Umusazi on the Loose

By August 16th, 2014

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.


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