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    • Day 413

      Crossing to Uganda

      February 2, 2021 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Before busy Malaba border post I have to pass a truck queue of 20+ km and struggle a lot with the insurance cartel. They all want to sell insurance for a whole year but I just need something for 2 or 4 weeks. Shortly after the border a police officer insists in seeing my Covid certificate but I refuse to search for my well-stored documents and annoyingly tell him that this is ridiculous because without any I apparently would not have been able to cross the border, right? He then wants an explanation on all things in my car which I also boycott and tell him that my car has already been checked by customs and police at the border ten minutes ago and ask him about his purpose of being here at all. He does not want to let me continue unless I "pay him a tea" for 10,000 UGX (2.20 EUR). Instead I hand him an old, brown banana symbolizing politely "go to hell". This he refuses and quickly waves me through. Fighting off corrupt police officers with bananas has always worked until now! I think they find it uncomfortable to be degraded to primates in public.

      In Tororo I buy a SIM card. Due to elections two weeks ago social media services like WhatsApp and Facebook are still disabled by the government. I never understood why they are doing this because Signal messenger and others still work :p

      There is no real campsite around but I find a calm hotel where I can camp in the yard. So far the people are very different than on the other side of the border. Busier, more of them, better/more elegant clothing, louder music, better music, more motorbikes, better motorbikes. And they are not taking any notice of me at all. Neither begging nor greeting. Fascinating contrast! Plastic bags are not banned like in Kenya and Tanzania. They wrap everything in thin, transparent plastic sachets. There are plastic bags flying around everywhere. If not a plastic bag then a torn condom pack.
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