I was driving on Entebbe Road, going to the airport when I was flagged by a traffic policeman. He requested me to give him a ride to a certain trading centre along the way. I obliged.
Once he was in my car, he started with the usual questions Ugandans have of Bazungu. “How do you find Uganda?”; “For how long have you stayed in Uganda?” ;”Have you tried our local chicken?”. No problem.
However, he launched into new territory, asking “Do you have any friends?” Now, having lived in Uganda for some time, I understood his intent, but kept quiet. He then clarified “and now by ‘friends’, I mean those men who know you inside and out”. What was I supposed to say, while speeding down Entebbe Road, trying to avoid cars, boda, pedestrians? I flatly said “Yes, I have friends”. He then said “Might I become one?”
The ride ended uneventfully a few minutes later, and I can truthfully say I wasn’t particularly frightened by this man, but what freaked me out most was on repeating this story to my Ugandan girlfriends, they all laughed and thought the exchange was “cute”.