Sunday, July 02, 2006

Going back to Kibale

Been stuck in Kampala for two days now, courtesy of those lovely people in Bank of America, who once again decided to block my bank account. They thought it’s a bit weird that I am making large withdrawals with my debit card from some funny place in the world, they most likely can’t even place on the map. Even though, that before leaving the US I mentioned in detail my travel plans for the year – with dates and places where I will be using my card to make withdrawals. After speaking for more than half an hour to several robots and not less than half a dozen people from different departments (all of whom seemed to be interested in my date of birth, names, middle initial and all sorts of other tedious details) I finally regained control of my bank account. Which means that tomorrow when businesses open I will be able to make the arrangements I couldn’t do on Saturday and get on the bus going west towards Kibale Forest.

On the plus side of this slight delay – I am now in a place called Backpackers in Kampala – which, even though the rooms are plugless and they don’t give you towels, is like paradise. Especially compared to the ‘guest house’ that we had to stay last night – that had architectural features typical of prison buildings I’ve seen in Mafia films and a clientele to match. Backpackers, on the other side – is remarkably well kept, has a bar that is open till 1.30 am, a pool table (even though I don’t play pool, it’s nice to know that it’s there), a variety of outdoor seating facilities, really hot showers, delicious food, Internet connection and bikini-clad blond English girls sunbathing on the lawns, rubbing lotion onto one another, and running around doing aerobics later on in the afternoon. Oh, there are some vervet monkeys here, too.