Saturday April 5 2014

Encounters with imprudent expats

By Lindsey Kukunda

I’m not a racist. I have many mzungu friends. But some expats sincerely need to get over the fact that they come from (the so-called) developed nations.

One day, a group of bazungu friends and I offered a ride to an American woman and I was the only Ugandan in the car. She spent the whole ride complaining about Ugandans.

“ I just feel like I can’t really trust them, you know?” She said anxiously. “I just know that everyone wants to like, talk to me and know me and be my friend, only because I’m white. It is so stressful”.
“I only hang out in places that I know have other expats, you know?” She bleated on. “Or I go to places where I know I will not meet the kind of Ugandans that want to know me because I’m white.

Places like Javas. I wish there were more places where I could meet expats like me in this country”.
“Oh, hey!” she eventually cried out. “I have not even asked your name.”
She proceeded to individually shake each person’s hand in the car, and get their names. She skipped me. She literally skipped me and continued to the next ‘white’ person.

She was one of many I was to meet in the future. Consider the friends of this American I was dating.

The time came for me to meet his friends at a special party he was having at his place. He spent most of the time in the kitchen preparing food while I was left to socialise with his pals. I was ignored.
I tentatively approached people and was rebuffed. I tried to say hello and they showed me their backs. In the end, I leaned against a wall, and played with my feet.

I learned, two weeks later, why they treated me so badly.
My beau and I had attended a public function where we met his friend, who I will call Judas. My beau went to get us drinks and as soon as he had turned a corner, Judas turned to me and said, without an ounce of shame.
“You know he does not have any money, right?!”
And no, that is not why he and I did not last very long!