Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Busing Uganda Style

Grabbing my bags before I could even protest, questionable bus attendants ushered me to the bus park at the same time demanding to know my destination. Stumbling past crowds of people, trying to keep up with my now fast-moving luggage, I struggled to keep up. Pushing me into the front seat of the big green Link bus, the attendant instructed me to wait the nearly three hours in the plastic covered seats as sleepy faces gradually filled in the gaps.

The Buganda Bus Park is home to most major long distance bus carriers and eager attendants sometimes get a little overbearing. Fights among them often break out with the customer caught in the middle. This is no place for the faint of heart – know where you’re going, know which bus line you need, and hold on to your bags. More importantly…know what time your bus departs.

I arrived at 6:00 am that morning sure of the 7:00 departure, based on past experience, only to find that the bus I needed was scheduled to depart at 9:00 am. Of course! Oh well, the early arrival gave me the opportunity to change buses three times and to allow one particular bus attendant to pave the way for me at each change. Eventually, he invited me for tea which would have meant leaving my plastic throne behind…and perhaps the bus departure as well. I remained.