Monday, February 2, 2009

How’s Vancouver?

Ok, this story is kinda weird, but you have to bear with me for some explanation. Ugandans have a question that they ask you; "How's Uganda?", which means 'how do you like Uganda?'. It has lots of regional and situational variations, so "How's Kampala?" or "How's UJV?" would be equally as appropriate. It can sound odd at first, as in 'why would someone from Uganda ask you how Uganda is'?

Anyhow, last night we ate a really good dinner at an excellent restaurant in Kampala called the Tuhende Safari House that features grilled meats with fresh salads and sides. The meal was done we were paying the bill when Sammish, the owner, asked me "So, How's Vancouver?", and then quickly corrected himself, "I mean how's Kampala"? We were all shocked, did he ask about Vancouver? How did he know we were from Vancouver? Few Ugandans have ever heard of the city. I asked him how he could know such a thing and his response was that he could tell from my accent, and then he proceeded to admit that, though born in Uganda, he'd had lived in Vancouver for 35 years, and had just moved back here. We had a conversation about home and how bad the weather was there.


  1. Nailed by your accent!? Funny how we don't think of ourselves as accented speakers of the English language but, of course, we are.
    This is one good reason to travel; darn good wake-up call.

  2. When I moved here years ago people used to ask me "how's The Netherlands?" and I would always answer with "it's quite flat and the grown ups drink a lot of coffee." I really thought they needed my literal opinion and had no idea that it was meant as a friendly gesture of interest in me! and yes...I am blonde. Miss you lovely.

  3. Hey Adam,
    Sounds so natural when I ask it, eh?