A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME – AS AN HOUR TURNS INTO 16.358 DAYS … ONLY IN UGANDA
(Posted 15th October 2014)
Ever had that feeling that an hour turned into an eternity? Or that you went somewhere to do something only to realize after a while that you carry a bag of pretzels around, wondering what made you buy them in the first place and even where you bought them disappearing in mental fog?
Professors in general and especially those advancing in age are often said to disappear into a mental world of their own, at times oblivious of what goes on around them, lost in thoughts they try to bring to a conclusion. When it is that mother of all challenges like creating the Perpetuum Mobile or squaring a circle their being lost in space becomes especially apparent, something the Germans call ‘Der Zerstreute Professor’ meaning distracted, absent minded and perhaps even a bit scatter brained.
Yesterday, it was the question where time had gone, and what had happened in one apparently endless hour, when, trying to exit the parking garage at Kampala’s Acacia Mall, the machine produced a receipt that, having entered barely an hour earlier, told me I had in fact spent 16.358 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes in the mall and had to pay a staggering Uganda Shillings 443.662.000 millions in order to get the all clear and be let go.
Of course, the mall is not that old and I ever only spent about half of the 44+ years the number of days amounted to in the country, raising the question if time travel, after all, does exist. That, were it so, would of course raise yet more questions, as to where I had gone to. A quick check in my passport did not show any further entry or exit stamps, suggesting that the time was spent either in country or else, an illegal exit had taken place. Perhaps worse, had I been abducted by aliens, returned to the precise spot where they picked me from 44 years later – again, the recollection failed once more, and I could simply not remember if any aliens had poked me or scanned my head to unveil the secret of the Perpetuum Mobile or how to square the circle. Making it even mor of a puzzle, the car had not accumulated any layer of dust leave alone one worth 44 years.
These nagging questions about time travel were compounded by worries over perhaps having to sell my hammock to raise the money to pay the parking fee but what relief, when approaching the parking manager, to be told I had after all not travelled through time – it took him several moments however to discount that possibility – before he admitted it was after all a technical glitch.
Day saved, money saved too, lots of it in fact and no, there is no time travel in Uganda, YET. Moving on swiftly swiftly now before you all fall off your chairs ROFLing at my expense.