Ugandan Rolex, not its not a watch

Uganda does not have quite the street food scene that flourishes in Senegal and Mali where every corner has someone selling fried dough balls, bananas,  or bad bread. But here, there is chapati and with chapati there is ‘Rolex’. Took me a minute to realize but ‘rolex’ aka ‘rolled eggs’, is essentially an omelette rolled in a chapati to be eaten like a burrito. Stands withIMG_1508.jpg a man preparing and selling this 30 cent, very filling meal.

First, what is chapati? Probably derived from the Indian influence, chapati is flour dough they make and leave over night in small piles to be rolled out with a small wooden rolling pin and then lightly fried on the stove/pan featured below. Chapati alone is also sold everywhere, cheap, filling and efficient. Also bland when eaten alone but I cant complain.

The following is an explanation of the rolex making process. First they make the dough, flour, water, salt the typical that they leave in these little piles over night and until they need to make more chapati.

IMG_3889Next, they roll out the dough with a pin as shown by this gentlemen who is a typical, rolex stand guy.

He then puts oil on the pan to his right, flattens it with his hands and fries it up. Voila!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the omlette is made right there too. Cut tomoto, onion and if you are lucky some cabbage into a cup.

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Pour it on the same pan as the chapati is made on…

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Fry it up real good and flip it with your hands or a proper tool…IMG_3147

Next, and the most important. you add the chapati on top of the omlette so it also heats up and gets some extra oily juices. IMG_3149

Roll it all up nice and tight- aka rolled eggs- and back it in a plastic bag to go!!! The cheapest and most filling brunch you can imagine. I will miss it dearly! IMG_1302IMG_3915

Jinga: Adventure Capital and Start of the Nile

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Traveled the short 80 kilometers to Jinga with a few fellow PhD students last weekend. While the town itself is nothing special, although I enjoyed walking around the extremely well developed, colonial downtown with wide boulevards, well groomed trees lining the central divider and columns galore.

But you do not go to Jinga for that. You go to be at the water. Looking over the point where Lake Victoria flows into the Nile River. Every spot along the river and lake are spectacular and foreigners have capitalized on this opportunity, building up the tourist industry to make Jinga a spot for extreme sports: bungee jumping, kayaking and white water rafting.

IMG_7342I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to be on the Nile and raft. It was a well organized and amazingly skilled team of seven people, three kayaks, two rafts and four guides just for the five of us. No pictures as proof but jumping in the water, paddling along the lush green forests of pine, banana trees, pineapple and spotting dozens of various varieties of birds, made me never want to leave the water. The shore was also interestingly developed as shabby huts accompanied by waving children in front were followed by fancy resorts with cemented, freshly painted huts accompanied by disinterested tourists. In its entirety, an opportunity that one can only experience here so when in Jinga, I vote raft.

 

I stayed about 8 kilometers outside of Jinga at River Nile Explorers, the famous destination for backpackers and cheaper travelers who nonetheless get a phenomenal view of the Nile (featured above) as well as monkeys climbing through trees and kind villagers selling bananas just outside. For only 15 dollars, you can ‘glamp’ (aka glamorous camping) in durable tents with comfortable beds over looking the Nile. The Australian owner is doing well.

 

While wandering around the downtown we took a trip to the market, which was shockingly different from other African markets I have been to. Specific details will have to be saved for another blog but the structure of this market was the main shock. Jinga’s market is now housed in a new three story building, each level with different specialities and loosely occupied with sellers, the market seemed rather empty to me.  The structure was well developed with stairs and ramps going up and down, large open spaced for selling, and built in cement stalls. After the long walk, I enjoyed a very fancy and delicious roast beef sandwich at Jinja’s favorite ‘white person’ restaurant- The Deli, run by a Dutch family.