Published in the Daily Monitor: http://www.monitor.co.ug
This story puts new meaning into the phrase “People are watching”.
Once upon a time, I had a bar I used to frequent where I enjoyed a cold crisp beer. This bar was located deep inside a busy neighborhood and I had to pass by several shops and homes to get there.
One day I was in another bar waiting for someone who was going to stand me up. I was halfway through my first drink when a man unexpectedly joined me at my table.
“Hello!” he said.
“Hello?…” I asked.
“You don’t know me”, he said. “But me I know you”.
“Okay…”, I waited.
“I know for example, that you’re a very serious person”.
“Really?”. What a nice gentleman.
“Yes!”, he exclaimed. “Me, I know how to read people. I have observed you for some time and I know you’re a serious person”.
I had just received the third memo at my job at the time (something to do with laziness) and was waiting for the ax to fall down on my neck. My spirits were understandably low so it was really very nice for someone, even a stranger, to tell me I looked serious.
“Uganda needs more young women like you”, he continued.
Oh, this was just what the doctor ordered.
“Can I buy you a beer?”, I asked. The fellow deserved a drink.
“So, how do you know me again?”, I asked as his drink was delivered.
“Well”, he started. “I couldn’t help but frequently observe you in such and such an area going in such and such a direction”.
I paused mentally. This guy was talking about me going to the bar after work.
“You always walked straight ahead, and very quickly”.
Quickly walking to the bar.
“The look on your face was always very focused”.
Focused on the bar.
“If I may ask, what work is it that you do in that area?”, he inquired.
The lies I told him that evening!