Buying a Pineapple


Food markets in Uganda are all the same; bustling, boisterous riots teeming with noisy humans. A market day starts with sputtering from a continuous trickle of heavy-laden trucks slicing the peaceful  quiet of predawn. Fresh produce from farms, meats from abattoirs and freshly caught fish are quickly offloaded by an agile pack of muscle men, kanyama. The soft light of dawn reveals impressive, glistening muscles and pouncing bodies; market vendors, small-scale restaurateurs and supermarket owners all vying to get their hands on the freshest. A merchandise manager has an areal view of this chaos, keeping tally of who’s taking what and making sure nothing gets nicked. It’s organized in its disorganization. Wheelbarrow pushers, each chewing incessantly on a toothpick watch it all unfold from the sidelines, from where they’ll spring when called upon to transport produce to its final destination. You’ll have street urchins larking in everybody else’s shadow; picking anything that accidentally falls off the trucks, nicking some and later setting up on-the-ground popup stalls – small heaps of this and that, where those out of pocket can always get great deals on okay looking stuff. No questions asked. Meanwhile…