By Timothy Bamwita, Uganda:
It is arguably said: hydrogen and stupidity are the most common and freely available elements roving over mother earth, regardless of your location: whether in the more liberal Americas or strict Islamic Asia, you will surely collide with both. In my opinion, of course the latter stands far unrivaled and more available an element than the former. In the past, before I set out to the desert in search of greener pastures, my friends and I were not any different from the ancient Greeks. The ancient Greeks are known to have had celebrations and festivities spanning for weeks. To crown it all, they often dug vomit-arias to store their puke for the overly fed. How ludicrous could that entire specter have been! Like I said, we were not quite different: except for the formidable vomit-arias that survived being initiated especially at the acme of our usual weekend merriments; some of which involuntarily spiraled into the new week. I recall quite how jargons like: It is going to be bloody; young and successful, let's go hooting and many other zany expressions you associate with a horde of beer thirsty chaps were born.
But as the Economic turmoil set in, modesty dictated that we make ourselves less available in beer halls and concentrate more on overcoming the recession. This meant focusing on our different occupations and sharpening our business acumen as a group. Our weekends degenerated into a series of meetings (at a point they were more than Microsoft's) as we tirelessly planned against the evil of poverty. In many instances, we registered success. However, as they say “to err is human”, the group was no exception either. In our social mathematics, we forgot to deal with the variable called Lifestyle. In our separate ways, we carried on our partying individually without the team. Certainly it was less “bloody” but the encounters at such lonesome partying meant you break the news of a possible arrival of a “better-half” so as not to get the team off guard or worse still, collide with a team mate. So intersections were surely unheard of, unless otherwise.
I must note that many-a-time at the regular meetings, we realized that we had less interaction about our personal lives and we were drifting apart save for our business comradeship. As usual, the meetings were held at our homes or places more convenient and easily accessible. At our homes, hospitality meant providing lunch and a beverage (usually beer) to wash the sumptuous meal down the throat. And in the “convenient” places (which meant bars- usually Club Five, Makerere); placing an order of porridge called for sheer public ridicule. So from a bottle to several, we often left with our heads bent and feet heavy. I wonder how we almost managed to convince God not to lead us into temptation let alone delivering us from evil; for we were just waltzing with the devil. We seemed to grow more comfortable with the fact that less had changed about our lifestyles much as we had initially openly vowed to. I recall, we collectively agreed to drive less fancy cars for their economy on fuel and general maintenance but we all seemed to like and appreciate the finer things life offered. It was like tearing a part of you from oneself! Invariably, the lifestyle ate into our diminutive savings as we quietly pledged to God to reduce our misdeeds whilst asking for his benign guidance. It indeed called for divine intervention. Some were seen to succeed at it with a series of backslides while others just didn't try at all.
So when life threw lemons at us, we took hard decisions and squeezed them on ourselves; forcefully awakening us and throwing us in different parts of the country and world; to places more fruitful at career development vis-à-vis financial prowess. Looking back now, our comradeship is stronger despite the distance and the fact that we miss each others' company. I know of nobody who has not revised his lifestyle and I am envisaged to think that the hydrogen in the beer and stupidity out of a drunken stupor often times clouded our judgment. Everything is done reservedly!
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