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Friday, January 25, 2008

From campus all roads lead to the rolex village

When the sun sets to give way to the twinkling city lights, trickles of excited freshers with their purses and handbags swarm the rolex maker in Wandegeya. For the uninitiated, the rolex isn't a wristwatch. Rather it is a delicious chapatti sandwich containing fried eggs mixed with cabbage, tomatoes and onions.

My first taste of this culinary masterpiece was an awesome experience. It reminded me of that nursery tale about a stupid dog, which after swallowing a hot juicy piece of roasted meat was torn between spitting its already delicious scooped flesh or swallowing this hell-like beef until it choked to death. Well, the rolex can choke your pockets or make you chew your school fees.

By 6 p.m., the congestion tightens at the small gate of University Hall [commonly known as UH] overlooking Wandegeya. The chic, young, old and the jobless enjoy this Wandegeya specialty. Which is why I'm convinced there must be some golden ingredient in the rolex which must have derived its name in the fact that a chapatti is rolled in order to make the sandwich.

What makes this unique is that people from all walks of life come to taste the rolex. Lecturers, the job hunters, mechanics, taxi drivers, street kids, wheelbarrow pushers, conmen, kanyamas and many of the affluent city dwellers park their sleek cars nearby and come to order for a rolex. And the Wandegeya lads are minting money each day.

Since they know where to find the hungry men, the ladies of the night have also joined in the queue ostensibly to buy a rolex. By 10 p.m., they spot you looking lonely because you did not have the nerve to join the scramble for the rolex. They seek you out. After joining you, the woman will whisper in your ear something to the effect that "since you are a fresher the price is negotiable!"

Dressed in skimpy attire, they send your mind reeling as to whether some of them could be fellow Makerereans, as rumour holds. "Jjangu tugende," [come let’s go] the lady tempts you further. The cowardly likes of us will then bolt –and then weigh the scales back in your room on whether this was the right decision. But then, you open your rolex pack and all your misgivings evaporate as you relish the delicious sandwich. Long live the rolex!

Published in Daily Monitor, Thursday, October 9, 2003