September 19, 2010

Iganga Town, Uganda

The music meandered from marvin gaye’s sexual healing with a techno beat dropped in, it to shakira’s world cup African anthem. Bubbles O’Leary, one of Kampala’s busiest night spots, was equally diverse.

I spent most of the evening trying not to stare as people mingled inexplicably. I say inexplicably because I can think of no other social situation on earth that would result in the amalgamation of folks gathered together for drinks and dancing on a Friday night.

Old white men, their pale legs peeking out between knee length cargo shorts and black socks, chatted and laughed with exquisitely coiffed black women in short skirts and high heels. Three asisan women, clustered close to the row of windows facing the patio, smiled and danced among themselves. A cluster of  olive skinned men, shirts unbuttoned to various depths (some almost to navel) , one with a healthy ponytail hugging snug to his scalp, attempted a conga line, while another man climbed on one of the dark wooden tables, removed his shirt completely, and danced oblivious to the beat. A south asian man perched on a stool across a narrow strip of wooden table from me, stared at me and my friends unblinking and unapologetically, while a Sikh man sat quietly at the bar.

Clothes varied from prostitute sexy to safari comfortable and everything in-between.

And as foreign as all this seems from a domestic point of view – even with my united colors of Benetton world – this is the expat world. Something about people being thrown into situations where everything is different, where “other” becomes the norm, that makes anything- even marvin gaye with a techno beat – possible.

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2 Comments on bubbles o’leary

  1. becky says:

    you went to bubbles!!! sweeeeet! even if after my first night there, I did not go back.

  2. Jon says:

    Techno + Marvin Gaye = please don’t

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