When sleaziness is ‘cute’…

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”.


Leslie immigrated to Uganda in 2004. She’s a self employed mum of 1, who can be found blogging about the successes and challenges of life in Uganda at volunteertherealuganda.wordpress.com