The drive back from Kampala qualifies to be on its own league. I decided to try another bus company so I could compare their services. Nothing wrong with Modern Coast, their VIP and first class seats are awesome for long travel. This time I settled for Buscar. Everyone I asked recommended it, and so I decided, what the hell is there to lose by trying it out? So I booked Buscar on Sunday morning for the 4p.m. departure. A few minutes after 3p.m., I showed up at the bus stop ready to hit the road. I checked with the conductor and he ushered me onto the bus, but my first step inside the bus left me speechless.
For a minute I was lost, because this bus is divided into two by a metal wall fitted with the door. (See the picture below)
Apparently, the VIP first-class passengers do not mix with the regular ticket holder passengers. The only thing that both passengers share in this bus is the main entrance onto the bus. Talk about separation; this is even worse than segregation. I have seen such classification on the planes, but it has not gotten to the level of Buscar. Most often than not, what separates first class and the cattle section is just a curtain, and that the poor are always paraded before the rich. If you never wondered why they board before the rest, now you know. The VIP section of Buscar resembles a movie theatre in all ways; Red carpet, reclining seats, steps so the seats are of different height for better viewing, large screen, home theatre system and low lighting.
After everybody had boarded the bus, the main door and the door that separates the VIP and others was locked. (As my dad always says this world has only two groups; the ones on the top and others, there is nothing like middle class). The conductor served us with water and told us to enjoy the rest of our journey. The TV was turned on and minutes later we were watching a movie as we embarked on our journey. An hour or an hour and half later, the bus stopped along the road where there was a market. Vendors were selling their merchandise and for once, I saw people hawking roasted chicken. I hear it’s a big business in Uganda and all buses stop there so people can enjoy the chicken. 75 percent of the people in VIP were feasting on the chicken and all you could smell was chicken. Minutes later, we were back on the road and the journey continued to nightfall.
Here is where the shit hit the fan about my whole trip. Out of nowhere and in the middle of nowhere, the bus stopped. It was pitch dark outside, and then the conductor voice roared, “short break”, meaning it was time to pee for those who wanted to pee. I didn’t expect much more than people using the dark for privacy to relieve themselves in nature. It felt like 1701 where no one gave a hoot about toilets. Reluctantly, I stepped out of the bus as many had already done, but what I saw will forever live with me. There was a pee-party taking place just outside the bus. Like soldiers on the frontline in the battlefield, everyone had lined up against the bus, both female and male, peeing as if no one noticed each other. For the first time, I saw people who didn’t give a fuck about being seen naked by strangers. As weird as it was the whole thing felt so liberating and free.
The rest of the journey continued smoothly, but I could not stop thinking about how the women would lower their pants while men vigorously shook their penises to make sure no single drop of urine was left in full sight of strangers, who they had obviously met a few hours for the first time in their lives. Secondly about the Ugandan pride, here no one wears second hand clothes, which is a booming business back home. They would rather wear cheap knockoff from China.
I could not help but wonder how life could be if we didn’t place so many limits on it?