Family & Friends,
I finally put on my big-boy pants and ventured downtown alone to the high-priced Muzungu store in the KCT – Kigali City Tower. Since we don’t use street names KCT is the most recognizable landmark. A week earlier I had spent 45 minutes trying to learn all of the downtown roads on a Sunday when traffic was sparse. Despite the advantages I went down a one-way street like an umusazi on the loose rather than a umusaza (crazy person vs. wise person). Other drivers let me know with African gestures. I hope never to learn what they meant. I shopped for about 45 minutes finding many things that are very hard to find in Kigali. My cashier was ready with the highest-tech machinery found in Rwanda. He scanned my stuff and swiped my card. They could not get my Visa card to work. I bought books on sale. Buy 3, get one free. They had to print out six separate sales receipts. One for every four books! One hour later they finished, but I ran out of cash since I was expecting to use my card. They helped me take the cart to the parking garage. This is the garage where you get a free bomb inspection for your car every visit. Then I remembered I had some cash in my briefcase. Back in I went to get a gift certificate for a newly wedded couple. No one knew what “gift certificate” meant. I tried to act it out, but my charade efforts only made them think “umusazi”. Next time, I thought, I’m going to the small shop near my house. They don’t have anything I want, but I know I can get in and out very quickly.
Rwandan Rookie, G
P.S. I’m raising funds for purchasing African authored books. If you have interest contact me at the email below. Thank you for those who have donated.