Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Think I'm a Human Tourist

When the thought of getting out of the city for a day or two crossed my mind, I had the option of going anywhere I wanted to go to in Uganda. I decided to go to a place I’d never been to: Gulu.

“There’s nothing to see in Gulu,” a friend told me.

And that’s exactly why I chose the place. I’ve never really been into sightseeing. I don’t really know how to stare wide-eyed, open-mouthed at waterfalls and wild animals. They don’t really get my blood running.

What gives me a rush is watching people.

I love seeing two people, completely in love, who can’t get their hands off of each other. I love watching an irritated bus driver, or a beautiful hotel receptionist who doesn’t know how to smile.

That’s why I’m in Gulu.

This guy with a cart loaded with pineapples spoke impeccable English and had a contagious smile. I had to buy a pineapple from him. The lady at the hotel I’m staying at is so nice and courteous. Even after trying out other places to see if I could get a less expensive room, I ended up coming back to her.

An old Indian woman rode a motorcycle around town. She passed by me a couple of times.

Then the huts. I don’t remember seeing so many huts like the ones I saw today on the 6-hour bus ride. We passed by people who didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get anywhere. They definitely didn’t look like they badly needed the new iPhone coming out next year.

Four barefooted kids in school uniforms waved oranges at us. I guess they wanted us to buy the oranges. But the bus driver didn’t stop.

I lost count of the number of churches I saw on the way. What was interesting was that more than once, I saw a brick church surrounded by mud and wattle huts. At least the gods get revered in this part of the world. I wondered whether the priests can afford bicycles.

And oh! The Gulu Archdiocese has a very beautiful cathedral.

Now I’m in my hotel room, the sun is setting, and it still feels like I’m in Uganda. Northern Uganda doesn’t feel any different from Central Uganda. I can’t wait for tomorrow when I’ll go tour some more.

Human beings are really beautiful.


  1. If I had taken this journey, most probably I would have been asleep through it all. There is something interesting about watching people go through life. And hey, people in Northern Uganda speak amazing English(I don't know why...even the elderly) but it is a great view of people that you let me see...though I still find the animals amazing.