Monday, 10 October 2011

Kigali nights

Before coming to Rwanda I thought I’d be living like a nun. I thought I’d never be able to drink. There would be no parties, no dancing and no cinemas there surely? And definitely women won’t be out swigging beer. They would be chained to the kitchen sink, if most Rwandan houses had a kitchen or a sink. But surprisingly I think I’ve had more nights out on the town than I had in Bristol in the year before I came. Yes if I confined myself to Nzige there is no doubt that I’d be wearing a cross and habit by now and singing badly in a choir (sorry I watched sister act at the weekend) but all I can say is thank God for Kigali.

Ok so the other women out at night tend to fall into three categories: vso/peace corps/NGO crowd, prostitutes or rich young Kigalian women who have mostly lived elsewhere and returned to Rwanda. But if you know where to go a good dance and a beer can definitely be had. And this weekend we even went to the cinema. Its a BYO cinema in the sense of Bring Your Own film, and the cinema seats are very interesting. They have numbers on the back of them but they are in no way consecutive. For example they got 1, 2, 4, 26, 31, 29. I’ve no idea why. My theory is that they were ripped out of a cinema somewhere and someone didn’t notice the numbers before putting them in. Or perhaps they drank too much waragi while doing the job? Who knows, I guess it will always be a mystery.

The other major event of the weekend was the Mutzig Kigali beer festival. I think just about every young muzungu who lives in Rwanda was there. They had a band playing Kirundian songs from Burundi and a severe beer shortage. In fact by the time I got there they had ran out. Well thats not strictly true. You could wait in line for an hour to get a dribble of it in a plastic cup, or you could try to open an impossible to open beer canister. There was also no food and there was supposed to be. It was like a drought and famine in one night. But hey, we still had a good time dancing in the open air and drinking Tammy’s whisky and vodka that she smuggled in. Mark even brought a hip flask, genius. I had never appreciated hip flasks until now but I think I will be buying one.

The view from the cinema in Nyamirambo, the muslim district of Kigali

Distant view of the stage at the Mutzig beer festival

Me with two random drunk men who insisited on having their photo taken with me. At least they gave me flowers. Who says chivalry is dead?

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