, and several people have already made video poems, but I’m thinking it could be a way to help poets earn cash from their creations.


Well, so there we are. A few videos to give you a great laugh, and you should expect more. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and you won’t be disappointed!

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Questions European Children Ask About Africa

The Liebster Blog Awards

Sometime towards the end of last year, Matt Ewens nominated my blog for the Liebster Blog Awards. Yay! It humbled me, for this guy, Matt, who I hardly know, but who I met in a google plus writing group,  thought my blog is worth a read. You can see list of nominees here. http://mattrobertewens.wordpress.com/ There are rules for accepting the Liebster Blog Award. You can read them below. I have to accept the award by answering questions he has asked, and in turn nominate eleven blogs that I think are worth a read. Well, I’ll start by answering questions that Matt asked.

What is the meaning of life?

1. What’s the meaning of life to you, what’s the point?

When I was a little boy, going through pretty tough times and asking God that age old question, ‘Why did you create me?’, and asking my parents that timeless question, ‘Why did you produce me?’, I went to church one Saturday. We were taking Baptism lessons. The priest asked us that same question, what is life? And a boy, who had only one eye, stood up and gave an answer that has lived with me ever since. In the darkest of times, I hear his voice, sounding like the voice of God, saying, ‘Life is something that cannot be explained, but lived.’

2. What are you best at?
I guess I’m best at telling lies. Isn’t that what all writers do? They come up with these weird stories, and they will say, ‘It’s totally fiction. It’s not based on real life.’ And yet it is often based on their personal lives, for every story ever told has the emotional footprint of the person who told it. I do it all the time. Even when I’m writing my blog, which is supposed to be a factual thing, I’ll add a bit of lies here and there to spice things up. I once told someone that my blog is 90% truth, which is the truth, but I revel in the 10% lies that I put in, for that’s actually what makes the readers come back again and again. I think.

3. If you were captured by aliens and put into an arena and they used their power of divination to determine your greatest fear or the one creature/animal/monster fake or real – what would appear out of the shadows to face you?
A woman. 😀

4. Favourite gig of all time?
My first job, when I was barely a month out of university. It took me to a world I had never been to before. I not only visited, and for the first time in my life slept in, a village, but I met people living with AIDS, who were about to die. Just talking to them influenced my writing for the next few years.

5. How do you boil an egg?
I don’t boil eggs. I swallow them raw. It’s supposed to be good for creativity. Ah, so now you know where I get all those crazy ideas from. You see, an egg is like a seed, like life itself. If you cook it, you destroy that life. If you swallow it raw, another life will grow inside you, and materialize in the form of a story. 

6. If you could magic your mind into the body of any living human being on planet Earth, who would it be and why? (keep in mind this is a lifetime swap there’s no going back)
A Pinoy bombshell called Reiza, my fiancee, so I can know what makes her tick, how to love her without making her go off the edge in a cloud of anger.

7. If a clown jumped out of a van in the street while you were minding your own business and handed you a big pot of pink paint and a big brush and said ‘You must paint that house over there pink, if you do then you’ll get this,’ he shows you the biggest diamond you have ever seen in your life.
I wouldn’t paint it, for I’d know the diamond is a fake and the clown is setting me up for a prank.

8. Favourite food?
I actually have two. Dek ngor, an Acholi dish, and the Chinese style sweet-n-sour fish.


9. If you were suddenly transformed or transmogrified into a great bowl along with your equivalent selves from every country in the world and you were asked by GOD to compete against each other in a variety of sports and tests, what self from what country would win and why?
My East African self would win, because it wouldn’t be an impostor like the others 🙂

10. Best thing you’ve done for another human being?
That’s a tough one. People tend to think I’m selfish.

11. What are your long-term life goals?
To be the greatest storyteller ever.

Questions for my Nominees
1. What is the happiest memory you have of your childhood?
2. If you were a vampire, whose blood would you drink, and why?
3. If you were to reincarnate, what animal would you choose to be, and why?
4. Imagine you are a character in a story, and you are supposed to kill your lover, what weapon would you choose and why?
6. How do you make a cup of tea?
7. What is the moon, and not the sun, a symbol of romance?
8. What memories does rain bring to you?
9. Suppose you woke up one morning, and you were in the middle of the street, stark naked, what would you do to convince onlookers of your sanity?
10. If you meet your childhood self, what warning you’d give him/her?
11. What’s your dream travel destination?

And my nominees are (in alphabetical order);

Corinne Rodrigues, “Everyday Gyaan”, http://everydaygyaan.com/
Gay Emami, “Confessions of a Pinay Travel Junkie”, http://www.pinaytraveljunkie.com/

Geeta Nair, “Fabrics of Life”, http://geetaavij.wordpress.com/
Jairam Mohan, “Mahabore’s Mumblings”, http://mahabore.wordpress.com/
Joel Benjamin Nevender, “Hope Never Runs Dry” http://nevender.blogspot.com/
Jyothi Nair, “Jyothi’s Day Out”, http://jyothisdayout.com/
Mildred Apenyo, “Apeny Writers.” http://apenyo.com/
Reiza S Dejito, “Wander if you Must.” http://www.wander-if-you-must.com/
Simon Kaheru, “Scare a Hero.” http://skaheru.wordpress.com/
Sophie B Alal, “Deyu African.” http://deyuafrican.com/
Susan Dusterhoft, “Today’s Writing Woman”, http://todayswritingwoman.blogspot.com/

I wish I could go on and on, and it’s been hard to limit my selection to only these eleven. I should make another much longer list later. They are all worthy reads. Well, congs to you eleven. And happy blogging!

The rules for accepting the Liebster Blog Award:
1- List eleven random facts about yourself.
2- Nominate eleven other bloggers.
3- Notify these bloggers.
4- Ask eleven questions that the bloggers must answer upon accepting the award.
5- Answer the eleven questions that you were asked when you were nominated.
6- Link back to the person who nominated you (mention him/her and include his/her blog link).

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When to Kiss is to Sin: Dating in Nepal Pt 3

Normally, I don’t kiss and tell, but this happened so long ago that it doesn’t matter much. Sometime early in 2010, shortly after I arrived in Nepal, a time when I was still single and had not yet met the Filipino bombshell. A time when I was still befuddled with that timeless question: what is the meaning of love. This is probably the last post recounting my personal experiences of dating in Nepal. (Read here part 1 and part 2). The two years I spent there, I was more concerned with their love and marriage customs, for I was making a film about inter-caste marriage, but some mistook my interested to be a veiled expression of my desire to find a Nepali wife, so I got my fare share of proposals, probably more than most foreigners would get, because I spoke the language and lived in a rural community.

This is what I once found on my doorsteps. Read it here.

Well, last time, I told you about Sweta. I went with her on a date, which I thought went horribly wrong, but which to her seemed to be a big step forward. She asked to come to my place the next day, supposedly to cook for me a meal. I called in sick at work that morning, for she was due to arrive at about 10 am. That, in Nepal, is after lunch. She would make nasta, snacks, maybe chow-chow. I hated it. They were a kind of instant noodles, but cooked with eggs they served as my main meal many times. I wished she offered to cook a chicken dish instead, or something much more romantic than factory food.

When she showed up, she brought me a package. Momo. Dumplings. I loved momo, one of the few Nepali things that I fell in love with. She brought steamed,  buff momo, made from buffalo meat. I preferred veg momo, but since it was a gift, I wasn’t going to be picky about it.

I lived alone in a huge bungalow. It was walled in and gated. It had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, one living room, a kitchen, a dinning room, and a rooftop space, but Nepalis being very nosy people, I couldn’t be certain of absolute privacy. Being day time, I had no intention of doing ‘funny business’ with the girl. Since I used only two rooms, the bedroom and the kitchen, the other rooms were covered with dust and cobwebs, so I took her straight to my bedroom. She didn’t protest, nor did she expect me to dishonor her. Privacy being nearly non-existent, it was not uncommon to end up in someone’s bedroom on your first visit. Moreover, most youth lived in single rooms, with shared bathrooms and kitchens. It was not a big deal taking her straight to my bedroom. There being no chairs, so she sat on the bed.

Why is she gloomy while on her date?

I’ll skip the boring parts. Our conversation was pretty much a rehash of the previous day. She asked about my country, my people, the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, the things we see on TV, how many people we were in my family, how many brothers and sisters I had. We ate the buff momo, the chow-chow, we drank a ginger-lemon drink with honey.

Then the interesting part came up. The kiss. I don’t know who did it, but I guess I made the first move. One second, we were seating on my bed, Kunti Moktan’s songs played in the background. The next, my lips touched hers. Nothings serious. Nothing deep. The kind of kiss you could give a sister, or a little child, but the girl jumped away in utter horror.

“You papi me!” she screamed. She fled into the bathroom and washed her mouth.

When she came out, I thought she would be fuming in anger, but she had this playful smile, which encouraged me to give it another go. Another little peck on her lips. They were cold, from the water, I think, and tasted of some lip cosmetic I couldn’t name, and again it was not the kind of kiss you would expect in a hot, romantic scene, but this girl jumped up as if her insides were exploding, and again she ran into the bathroom and washed her mouth.

I did not understand what the word ‘papi’ meant. I looked it up in my pocket dictionary the moment she had left, and learnt that it meant ‘sinful’ or ‘evil’. Every time I kissed her, she said ‘You papi me’ and ran into the bathroom to rinse her lips. The washing was a ritual of absolution, of purifying something polluted.

Lovers enjoy a cozy moment in Lama’s Cafe, Kathmandu

Nepalis believe the mouth is the greatest polluter. Once you touch something with your mouth, it becomes impure, and must undergo a ritual of purification. They have a concept called jutho. Food that remains on your plate is polluted, and no one other than those lower than you (untouchables, children, your wife, dogs) can touch it. One time, we were eating lunch with my boss, and I asked to eat a lemon she had left. I picked it off her plate without waiting for permission. She was scandalized. Though she had not touched it, it was part of her left overs. She snatched it off my hands, and sprinkled water on it before allowing me to eat it.

During my time there, I learnt to drink water off glasses and bottles without touching the vessels with my lips. It’s something that puzzled me a great deal at first. Water vessels were never individually owned. In offices, especially in the terrai region where temperatures hit 40 degrees and you have to drink water constantly, there is a big water bottle on every desk. You cannot have your own water bottle. People take bottles without asking for permission. They expect you to share it. But once your lips touch a bottle, it becomes jutho, and no one else will drink from it, even if they are dying of thirst. It was one of the first tricks I learnt the moment I landed, to drink without letting my mouth touch the bottle or glass. Sometimes I find myself pouring water into my mouth without letting it touch my lips.

A Nepali woman shows love for her husband,
by scribbling their initials S + J

While the mouth is the biggest polluter, water is the purifier (Gold, on the other hand, purifies polluted water). Hindus have great attachment to water and the concept of purity. Some people, I heard, have to bring fresh water into the house every morning, because the one that stays overnight becomes impure and thus unfit for drinking or cooking rice.

So it was with this girl. She washed her lips to purify it for I had made it impure by touching it with my lips. This game went on for about ten minutes. I kiss, she runs to the bathroom to wash her mouth, yet each time she came out I thought she was inviting me to ‘papi’ her some more, and each time I ‘papi-ed’ her, she ran to cleanse herself.

 

Naturally, it killed my appetite. After about ten episodes of the game, she finally excused herself and promised to set up another appointment, but I did not want to go through another nightmare. It scared me off having a relationship with Nepali women. I could not imagine someone going to wash herself every time we kiss.

I made discreet inquiries after this, for I was curious to know if the same thing occurs between married people, and the answer I got was; ‘there is no jutho‘ between husband and wife’. How convenient!

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The Fun of Dating in Nepal pt 2

She got married so I guess it’s okay for me to write about this, though I’ll still not say her real name. I saw a status update on facebook, and I know she is married. Nepali girls wouldn’t write such a status, or else it hurts their honor.

A couple on a date in Thamel, Kathmandu. Lama’s Cafe.

I first saw her early in 2010, must have been March, for the winter had just ended, and I had just moved from Kathmandu into Dhanghadi, the small town in the far west of Nepal where I was to stay for the next two years. I still loved watching football back then, and wouldn’t miss a weekend match for anything. (Now, I don’t even know what a ball looks like!) So I went to a cable company to subscribe, and I saw her at the reception. She had large eyes, a little unusual for a Nepali girl, and long eyelashes, which weren’t fake. I was still single at that time, so you ladies should not think I am a macho-monster, but I was just beginning research into this Untouchable Love documentary. I was clueless about the dating habits of Nepalis. I had read a bit about it, but I thought I would learn more if I actually dated a Nepali girl.


Now, at that time, I had already received a fare share of marriage proposals, being a foreigner, some parents wanted to arrange for me to marry their daughters, or some boys offered me their sisters, and I even got a girl who offered me her mother. But when I saw this girl (let’s call her Sweta), I thought to myself, ‘Wow, if they offer her to me, I won’t refuse!’

She seemed to take an instant liking to me as well. Oh well, she didn’t. It’s just because she had probably never met an African in person, and was excited by it. The first question she asked me when I walked into their office was “Have you eaten rice?” I frowned. It was hardly eleven am, and I could not understand why she was asking me if I had eaten. At that time, I was still adjusting to the fact that Nepalis eat lunch at about 10am, and breakfast (or a snack) at 1pm. All through my two years there, I never got used to it, and I would go to a restaurant at about 1pm and ask for lunch, and they would tell me they only have breakfast. Well, so this girl asks me, “Have you eaten rice?”, and at that time, I didn’t know it was a form of greeting. Instead of, a “Hello”, or maybe “How is your morning?” they go “Have you eaten?” And my innocent reply was, “No, I haven’t eaten. But if you cook for me, I’ll eat.”

In broken Nepali. I wasn’t fluent yet at that time. But she was thrilled that I could speak her language, and it probably helped my intentions as well, for she at once offered to come to my dera to cook for me. Being shy, I balked. Her boldness surprised me. I had yet to learn that Nepali girls did not beat around the bush. If they want to cook for you for the rest of their life, they will tell you so, even if they do not yet know your name. So we got talking, for about thirty minutes, and at the end of it, she agreed to go out with me for tea.

A rickshaw puller taking a rest.
Danghadi main street during rush hour.

A date. So easily! I begun to think that Nepal is indeed a man’s heaven. (Honest man seeking marriage, not randy one-night-standers :-o) I couldn’t understand why so many men in their thirties were still unmarried. It was a Sunday, the first working day of the week. I suggested we have tea on, Monday, but she said no. She had to go to school. She was at a local university. Well, then I said Tuesday, and she told me outright, Tuesday is a bad day to visit, especially if it is for the first time. (I later learnt that a married woman cannot visit her parents on Tuesday, or if she has been staying at her parent’s, she cannot go back to her husband on a Tuesday.) It was a bad luck day to have a first date, thus we settled for Wednesday.

The time came. 4pm. I took a rickshaw from my dera in Hasanpur 5, but i did not know where we were going. I called her, and she tried to tell me over the phone, but I could not understand her directions. I asked, is it Shalom Restuarant? It was a favorite of mine, near Raato Phul (Red Bridge). ‘No’ she said. ‘Give the rickshaw driver the phone.’ She then instructed him on where to take me.

We rode. We passed Raato Phul, and for a moment I thought we were going to Bells Cafe, which after Hotel Devotee was the classiest cafe in town. It served Chinese, Japanese and Indian dishes, alongside Nepali dishes. It was pricey as hell, but airconditioned. I thought it would be a nice spot for a first date. We did not stop there. We continued, and I thought we were going to the next best place, something on a rooftop with gold fish in a tank. I forget it’s name. It has ‘garden’ in it though, and was opposite Nabil Bank. Will look it up. But we stopped before we reached there. The rickshaw man pointed out a shop to me. And the first sign that it was going to be a bad date struck me. A shop? A hardware shop?

A waiter in Shalom Restuarant, Danghadi, showing off
her mehendi. Superstition has it that the darker the heena,
the more your husband loves (or will love) you.

Maybe, I thought, it’s just a first stop, a meeting place, before we go to a real restaurant, a cozy cafe somewhere for that nice cup of Nepali tea. I walk into the restaurant and there she is, petit, large eyes, smiling brilliantly, in spite of the dust from cement. Her uncle sat next to her. He welcomed me, offered me a sit, and all the while I thought we would just say hellos and get going. Then the uncle asked a boy to bring us tea. A twelve year old boy. He came with tea in small glasses.

Is this it? I asked myself. A date in a hardware shop? Amid metals and bags of cement and all sorts of plumbing material? That was not the worst bit. There were about six workers in the shop. They all crowded around us, staring at me in excitement, waiting to listen to whatever we were going to talk about.

Her uncle then told me, “Why are you not talking? Tell her things!”

With six people listening? I didn’t even know what ‘things’, he was talking about, but it sure wasn’t the small talk on Uganda, and the weather in Uganda, that they wanted to hear about. When the Uncle said this, everyone fell silent, waiting for my next words.

“He is shy,” the girl said. “You know foreigners don’t like talking in people.”

“Okay okay,” the uncle said. “I’ll take you upstairs.”

A street cafe. Might have been a better venue for a date.

‘Upstairs’ was an unfinished floor above the shop. The dust made me cough. We sat on dusty crates, and I thought the uncle would now leave us alone, but he walked about, pretending to do clean up the place, while his ears were tuned to the conversation we were having. I don’t even remember anymore what we talked about. I don’t think I remembered anything soon after I left that hardware shop. I sure did not say the ‘things’ the uncle expected me to tell her.

Still, I must have impressed the girl, or rather she was determined to cook for me for the rest of her life. She asked to come to my dera the next day! She did come, but I’m going to save that story until the next post. I have to sleep now. Be sure to return to read it.

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Love Made Me Run Mad

The other day, I was looking through my archived videos of Nepal, trying to decide what to delete to create space in my backup hard drive. I found this interview of Binod, a resident of Saptari district, a man who ran mad after his love affair with an upper caste girl came to an abrupt and violent end. I came upon him by sheer luck. While making Untouchable Love, I was visiting their home to interview his younger brother, Manoj, whose affair with Parbati, an upper caste girl, had led to a war in their village when I learned that that Binod too had been involved in an inter caste affair. I thought I had struck gold. Two dalit (untouchable) brothers fall in love with upper caste girls, causing a lot of trouble in the village, hmm, the kind of stuff every storyteller would jump at.
 
In their village, like everywhere else in Nepal, the different castes live together. The apartheid-like system that kept ‘untouchables’ in the outskirts of society no longer exists. Children from all castes mingle freely, attend the same school, play with in the same balls, grow up together – the only thing that still exists is that they cannot enter each other’s houses, or eat from the same plate, or drink the same water. Or fall in love with each other.
 —
The way the two brothers fell in love was very similar. Both upper caste girls were their neighbors. They went to school together and were in the same classes. Binod, being older, was first to become romantically involved with (I do not remember him mentioning her name, so I will call her) Sita. As it is with love affairs in rural Nepal, the issue of marriage came in very early in the relationship. In that country, you do not date for fun, and Binod was so serious about his girl that he went to her parents to ask for her hand in marriage.
— 
A very foolish thing, but very brave. Of course he knew about the taboos in the society. He knew that being a Mandal (or Khanga as they are sometimes called) it was unthinkable for him to marry a girl with the name of Raut. Still, their respective families were amiable to each other. He thought he could talk to her parents, they seemed like a nice lot, more liberal in comparison to other Rauts. So he dressed in his Sunday best and paid them a visit. Her father gave him a big smile and told him he will think about it. However, hardly had Binod left their compound than the old man pounced on Sita, and beat her up thoroughly. She was imprisoned in a room for several days and tortured until she denounced her love. Then they arranged for her to marry another man, an upper caste old widower whose teeth were black and rotten from eating paan, whose saliva was now permanently a bloody red from eating paan. This was the only way her parents thought they could restore the family honor.
Binod and one of his brother’s children.
Binod was devastated. He ran mad. Totally bonkers. I do not know exactly what he did that proved how mad he was, but all the wires in his head were broken. He ended up in a mental hospital in India. He spent there several months. Whatever treatment he got seemed to work very well. He came back to Nepal a sane man. The first thing he did was burn up all the photographs of Sita, along with all the love letters she sent him. It was the only way he could fully recover his sanity. To help him fully recover, his parents arranged for him to marry another girl.
 —

He despises his wife. He kept referring to her as ‘uneducated’ and ‘foolish’. I could discern that deep inside he still moaned for his lost love. He apparently is still in a fragile state, although eight years have passed. When his parents heard him talking about Sita, they became afraid. And very angry with me. They thought memories of Sita would make him run mad again. They ordered to stop talking about her, and threatened to throw us out of their home if we insisted on asking him about her. I was sad to let it go, but I had to agree to their demands. We spent three days with them family, and I never saw Binod again. They must have sent him away to live somewhere else, to make sure he did not talk about Sita again. His younger brother Manoj told me the rest of the story.  

Binod’s wife in front of their home.
Parbati prepares to apply sindoor on her forehead.
It is part of the daily make up for a married woman.
Binod and Manoj’s mother with sindoor prominent on her head
a proud symbol of her marital status.
Now sisters. Binod’s wife in green, from an arranged marriage.
Parbati on the left, from a love marriage.
About one year after Binod’s affair ended in tragedy, Manoj fell in love with another Raut girl, called Parbati. Manoj was wiser. He kept his affair a total secret. Only a few friends knew about it. When they decided to get married, they did not bother telling their parents. They told no one. They simply sneaked away to a temple in Rajbiraj town, with a couple of friends as witnesses. He applied sindoor on her head and bingo, they were husband and wife. Sindoor is that red thing that you see in the parting of hair just above the forehead. It symbolizes virginity. I was told that you can rape a girl by simply applying that thing on her forehead. Well, it is like the ring in Western weddings. Once a boy applies it on a girl, it means he has deflowered her, and owns her forever. No priests needed, no fancy ceremony. Simply rub the stuff on her forehead and you are married. But they had to take a photo to prove that he had put sindooron her, that they were now married.
 —
After the wedding, they could not go back to their homes. They went to live with Manoj’s uncle’s in a neighboring district. They thought they were safe. I won’t tell you their story because I already did in the documentary, Untouchable Love. They are the lead characters. All I’ll say is after their elopement, war broke out in the village. Ethnic cleansing. The upper caste people were fed up of the untouchables snatching away their girls, and so they decided to chase all the dalits from the village. It was violent and bloody.  
 —
Good old Nepal, with so many stories. I cannot believe I lived there for only two years, because I came back with enough stories to last a life time. Strangely, though I’ve lived in Uganda all my life and I often fail to find what to write about. I should soon again travel again to someplace to collect more stories.
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Quick recipes for a love-hunting bachelor

Food will bring love to your heart.
They say that the way into a man’s heart is through his stomach, and that the best way to get into a woman’s pants is through her mouth! Ah, so food has great romantic values. It is the essence of every relationship, and if you are looking at a girl whose heart you want to win, food can fast forward your dating past the boring stuff and straight into the bed stuff. Of course, what every man does is to take her out to the fancy restaurants and impress her with fine dining and seven course meals and wine. But I’m going to tell you a secret. You can save yourself all that money and thrill her with a meal in your bachelor pad. Women totally love men who can cook. Pans will get you into her pants. Pots make her hot. Ahem, before I offend women here, let me rephrase. The easiest way for a man to get a woman to love him and be his wife is for him to cook for her a really good meal.
 —
When you cook for a woman, the message you are sending is that you are a sensitive fellow. That you will not overwork her with household chores. That every once in a while she will kick off her shoes, lounge on the sofa with her legs on the coffee table, reading a newspaper or watching TV, while you fight with pots in the kitchen. It also means that you care for her, and that you treat her like a good dish, that is, you will be patient with her, take things slow, and you will not be interested only in appetizers but want to go the whole way to the desert and the nap after the meal.
 —
The only problem is that most men do not know how to cook. Which is why I’m writing this post. I will give you a few tips on how to make meals that sound exotic, look romantic, and will make her believe you are the greatest chef on earth. I guess a woman reading this can also pretend to be a good cook to impress the man. So here are the dishes.
 
Tip. When you are telling the girl you will prepare her a meal, use exotic and classy sounding names. Use words that are not common in the area. For example, if you are in a place where they say spaghetti or macaroni, tell her you will make her chowmein (which is how it’s called in many Asian countries) or lasagna.
A man hawks grilled chicken at the roadside. Mabira, Uganda
Shredded chicken
This should be number one on the list. It’s a Chinese dish. It will make the girl think you have class. Yet making it is so simple you will wonder why you haven’t yet done it. In fact, you do not need to cook this one at all. You can buy the rice from a restaurant and then get the grilled chicken from the roadside, sneak into the kitchen when the girl isn’t watching and perform the magic.
 
Ingredients.
1 roasted chicken
2 plates boiled rice (one for you, one for the girl)
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber
2 carrots. Cabbages. Soy sauce.  Salad cream.
 
Method. Cut the grilled chicken into tiny shreds. Slice up the tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and cabbages, and mix them with the chicken shreds (basically, you are making salads). Pour salad cream on the stuff. Pour soy sauce (a Chinese/East Asian thing) over the boiled rice, and serve! Man, I promise you, she will take off her pants without you asking her to do it!
 
Tip: You can use the same trick to make sweet and sour fish. Simply buy deep fried fish from the roadside, or stewed fish, and re-cook it, but this time, add pineapples.
Jaulo
This is a Nepali dish. It is mostly made for sick people, but she doesn’t have to know that. Just tell her this is a dish from a country called Nepal. Most women, being easily impressionable, will not bother to google and find out the truth. They will want to believe you (just as they believe everything you tell them until you make them really angry and then they will not believe anything you say.) I like this dish because you do not have to do a lot of work to have a meal. Basically, it’s like this; you dump all the ingredients into a pressure cooker, wait for it to whistle three times, turn off the gas, and bingo, you have a meal! What can be easier than that? But for those who love recipes, here are the guidelines: D
A roadside chef (in apron). He must have many wives!
Ingredients:
1 cup of Rice
1 cup of lentils (or peas, or beans, or any seeds)
1 onion
3 ripe tomatoes
2 table spoons of ghee
 8 Irish potatoes (ha, that is the small type, not the sweet potatoes. Many people are often surprised when they hear Ugandans calling potatoes Irish. I wonder how it started, but well, that’s how we differentiate between the small, tasteless potatoes and the big sweet ones here in Uganda.)
 
Method: Throw the ghee onto a pan. Cut up the onions and dump them into the hot ghee. Let it turn golden brown. Pour in squashed tomatoes (Just put the tomatoes in a bowl, squash them with your fingers). Wait until it has cooked into a paste. Dump in the sliced potatoes, the lentils, and the rice. Add appropriate amount of water. A cup should be okay. Then wait for the cooker to whistle three times, and bingo, you have your meal!
 
Eggy plants
This one is my very own invention. I should get a copyright for it before some chef out there steals it and claims he came up with it. There is nothing easier to cook than egg plants, but these are really tasteless. So what did I do? I added in eggs. Here is how.
 
Ingredients:
4 eggplants,
2 eggs
3 ripe tomatoes
1 onion
2 spoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of boiled rice
 
Method: First boil the rice. Do not bother with any fancy tricks. Put it in a pressure cooker, wait for it to whistle three times, and there you are! Boiled rice. Needless to say, the pressure cooker is a bachelor’s best friend. If you do not have one, go buy it at once. Once you have the rice, now make the eggy plants. Fry the onions in the vegetable oil until golden brown. Throw in squashed tomatoes. The cut up the egg plants into tiny cubes and boil for about ten minutes in a cup of water. When it has turned soft and purplish, throw in the egg and stir. The egg will form a thick paste. You should have the meal ready in less than fifteen minutes!
Many ways to make egg plants look exotic and sexy!
This is Reiza’s cooking. 🙂 And below is my cooking 🙂
 
Groundnut paste, ntula, carrots, boiled rice. Looks yummy!
 
 Stewed sausages.
Another trick of mine. When I’m too lazy to grill or deep fry the sausages, I stew them, often with egg plants, or cabbages, or beans, or some kind of vegetable. They look exotic once served.
 
Ingredients.
1 cup fresh beans (or peas, or any vegetables)
4 sausages
2 tomatoes
1 onion
Pineapples
50grams of butter
 
Method: Fry the onions in butter until golden brown. Squash the tomatoes and add it to the onions. Add the beans (or peas, or vegetables). Slice the pineapples into cubes and throw it in. Finally, add the sausages, which you should slice into little round things to make them look different from normal sausages. Serve with rice, or sweet potatoes, or ugali.
Sweet and sour fish at Great Chinese Wall Restaurant Kampala
 Honeyed hot lemon
This one is not a meal, but a drink. It will knock her out, though it’s a soft drink. There is nothing like the taste of honey and hot lemons on a chilly night!
 
Ingredients:
½ lemon
1 litre of water
Honey
 
Method: Squeeze the lemon into the water and bring to boil. Pour into glasses. Drop in honey until the color of the drink is dark, or as much as you like!
 
Ginger warmer
Another drink. Real sexy. Beats the hell out of offering her a soda, or a beer, or even wine. Great for a chilly evening.
Ingredients:
½ lemon
1 slice of ginger
1 litre of water
Honey
 
Method: Crash the ginger and put it in water. Squeeze the lemon into the water. Bring to boil. Pour into glasses. Drop in honey until the color of the drink is dark, or as much as you like!
 
Okay, I better stop here, because I’m hungry, just thinking about these things. I need to make supper, and someone is coming tomorrow. She is coming tomorrow!
 
PS: I am a great cook, but when you are in a relationship with a master chef like this Pinoy girl, man you have to stay away from the kitchen. She hardly ever lets me cook for her because I always forget to put in the salt, or I easily get distracted and let the food gets burnt. But she says she doesn’t care if a man can cook or not, what she really cares about is that he should wash the dishes after she has cooked. Hmmm. Gender equality? But that tip I’ll leave it for another blog.
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The Great African Love Bus

 

Welcome to He Says, She Says Sundays! A battle of the sexes. Two different opinions on a jointly enjoyed experience! Have fun reading them both! 

 

He says: 
 
The idea of traveling by bus from Kampala to Mombasa seemed romantic. But I did not know it would turn out to be like something from a Robert James Waller novel! When I mention The Bridges of Madison County, it does not mean I met a forty-something year old farmer’s wife who was looking for Prince Charming. I had a princess right by my side when I set off from Kampala. But with all the cameras dangling on my neck, I did feel like a younger version of Robert Kincaid who is courageous enough to steal Francesca from the sexless and passionless farm, and that dreary life in Madison County, and run away with her to live as wanderers, not knowing where tomorrow will find us. 
I did not think of that analogue as we set off, but twenty four hours on the road made me think of that fictitious NatGeo photographer. And there being very few toilet breaks, it seemed even longer. It was the longest bus ride I had ever taken in my life. But the decision not to fly was a good one, because for a tenth of an air ticket, I got the adventure of my lifetime and a free safari through the game parks of Kenya!
 
We took Queen’s Coach, which turned out to be the real deal. It was much more comfortable than we had imagined. It was squeaky clean, air-conditioned, and the seats were spacious comfortable. We got a feeling we were in a plane. It set off at 8 pm on the dot, the speed was steady, the driver careful. We wished it was taking us all the way to Mombasa. They even served snacks on board, which completed the illusion that we were on a plane.
 
A food stop on Mombasa high-way
 The princess had packed a lot of food. Pizza, biscuits, rolex (a Ugandan fast food comprising of chapati and eggs), fruit juice, sodas—so much food that I thought we were going to a party! If you want to know why men are from the sun and women are from moon, just ask them to pack a bag for a trip. She insisted we did not need a lot of clothing. “It’s only for two weeks,” she argued. “Take only three shirts.” Wow, what if they get dirty, madam? “We’ll wash them.” I did not fancy doing laundry on a holiday, but sometimes it is hard to argue with a girl. However, I insisted on packing a sweater. “It’s only taking up space!” and I mentioned that traveling at night requires warm clothing. I was proved right. At three am on the highway, the cold bit into our bones with such ferocity that she stole the only sweater she had allowed us to pack! Being a gentleman, I let her have it.
 
Brings me back to the amount of food she packed. It beat my understanding, why she preferred to take so little clothing and so much food. When we got into the bus, the food was practically useless, for the Queens coach staff served us with snacks. Coffee or tea? Cakes? Breads? Soda? We had a whole variety to choose from.
 
And we debated over taking my laptop. She said it was too heavy. But how could I survive for two weeks without my laptop? I tried to point out that if we lighten our load by leaving behind some of that food – of course I did not finish making my point. But I still took the laptop, and she carried it all the way, grumbling about its weight. Poor girl. The moment we reached Mombasa, she was the first to demand using it to update her status on Facebook. I almost said “I told you we’d need it”, but being a gentleman, I simply smiled and let her have her way.
 
Four hours after setting off from Kampala, we stopped at the border town of Malaba. We bought Kenyan shillings from money-changers with unbelievably cheap rates. On the Ugandan side, the customs people were nice and smiley and did not give us any trouble. But on the Kenyan side, they were nice and smiley and wanted a bribe because I had not carried my Yellow fever certificate. Well, not all of them, just this one policeman who was doing some kind of security check. He saw me traveling with a foreigner and he thought he had fallen into a pot of honey. Luckily, Reiza had hers, otherwise she would have been forced to cough up a hundred dollars in bribes. It happened to her once in Nairobi airport. Since then she learned to carry her yellow fever card whenever facing Kenyan custom officials.
 
Well, the toilets in Malaba were awful, and expensive to use, so we decided to take our chances avoided them. Turned out to be a bad idea. We did not get a break again for the next seven or so hours, until we were in Naivasha (or was it Nakuru), when the bus stopped for about an hour. Everybody rushed to the bathrooms, then to a nearby restaurant to grab a quick breakfast. (Again, I asked myself, why all that packed food?)
 
This lady can eat!
Since it was daylight now, the joys of traveling through Kenya by road started to show. First we passed the Rift Valley. The spectacular views were even made more enchanting by the morning mists, with the sun just coming up from behind some distant mountains.
 
Then, just before reaching Nairobi, we passed a game park. Reiza saw her first zebras that morning. She was frozen in a mixture of excitement and shock, as you can see in the photo. She wanted to tell the bus driver to stop so we could get out and enjoy it all, but she restrained herself. It begun to think of the three hundred dollars she paid for a safari to Murchison falls in Uganda. She did not get to see any zebras then! Yet here she was, on a bus, and there were zebras right on the roadside, grazing gently, unperturbed by the bustle of vehicles on the highway.
I did not exactly capture her reaction to seeing the zebras
but trust me, she screamed that everyone in the bus stared!
By the time we reached Nairobi at about 9am, her excitement had trebled. The bus deposited us near River Road. We did not know Nairobi very well, and were wary of muggers, but we managed to find a bus to Mombasa without much trouble. We picked Mash Poa at random, and it was comfortable enough. Though it had no air-conditioning, which on the road to Mombasa is necessary because we passed through arid areas with the temperatures at nearly 40 degrees, we at least could open the windows. 
 
The road to Mombasa had more surprises that made her squeal every mile or so, much to the bemusement of the other passengers. However by this time, we were starved of sleep, and were wishing we had rested in Nairobi before proceeding. It being only about eight hours from Nairobi, we thought we could handle it. But we made a wrong decision of setting off from Nairobi at 11am, first because we were on the road in a bus with no AC when the heat of the day was at its worst. A night journey would have been friendly, but that would mean missing out on game. We saw more zebras, and this time giraffes as well, but the best of all sights were the red elephants of Tsavo. We saw three of them standing by the roadside. The bus was too fast, and by then our reflexes was dulled by exhaustion, so we failed to take the photos. We had to content ourselves with the images of the red elephants being burned into our brains for the moment.
 
Of course, they are not elephants.
But you see my point about animals by the roadside.
We reached Mombasa at about 6pm, and our second mistake struck us. We should have timed our departure from Nairobi properly. This was Friday, and we ran into the worst jam I’ve ever experienced. It took us more than two and a half hours to get into Mombasa town from its outskirts. By that time, after more than twenty four hours on the road, all I wanted was to sleep. I nearly cried in frustration, and in pain for I was dying to pee, but there was nothing we could do other than endure. We finally took a taxi to Nirvana Backpackers and at least the accommodation there was so comfortable we fell asleep before we knew it.

Even before we became an item, Dilman and I were tickled by this idea of a road trip around Africa, filming our experiences along the way in the hopes of baking a mean documentary and whipping a bestseller. You know, two strangers travelling together for six months. Will they fall in love or beg the gods to not let their paths cross ever again? Weave in the inter-racial thread in the picture, and you get yourself a money-making venture, people!

 

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