On a typical Kampala day, when your thoughts, meditations; and work have become unfathomable, when the afternoon has gotten way too hot, and the traffic jam-packed, one will be urged to find an awesome place to chill out.
Sauntering into Ban Cafe, housed in the Oasis Mall, is not a poor option. The architectural and interior design done on the French windows and furniture comprising of darkly vanished coffee tables, with cushioned vintage styled seats giving it a “Mad Men” look is so perfectly done that it leaves nothing to be desired.
This comfort gives one the ability to have a view and make observation of vehicles and people checking in and out of the mall irrespective of whether it is casually or otherwise which is just fine as one winds down the day.
People from all walks of life tell of its cosmopolitan nature. There is so many faces, but all so different. Familiar, happy, and a few, apparently, disappointed ones, all pondering over issues unknown to many.
“Dalmations” of pretty missuses munching on some lettuce, BFF’s, GF’s, BF’s, odd bods, expatriates, Goans, cushites in polo tees, and either khaki pants or hot pants, all talking so much that if they were to write it down, authors and publishers would derive utmost gratification from them, are all welcome. The cafe does not discriminate in anyway.
A newspaper in a pair of hands, a novel in another, a hearty laughter and an exchange of banter in another corner in a language too alien for me to fathom are worth note.
Over and through; in my opinion, the mark of all societal embarrassment, Blackberries (why do people even own them?), conversations go economical when marginal utilities and diminishing returns turn into topics. For others,
Tablets and headphones are more than just it. It is the information and sound engineering that matter.
And then suddenly conversations dropping on you from above will draw your attention and enable you to appreciate the beauty of the ceiling the upper section of the cafe makes over your head.
Even with their evident alertness, signalling to the waitress is quite problematic. Like most who ply her nature of trade, she is not any different. Always so too very “laissez-faire” when taking and delivering orders.
For a typical native, when the table is finally set, the winning and dinning experience maybe quite problematic considering that the dishes and drinks are extremely foreign. And be certain, there is so much one can enrich themselves with other than coffee and skewers. Undeniably, optical nutrition too is guaranteed.
And at the magic hour, when I look through the window, watching the sun go down, questions linger in my mind like “Oh, is she a simple Kampala lady with a bizarre sense of fashion or a lady of the night trying to conceal her identity?” All I know is that with that kind of nature of dressing, there exists a very thin line.
And that roving eye from the walkway into the rest of the mall, wishing it could be part of what it thinks is a movie. Damn it, it must be my cue to vamoose.
At the end of it all, it is the same old Kampala, with its business running like ever before.
Note: This is inspired by the events, sights, and thoughts from an August 17 afternoon as I enjoyed the exhilarating ambiance of Ban Cafe, Oasis Mall, Kampala.