Thursday, 31 May 2007

Uganda in London

It is just another ghetto as everywhere else.
Here they will import African culture to survive.
Everybody know each other, but there are things, that can't be said aloud - and it is crusial, when you have to decide to stay another night or move to a different hotel.
There is no time to wait.
If you wait a little bit longer, then he will properbly solve the problem for you. I know that it is my fault. I brought him in this situation. But know when I am in London, why do I have to help other people? I left Kampala to escape these responsibilities - to be independent.
Here is a white man, why doesn't he just pay my bill?

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Lost forever gone

I'm walking without direction. Trying to find a place to rest. There is always a wind that bothers me or somebody talking, which scratches against my brain.
The first time I went so far away as I have been again, I was lost to solitude. This time I'm just lost. There will be no way back. My life as I thought is definitively over.
Many times in between I have been going to the borders of my comprehension. So I believed that I was prepared for the challenge that I blinded myself into, but if you only go to the borders, then everything you see is already integrated in you. Still you will meet the unknown, but you will be yourself later.
This time I went so far away, that I lost everyting I knew. I didn't see anything ressembling myself. I became alienated from myself. I died. The man I became was not me. He was my enemy, and he did kill me in the end.

1/12 05 Enjoying

This is what I want - people to enjoy themselves and have a good time. It is not me talking, but a women I know. She says something like this about the audience she wants in front of every time. She wants them to have fun. I am happy that the computer expert in Nakulabye is reading me whereever I am traveling. One day he might tell us about 'africa online'.

25/11 05 Internet in Africa

We thought that the internet would liberate and democratise the world and give specific advantages to the third world, because they could skip steps of technology. It turned out not to be true. It is not because, as always before, any new market every new commodity everything will be capitalised. It is because the mayority of the world can't afford using the internet. They have no real access. It is a surprise because anywhere you go there are internet cafés - like Coca Cola they have spread world wide (web). So it means that everyone has access to the internet - we think. In a way they have. To really use the internet you will have to be online for a longer time, and it is only we in the west and the north that can afford it. There are only a small group in the third world that can afford to be online to such an extend. We are talking about surfing on the internet or chatting. Imagine you are on an old fashion internet connection. I am talking about the situation where you are waiting up to 5 minutes just to get into your yahoo account. So you need to use very long time, and it will be expensive. You end up only checking your e-mail. We don't consider that using the internet anymore in our part of the world. So this is exactly waht most people manage to do checking their e-mail only. Even if you have enough miney to sit in the internet café for several hours, then you still end up only checking e-mail and writinmg a few quick ones. It is the structure that hits you when the clock i ticking. So not even I will really use the internet undersuch condition that are offered to the mayority of the world, though I theoretical have the possibility. I am not part of the mayority, but I have friends that are more normal than me. Some of them live in Kampala. I will try to describe for you how they can use the internet. First you need to realise some basic conditions. There are the women who only have 7 years of school if they are lucky. Not because there was no money for her, but because the family choose to give the boys propers educations and she was sacrificed. So today she writes bad and very slow. Then we have men with basic jobs or no jobs at all. If they are lucky they will get 150.000 Ugandan shillings (approx. 80 US$). Half of it will go to paying house rent. The house is two rooms for a whole family plus some extra relatives. The kitchen is outside on the ground. The bathroom is a shared pit latrin. Most of the remaining money goes to feeding the family. The man will work to save money. Transport is quite expensive. One hour in an internet café will cost you 2000 shillings so it is not very often you can afford to do that. So using the internet on a regular basic is not optional. If you do, it means to sacrifice daily needs.

22/11 05 Email reflexions

We all now about them. We get them in huge numbers every day. In the beginning many years ago I welcomed them. It was like writing letters again. I was glad to have been locked into that silent intimacy again away from telephone calls during the day.
Very quickly I realised that you have to be careful what you write. You have to think carefully about the words you speak when they are so fast to post. All the time you used to have on the way to the red mail box made you thionk about a lot of things. I guess that all the years in the phone I forgot about thinking about the cause you can make. The whole idea of posting your letter as soon as possible and to respond just after reading what you recieve might be all wrong. Now here are so much noise in my box.
At some point I thought that I could use the e-mail for performative actions. That was after I already had contributed to increase the amount of e-mails in space. I was already fighting for getting attention. We all have our projects to carry out. I knew that I would never be able to compete in numbers so I tried to write e-mails that were supposed to be different and thereby get attention. At first they were just advertisements for cultural events. I tried to write e-mails that were tempting and appealing. They aimed to ressemble the event they were announcing or be events themselves. It became an obsession. Later on I realised that I had become dependent on such writing.
The interesting thing about hosting a mailinglist or a mailservice is that you suddenly have become something. You are no longer just a person. I did not think about before the recipients of the mailservice began to address me in plural. It surprised me because I thought I was only myself.
In Africa everybody knew I was a person, though they were sure who I was. This is provoking when we speak about sex. We want to know who was having sex with a multiple number of black women. Do we have to be provoked? Was it this just simulation? We like ficion and find documentary usefull, but everything in between make us feel uncomfortable. I tried to use my experiences from announcing events in Copenhagen when I came to Africa. I did what many people do, when they are away from home. We write letters to our friends and familly back home. So I did it too. I just choose to expand my family a little bit. The peculiar thing about hosting a mailinglist is that you tend to forget who you are writing to. You have a blur impression about a number of people, but their personalities mix and evaporate. It gave me a freedom to write but it is not good to have unlimited freedom, when you write. Once in while I received reactions, and I am very thankful for them, because apart from being thought provoking they also framed the space I was writing in. I became aware to whom I was actually writing to. I was always very surpriced to receive that particular reaction from that specific person. Sometimes I would get comments from one of my best friends, but other times I recieved an e-mail from somebody I had not heard from in many years. I was very excited about these reactions, because we want dialogue. The type of e-mails I wrote were not open to interaction. It was difficult to find a way to speak to me. There are limits to e-mails – surpise. I understand why my type of e-mails have limitations, but maybe e-mails as such are also difficult as a tool for dialogue. If an e-mail is directed only to you, then you will feel obliged to respond, but otherwise you will just take it into account and continue with your other business. To be obliged is not a very good motivation. I never expected any response to these e-mails, but I just had the urge to communicate what was going on. We all have imagination, but some of us has it to an extend so it needs a form of expression. Mine was the semi-fictional mailinglist named Paradise Lust. The name it self was not so important, but when I came up with the name it was crucial. Lust was obvious. I had been reading many book about lust until the point of no return. The end of virginity after 120 days. I don’t know about paradise. Milton’s book Paradise Lost plays an important beginning. There was a lady seducing me with her interpretation of the devil outside the gate to paradise. She is one of people who learnt me how to think.
Paradise Lust has died and I miss it – I don’t know yet, if I have a substitute that can satisfy me.

22/11 05 Continental Breakfast

I live in the borderlines of is somthing to Uganda we get broken tea after 9 o' Northern Mexico I get a lot of chili to my frijoles and ride out in the desert listening to Vicente's Latvia they speak russian and feel free at the same russian is as good as Indonesia I meet a women who gives me massage but she does not write back...Roberto Barrios does not exist anymore...I think about you.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

18/11 05 It takes time

Now I know what it is like. It takes time to know how much time is comsumed and if you live in a big house with staff to do everything for you, have an European toilet and a kitchen with a fridge - then you might never know.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Transfer complete

I have now transfered, what was still available. A lot of text from 2006 has been lost. In previous lives I have learnt, that what is lost, is lost - nothing to do. But also what is really important has peculiar tendency to re-appear later under mysterious circumstances.

26/3 07 The Library (cont)

To my newer readers I shall provide a short summary. I have not yet approached you with this story. To my older readers I apologise for this repetion. Although even in a short compressed version there might be additional knowledge due to the power of words. What we usually call the cracks of language. The summary will squeeze hidden experience by sucking these small and thiny pockets.
In Tanzania I met a man working for the Danish Foreign Ministry. At the time I was wondering why these state advisors seem so much more reasonable and sincere than all the NGO people who are supposed to be critical and progressive but are not. I began to queston the intention of my NGO employer.
I never knew his name and we did not meet again. We only shared dinner one evening. He spoke to me and I to him. When he learnt that I was going to Kampala he felt the urge to tell about a book telling the colonial history of East Africa. He could not remember the exact title or even the name of the author. He supposed that the title is “The Elucrative” written by a British man. The name of the author is perhaps Smith. He ensured me, that I would be able to find it in any bookshop, when I would arrive my destination in Uganda. I have been looking in every bookshop Kampala and asked everybody, but there is apparently no sign of such a book. Finally I discover the library at Makerere University. I have been misled, because my employer from the beginning insisted that there are no libraries in Kampala or Uganda for that matter. Therefor I did not think of the library. It was a coincident. A man in the University Bookshop suggested that I could go to the library. I must remember to thank him. I walked through campus. Such a space used to be mine but I left it because it was necessary. Now I had coincidentally returned. I felt at home and knew exactly what to do. It was not the only time I went there, and in the meantime I discovered the correct title and the authors full name. I went to one of the bookshops in town and rapidly the man went to shelf and found the book to me. I was so disappointed. It was a paperback edition from 2001 and published by Penguin. I did not want to buy it out of protest against bad rapping. Suddenly it was so easy. This destroyed the mystery I had been building up. Therefor I will keep on pretending a search for a book without traces and this led me back to the library for a second time. This time I was determinated to achieve my goal. That very day I will conquer the book with magical soul. Before targetting my eal business in the library I wanted to repeat my first visit. It is possible that I missed something and so I approached the index. I found the reference to my mystery on the same little card and with this knowledge I walked around on the floor. Of course I knew that I was supposed to go upstairs, but you never know if there was a hint below. You must never assume anything. It will hunt you down. There is no structure that can help you search and no matter how many concepts you develop you still find the good answers by coincidence. In that sense there are no shortcuts or as a former colleague once said to me. Life is one long road filled with an indefinite row of detours. When reaching the reference section I thought that I might be lucky but you can never rely on such hopes. It would have been too easy not even having to walk the stairs. Of course I was looking for any kind of shortcut to my destiny. The staircase was there in front of me. I knew the way already, but still it felt like an unknown adventure. So I walked the stairway to the next level.
I was upstairs. Everything looked the same. I tried to repeat my previous struggle towards the section for history books. Also here I saw no change. Since I previously was a Historian, it should not have been a surprise to me. Things does not change very much seen in a broader perspective. Here was still a lot of dust. Being in Africa I have already become accustomed to dust everywhere. Still it bothers me to see these books covered with reddish powder. It is not so easy for me to pretend that I was never here before. I know what will happen. The fact that I have already bought the book somewhere else and even read it cannot slip my mind. I am just simulating to look through the bookshelves.
Downstairs there is something that I deliberately have been ignoring as an act of my colonial behavoir. Already the first time I was in the library I noticed the computers. They were in a seperate room. I consciously decided that these computers did not exist. I acknowledged their presence but concluded without inquiry that they could be of no use for me. I was sure that the books in library were not digitalised. We can regard it as symbolic blindness. It is when somebody sees something without taking it into account. I did not grant the computer room any value. On the other hand I instinctively used digitialisation as a measurement for development. Something I have not necesarrily done, when I have found myself in libraries in Europe.
Also I have ignored the fact that most of the books in the library where stored in restricted areas called African Section. In order to access the books in this section you need to be a registered member of the library. I never registered, because you had to pay a fee. As a foreigner you had to pay a considerably higher fee in US dollars. I had hesitated to do that to keep my local identity in shape. I am sure that the books in the African Section are in a much better condition, but I have never observed it myself. I could in this way protect an important conclusion of mine about East Africa. Here people don’t read very much. One structural reason is that many are poorly educated, but more importantly the culture is organised through oral interaction. Therefor books are not highly valued. The library was in my eyes just a symptom.
I kept coming back to the library. In between my visits to the library I was thinking of proposing a project to improve the condition of the library. I even talked it over with a number of people. They all incouraged me to do something about. I thought that I could help to digitalise the material in the library. One day when I returned to the library, there were a lot of computers sponsored by Uganda Telecom. I could not help feeling a slight disappointment in my heart.
Nowadays I an sitting in a slightly different library with a view of the harbour front. The soft snow of Febrary is waving to me. I am reading about the railroad. The story is kind of dry and have a touch of old fashion documentary. The reading room gives me pleasure and put focus to my thoughts. The book is first edition with beautiful drawings. I try to prolong the legend.

25/2 07 Patience

when they can hide in the jungle for 8 years...
when his grandmother can walk 6 km to the nearest town every day...
when they can walk barefoot in the rain for 5 hours...
...then I can wait to understand the woman I love.
I will be patient.

29/11 06 Forgotten books

I went without my books. In the beginning I was terrified and did not know how I would survive. After some time I remembered when I lost my diary long time ago. I began feeling the same relief as I did with the diary. All my stories in the diary had gone and it made me feel free. I realised that by forgetting the books I am always carrying with me I had been freed from my own anticipation about what I am supposed to do here. I could choose to live without books and walk not guided by maps. Apparently I have been building up some kind of dependency so I went to buy one map of Kenya in the same bookshop that I have been in before. The old Indian man is still behind the counter. It is in the middle of the business area in Nairobi. Opposite one of the europeanised coffee shops. I did survive.

29/11 05 Internet right here

What do we want with the internet? - why are we online?

Blogging is still only one way. Yes, you can write comments, but it does not come close to dialogue. It is my space. Internet is not about communication. We perform on the internet and express ourselves. When we write e-mails, we don't expect an answer, because an e-mail is a statement.

Sms and chatting is more like it. We were talking about the internet.

Let's face it - we publish ourselves on the internet. My interest in the internet is I, not we. So far have we come. There is a striking parallel between the development of internet and real life - or I should say Television. In the Television we see an explosion of socalled reality shows and contests where you can compete to become a star. Not because you are good at something, but because you are as bad as everybody else.

The structure of the internet has opened for this focus on everyday life as a public issue. I am not sure if the internet also is responsible for the performance of individuality, though the emphasis on everyday life bring you and me into the public agenda and interest. We are in the midst of such an identity crest every single day. It could be me - it will be you.

This is the superficial realisation of the welfare state - everyone have opportunity. We all have the right to win. It is the surface, because we all know who are the real winners, though everybody get a chance to succeed on one level. We have invented class division and exploitation inside the peculiar state of equality. We want to believe it.

Along the road we gave up on structure and decided that I am more important than we. We became personal and ordinary, but in a conceptual way - in the right way. We are competing to be slopy dressed in a fancy way. We struggle to be ordinary in a cool way. We have to be personal in a creative way.

So how far have we gone from dressing up to Sunday evening promenade?

22/11 05 Blog

Well, I have began a blog. Some of my male friends that know more about using the internet, than I will ever do, told me that I must have a blog, so I had to do it. It took some time – I admit it. My blog is still a hidden secret, I know, but I am slowly getting there, I think. Getting where? That is my question.
Where do I want to go? – and how can I go on blogging?
I thought we could have some dialogue after years of arrogance in Africa. It is the same thing, I thought, just with interaction. I was wrong. It is nothing like writing an e-mail. You don’t feel that you do anything. When I write an e-mail, I send it out of my out-box, and it is received in your in-box – that is what I must believe. On my blog I just put text by text. They don’t go anywhere. I have problems publicising my blog, and when you know about it, I must be active and interesting. Otherwise you will leave me alone – tough.
My first problem was to write to my blog (oh, that is who I am writing to nowadays), but now am I writing. Then I was confused about how to tell, that my blog was there. We are back on mail, but I can’t write the same in e-mails as on the blog. Then I would have gone no where. So I try to write mails about something else and put a link on my signature.
Do they go to my blog?
Do I care?
Does it matter?
If somebody go to my blog, then all the troubles begin. I have to entertain you, very quickly, every time, in the way you prefer, in the moment you choose to be there. It it so complicated.
I wish I was back on mail. Do I?
The difference is that with my previous mailservice I created momentarily directions in space. We can call them ‘corridors of sense’, while right now I am building one space.
Me, who don’t like to go to the same place twice. She says that she wants an audience, but do I want audience? I don’t need an audience as long as I am doing the right thing. I must concentrate on my lifeline and not get confused about what other people might think. I need to combine blog and mail. On blog I am myself. I do what I want, and I don’t think. Through small e-mails I shall attract your attention. I am daring. I flirt with you. A blog is a private spot, which an e-mail can never be.

21/11 05 Africa does not know imperialism

All accomplishments in Africa cannot be traced.
In Europe war was always about conquering new land and making sure that the future will remember you.
African wars are not about land. They are between clans.
So they are about power? No!
They fight out of honour and pride - they need to fight for respect.
Something Europe has forgotten about a long time ago.

17/11 05 The world of only ONE solution

When I talked about "only one solution" I did not refer to a final solution. I am not claiming that their is one real solution. I am refering to the lives of millions of people - the mayority of the planet. Very many of them live the life - the only life - they can choose. They don't know about the conception of choice. It does not exist for them. They live the only life they can live. This is what I am talking about, when I invite into the world of only one solution. I want us to look at the world as a place where many people are trapped in their lives. They know that it is not leading anywhere, but they can't do anything different than what they are already doing and this is how we need to understand them.
I will try to introduce you to some peple I know, which I believe live in their only possible solution. They are poor in a way, some of them very much, others seem to be able to move but it never happens for some reason. Don't judge them - look at them. Regardez-les. I met this kind of people all my life, but I did not think about them in this way before three years ago. Therefore the examples come from Africa. This does not mean that it is an African phenomeon.

Better Fortune:
I call her that – maybe out of a wish that her destiny would have been different. She is young lady. She was very smart dressed and sitting in a bar with her friend. I notice her clothes and ask her about it. She tell me that she buys her clothes in Gardens City. For those who are not familiar with shopping in Kampala I will give you directions. Garden City is one of the newer shopping centres. This is the place everybody will say they go all the time, but very few actually go there. It is not very accessable without a car and expensive, which is part of the attraction. Besides they have fixed prices which is not a very easy thing to deal with unless you are taken there by somebody who is going to pay for your expenses. My friend and I went out dancing with Ms. Better Fortune and her friend. We had fun, but when I wanted to drop her before going home to sleep she cried like a little baby becuase I did not want to bring her with me home. I was chocked but forgot about it the next day. I kept meeting her around in different bars where prostitues and other opportunistic girls hang out in the evenings. It was obvious that her friend was already a full time prostitute, but I did not take it into account, maybe because I wanted to believe that Better Fortune was a nice girl that just were going out with her friend on Saturday night. One evening I meet her in a bar where some of Kampala’s most sloppy prostitutes come. I am just talking to her. Suddenly a man whispers something to her and looks towards the dance floor. In the next moment she has disappeared. I am wondering what happened to her. I see her sitting by the dance floor as if she is waiting for something to happen. She is. A white man approaches her and starts talking with her. They dance and she kisses him and after a very short time they are leaving together. I am sure now. She is working here. She is not a bad girl and not very different from anybody else. I have seen it happen many times. They all start out going to small bars to drink. Always with a friend that is already down the road. Slowly they get tempted to do the same. It can’t hurt if he will give me money. I will only do it, if I want to - but it will change. Suddenly she is in business and there is no way back. You might think that she must have other options, but what shall she do to get a life. She did not go to school. She does not have any money to invest in a more proper business. This one only need her body – it is true that the costs are big in the long run, but in the beginning everything is nice and easy. Meanwhile you will dream of the man who comes to take you away – far away – to his castle in another world. She still has the option of staying at home. Then there will be a man to get her pregnant and then run away with other women and this is what Better Fortune is trying to avoid. They are many. I am not saying their judgements are right, but they live in “the world of only one solution”.
Your question should not be if she has another option, but how you will meet her.
Will you try to understand her?
Can you excuse her?
Are you giving her the benifit of doubt?
To be continued...

12/11 05 White intellectuals

Today I went to the University, which happens very rarely. There were times where I thought I belonged there, but eventually I changed my mind. It was another white intellectual pretending to speak about problems of Africa. It has become a burden for me. They don't know shit.
They are always very famous so everybody will applause and Ms Noreena Hertz will be a role model for a lot of young white intellectual women and I am not going to take this away from you. I had the same kind of problem a couple of months ago with Mr Michael Hardt. He is just sampling philosophical thinking from the last decades. They all want to save Africa, but they don't have a clue. We all know the figures of how many people who are dying every day, but it will not change the world to tell us again. I am not crying because of 40.000 dying. I cry because I didn't succeed to save my friends life last year and I will punish myself for that for the rest of my life. I know that this is another story. You know if you think you can make a Marshall Plan for Africa then you think wrong. Africa is a fundamental different story and you won't even recognise it. They will welcome you and they will please you, because this is what their culture tell them to do. When you leave nothing has changed no matter what you might think.
There are people and organisations that have been working in Africa for 20 years and they don't understand this simple dynamics.
Welcome to another day in the world of only one solution.

15/11 05 intellectual responsibilities

Posted by refuse2bcynical
Well what should they do then? NOT say anything? I have a problem when it comes to cultural explanations vs. direct actions. For instance I met this woman in a swedish university who claimed that the swedish gov. should stop giving condoms to masai people because its AGAINST their culture. I dont agree with that. Culture should be changed, even if it doesnt when u leave. Even if its "violence" on "their" culture. And the "saviour" culture should be changed too. We should be allowed to propose solutions to problems, even those who are not our own. But the methods for doing it should be radically changed. And there should be more condoms, not just in africa, but in copenhagen, san fransisco and everywhere. And capitalism/imperialism/colonialism should be overthrown. The sooner the better. I cannot see anything wrong in trying, at least trying, to propose other alternative ways than those existing.

15/11 05 final solution

Posted by Wondering
What 1 solution? The final one?

25/11 05 Comments

We all want to be seen - so we try to express ourselves. I write. The whole idea is that somebody reads you. How will I know what you think? I am waiting until you will trust me enough to react.
One day I received two comments. This is what gives your life meaning, but what are you going to do with them? Shall I answer? Must I?
I want dialogue so I must respond to your comments. Is this dialogue? I am not sure. It is like receiving somebody in audience. Important people have specific hours where you can come and speak to them. Kings interact with their subordinates in such a way. Today everybody are kings and queens, but this does not leave any space for dialogue. We will receive you and ask you to sit down with us so that you can speak your mind. We will listen to you as we listen to everybody else that comes to talk to us during the afternoon. In the evening we will have forgotten most of it except those of you who spoke our own thoughts.
Welcome to the world of new born autocracy.
I will respond to 'refuse2bcynical' later no matter if my responsibility is intellectual or not.

12/11 05 The woman I love

I will marry this woman because she is the only one of all the women I have known that truly believe in something - she rescued me from being trapped in the small minority I was born into and welcomed me to the world where most people exist. She saved me from a sudden death in a world where nobody seem to feel mercy anymore and offered me a space in her world where every new day is different story.
This is not to offend you. It is not, because it was not real. I don't mean it as a an rejection of what we shared in the past. I am just saying that I never felt like this. It is not a very good explanation and I don't need one. I realised that this is not the time to talk.
She was right when she asked me to watch her and I try to do it. I listen to the astonishment in her voice when she speaks and I feel her temper breathing. Suddenly she talks very fast and looks around and gets very surprised because she is different from anybody else. In eternity she whispers to herself that she can't understand why the other girls fight and yet she sees very clearly.

8/11 05 What did you learn in Africa

What did you learn in Africa today dear little boy of mine?
I learnt that poor men must die. They are sent in the village, even when they get only a flue, and there they die for almost no reason.
I learnt that a white man can't do any difference - not even saving the life of his friend, when he tries to. Here we have other rules, and you will be leaving very soon.

Hey, dear little boy of mine, what did learn in Africa today?
I learnt that white men can only care about a black women they have sex with and never about a black man - and yes, the white man will eventually go away without saying good bye returning to his wife at home if she is still around. So the black women are used to momentarily security. There will always come another man in her world of only one solution.

Dear little boy of mine, what did you learn in Africa today?
I learnt not to tell too much of what I think. I learnt to suspect everyone I don't know very well. I can't even trust my best friend anymore. I learnt to explain my unhappiness by circumstances. In a culture where the truth does not exist it is hard to believe in anything except God.

My friend what did learn today?
Yes mukwano you guessed me right. I left Africa and came back – left again. I did not learn anything. So I will keep coming back until I understand something to honor my promise.
I met a woman who asked me to watch her, but I still ask her a lot of questions, and when she does not know what to answer she begs me not to ask any more questions. On rare occasions she will ask me about something. Then I will begin to talk for a long time to explain what I think. In the end she will tell me that I was only supposed to say yes or no.

“Please be soft on me”

26/10 05 Rules

In the middle of the parking lot I suddenly remembered. It was with big sincerity that she whispered to her friend and classmate. The presumable strong sentence of truth:
- You have to know the rules in order to break them.
I wanted to add:
- Only if you don't now how to rock - if you don't have meaning in your life or dont' have a project of your own. Then you need rules to fill out the empty space between you and the world. During that long time of training you might find yourself. Off course there are no guarantees.
They were attenting a classical music school where the only language accepted was Italian. But how can you allow yourself to speak such words, if you are a 'country' girl trying to get on stage? Some people might say that she succeeded in the end, but maybe they were just relieved that she chose to follow their rules. Yes, she did break them in a way, but we will never know if she found herself.

16/10 05 Julie's Place

I am here again. In the small bar. As so many times before. Mze just walked in. He works in Town and comes here every day around 5.30pm. I have not been here in a very long time so he offers me a drink, silently. We salute each other again. He is a nice man who likes to talk. David - but nobody can call him that in his presence. It is late afternoon. I am sitting in the dark hiding from the strong sun outside waiting for my friend to appear, but I don't mind. I drink another one in the meantime.
She is like Brenda. Shy. Well dressed. Sweet. Drinking a Nile. But it is only a matter of time before she will be hooking. I remember Brenda very clearly. She is a symbol but of flesh and blood. Here are so many young nice beautiful women who end up getting in trouble because they think they only have one solution.
I am crying behind my eyes - so often I have been sitting here looking out on the hot sun imagining the world they have invited me into. Most of the time they are trapped in the world of only one solution.
The bar lady walks in - she bear the same name as my wife - she brings her two years old daugter with her. The daughter is very curious but also afraid of me. I am used to that. The mother was also afraid of me the first time we met. I remember asking for a 'short call' and she was supposed to show me the way to a place where a could take a pee but suddenly she disappeared. Apparently it is too scary to show a white man to the bathroom.

16/10 05 It takes time

Now I know what it is like. It takes time to know how much time is comsumed and if you live in a big house with staff to do everything for you, have an European toilet and a kitchen with a fridge - then you might never know.

16/10 05 Color

It is not about color
only if you think it is
but it can be
and it will disappear.

15/10 05 Resort Beach

Here you never know what willl occur when you leave her out of attention. She might meet somebody she likes or that likes you and life will become pure hell. The risk of being caught seem so near and I haven't even done anything. Infedelity is a way of life on the shore of Victoria Lake. I would never think like this at home - where ever that is. I could very easy feel safe here - but not without money. Though there would always be somebody asking you something. I will continue watching him even when he is my best friend. I will be afraid of turning my back on him at night. After sharing my bedroom with her for over one year I still think about her friends as a danger to my health. My past experiences will hunt me down forever. Once I thought they were nice to me and they were right in warning me - I will never again be able to trust you as before. You will never survive Africa. This time there is not so much to take from me and I think it will make a difference, though I still bear the same color. Yes, I have colored skin - here I'm as dark as you can imagine. So strange after an entire life without color.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

8/9 05 Suicide

I remember I was along in the house. It was summer. I was going through a difficult time. Not that it was very serious taking into account my fairly young age. I was still in highschool. Still you never know what might have happened to me under slightly different circumstances. It was evening time and I was seated in my father’s study, though we also used that place as a second living room. I don't remember the atmossphere as very hard. On the contrary. I had a soft feeling inside. Suddenly I held a knife in my hand. I must have picked it from the kitchen, but I do not remember going to the kitchen. I was sitting down helding the knife in my right hand trying to move it towards my left wrist to cut the artery. There was a tension in the air so I could not come near. I was concentrated about the act for a while. I lost track of time so I don't know for how long time I was doing it, but I remember giving up. I could not cut myself. I have never tried again. I believe that I have gone through more difficulties later in my life and even more severe one’s but never again looked for death as a solution. I often thought about what happened that day in my parents house. Maybe the idea of taking my own life was purely intellectual. My girlfriend and I talked about being in the dark and falling into deep holes of nothingness.
My own experience gave my an understanding for other people’s decision of ending their life, but I realised that it was no solution for me. I have had a few friends that in specific periods of their lives have spoken about suicide, but it never seemed very serious so I was not scared that they would go through with it. I am sure that they meant it seriously at the time, but maybe it was more a cry for help or even just an act of dispair. One time I knew somebody that actually went through with trying to kill herself. She did not succeed. Another kitchen knife failed the mission. It is actually not so easy to cut yourself. The pills in her throat came up on the floor and she chose to make a telephone call. Everything appeared very prepared. She wrote letters to everybody. It does not seem real anymore, but it has marked me with a permament pain. The fear loosing the one I love and death itself has become so painful for me. I was strucked by lightening because I never thought that she could do it. For a long time I was terrified and kept on fearing that she would do it again. Every time I couldn’t get hold of her I would go into a state of insanity. There is specifically one time I remember, when she had gone to visit her parents out of town. I called her constantly for two days and was convinced that she must be dead. The only thing that could ease my mind was calling her again and again. I picked up the phone pressing her number. Waiting. For every time I heard the tone I got closer to explode in dispair. It is ringing. Waiting. After hanging up I am about to go crazy. I can only repeat my phone call. Sitting in my room in the corner as it gets darker outside. I can’t think. I am silent in a way that remind me of death. Coming too soon. It will be too late. Time elapses. She never tried to scare me again. During the years I even believed her, but I can never escape the fear that is inside me. It will stay. Mostly it does not talk to me but it will never die. Recently it has awakened rapidly and terrified my dreams and my bed became cold. I was back in the dark room with the phone calling another women to beg for her life. This time she told me and I didn’t remember the statistics. Do you kill yourself if you begin talking about it or is it the other way around? Now I know but can not reach out. We are not in touch. I keep telling myself that you can cry for help and I will save you, but why do you have to exclude me from your life. In my bed I cried and turned in every possible direction. I could not come to rest. What a price to pay for happiness just to vanish in front of my eyes. For several days I was struggling in my bed. Will she do it? I will never know.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

15/8 05 Dreams

I began to write my dreams in a yellow book from behind, backward and upside down. In front of the small book I had many years earlier been writing poems about women with names I did not even dare to pronounce.
The transcripted dreams became real by resting on the paper in shinny daylight. Dreams with silent shadows of darkness pulling themselves against the curly feather of paper dust. I am trying to withdraw from my gloomy nightmares into the contrast of sunlight.
One day in the sharp glimpse of autumn season I meet a man who claimed that my night dreams will always crible my future deeds. We began to play with the magic of day dreaming. My nightmares ceased to exist. We were constructing castles in sand and travelled around the whole world. Never again was there any paper between us.
We are now sleeping soft and sound during night. The most precious women mention our names and we take them with us in bed every night. Our night dreams have become reflections of victories in life itself.
Good night.

11/8 05 Lamu Island

A woman with shinny hair
blowing in wind
that takes care of her wishes.
She is flying away
along the beach.
The bright breeze
cherishes her.

She is looking back over her shoulder
admiring the man she loves.
He takes her photograph in return
not to remember
he will never forget
only to please her.

The high speed
above the water shield
Her smile trembles
in excitement
suddenly stepping out.
The wind nurtures her skin
in soft silence.
Spray of water
touches her body.
Warm sun
pearls of salt
in her mind.

Only a black woman
in Africa
she is happy
can lean

against his chest.

9/8 05 Kazo

Grandmother is always sitting in the same spot.
She does not want a fence along the road.
Grandfather suggested it out of love,
so she would get peace,
but she wants to shout at everybody who pass on the road.
Grandfather is a small man without many words
he keeps quiet and takes a drink on the way home.
She talks all day.

The eyes smile when I come to visit.
We don't talk together,
because I can only greet her.
She continues talking in a language I will never know.
In between she mentions my Wife's name
and laughs very loud.
Her whole body moves in excitement
finally she points in one direction to show me
my Wife.

Her Grandchild is sitting aside on the Veranda
smiling as only big love can.
Her eyes concentrate
all the moral pride
that runs from her heart.
I know
what it means.
She is silent as Grandfather's steps around the corner.
I have to know what she feels.
Her eyes will never reveal her mind.

Only Equator's sun can make you so beautiful.
It must be the reason for her black shine under my breath
The sun has melted
under the skin on black flesh
fried on the fire from a white man's fly.

Her eyes is waiting for mine.
We know what the waves do
we believe the sweat
we exchanges at night
will link us forever.
We move slowly
as if we know our direction.
There is a lot more
between us

than we will ever find.

4/8 05 Dear Ssebo

Three years ago I came to Kampala. Since then I have heard your music almost everywhere. In the beginning I thought it was a waste of talent – why use a good talent on mainstream pop music, when it could be used for somthing more.
When I arrived I fell into the ditch that many ‘bazungus’ continue to sleep in throughout their stay in Uganda. From where they never learn to understand local music nor appreciate it, because they find it repetitive and therefore boring. I admit that this was also my opinion for some time.

I don’t know why I tried to get up from there. Maybe it was just out of a general curiosity, because for a long time I didn’t get anywhere, though I still decided to stick around. This is what you learn to do very quickly – to stick around – you must stick around if you want to understand anything.

During all this time of ‘thin air’ I realised something about you. It is not so much your music but your talent as a performer that attracts attention and should be appreciated. You are simply a very good performer and this is the reason why many people like you so much. Good performance fit perfectly with the outing culture of Kampala. I also realised another thing. You remind me of somebody. In the months of getting up from the usual ‘bazungu ditch’ I realised that you resemble a leadsinger in a Danish rock band. His name is Nielsen, which is as common a name in Denmark as Joseph is in Uganda. Those of you who know whom I am talking about will get my point, and if you don’t, then let me continue.

You have similar body expressions and the same tendency to jump around on stage inventing your own personal jumps. Therefore both of you are first and farmost popular for live performance and your abillity to move the audience. Many Danes grew up seeing Nielsen on stage every summer and the climax was when he steps forward toward the crowd beginning to pour a bottle of soda over his head, while moving his feet up and down without getting anywhere and shaking his body from side to side as everybody began to get wild. In Kampala the thin man in the expensive white suit lean slightly forward and look down on his fans talking with distinct energy before he moves to another spot on the stage to repeat the gesture. As the energy rise he moves faster and the audience turn into a screaming ecstasy.

I heard that you recently visited Denmark. Unfortunately you did not meet with your nordic twin brother, though I think you should have. Maybe next time. If you notify me, I will see what I can do to make it happen.

Your sincererly, The muzungu ditcher.

4/8 05 White Africans

Some years back I went to Africa. I didn’t know what is was doing. This is what I do once in a while. It has become a habit, though I don’t know if it makes sense. I used to think that going to another continent had a specific purpose. I even talked about ‘out of continent experiences’. He also claimed that he did it for anthropological reasons, but now I admit that it all happened by accident. It was coincidental. I did it by mistake.
In Africa I met a white woman, who called me childish [‘barnslig’] for my birthday indicating that I looked younger than my age. I took it as a compliment, though I never knew if I deserved it. She was Swedish, but grew up in Tanzania. We always refered to her as ‘white african’. It was only later that I began to think about what it meant. She was not the only one.

We have all kinds of names. In Africa it is called tribes to be more specific. It is not because we won’t be a tribe, but we don't think about ourselves as such. We are not very many and only very rarely together like other tribes. We are scattered around and will only meet accidentally. We even identify ourselves being apart. It is our individuality that defines us.

While I was still around, I remember one day, when I was standing alone on the terasse in the big house I was living in and reading the back page of a black book. There is a saying that Africa never will become a habit. You will never get used to Africa. Maybe that is my problem, that Africa began to run in my venes. If you live on colored blood, then you will never forget the eyes you saw and the eyes that touched you. It is for real when a white man, who is married to a woman that grew up in Africa, tells me that I will never recover from Africa. I think he is right. Suddenly I don’t belong anywhere. It is only at night that I can breath. During summer season it is hard, because then it begins getting light around 3.30 in the morning. I realise how little time I have to live my life. It makes me change my mind. The best time to go to Europe is not May. Sometimes I try to mingle – and in order to do that I force myself to sleep at night. In that way I will be awake when other people go to work.

3/8 05 Dear Baduzunguvu

I write to you all today, because I don't know what else to do. It is not because today is any different from all other days. They are all the same. I didn't get enough sleep, came to late up, still dizzy, and there is another text message from one of my past girlfriends. I am thinking of calling her, but I have become so superstitious that I do not dare. I am afraid of what might happen. In generel I have become frightened. I am scared of every step I am about to take. I have stopped to believe in other people. I am jealous of any woman I meet. Everything she does give me pain. She does it on purpose to hurt me. I am trapped in her mistery. She walks to me and begins to hit me. After a while her hands are filled with blood. It is my only defence against her. My blood will infect her and one day make her stop. That is the relief I will wait for. The only hope that can ease my pain. The desire I feel for her is so much stronger than the pain she pushes on my flesh. Tomorrow I will resurrect without her.
Regards from white tarmac roads.

I am back

Dear readers
I have decided to continue from here - hopefully without any lost entries. In the coming days I will transfer older texts from other sites and write news in between. Take care - be aware,