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Grasshoppers back on the menu!

Dec 7 • 2100 views • 2 Comments on Grasshoppers back on the menu! Africa, African food, East Africa, Society and culture, Travel, Uganda

It’s grasshopper – Nsenene season again.Isn’t it funny how that same number of legs and wings in a different configuration can make me alternately scream / jump up and down in the air / want to s**t myself? (If you don’t know what I mean, read Dealing with insects).

Yet grasshoppers are quite a delicacy in Uganda. Last week, we experienced a biblical moment as clouds of grasshoppers flew above our heads as we ran through the banana groves. (So that’s what a plague of locusts must look like!) I kept my mouth shut just in case a grasshopper …
Old Taxi Park Kampala

In the Old Taxi Park Kampala, with Diary of a Muzungu

In the Old Taxi Park boys are selling grasshoppers shelled and cooked by the cupful, scooping them from plastic bin liners with big plastic cups.I passed through the Old Taxi Park this evening.
At night I am anonymous. Only once did I hear the greeting “mzungu! How are you?” shouted at me, as I slowed down to cross a road. Elsewhere I’d passed too quickly for people to notice my whiteness.The roads are unlit: no street lighting, no lit signs and few illuminated shop signs. Sellers cover the pavement with small neat piles of passion fruit, tomatoes and mangoes. Others sell shoes carefully arranged in rows, illuminated by a single candle, in a cellophane ‘wrapper’, poking out of a shoe. The cellophane creates a pretty luminous bowl type effect, which must crackle to life with the slightest of breezes.I slowly picked my way down the street, following three well-dressed office workers as they skipped from potholed road to fractured pavement. Matatus lurch towards us, boda bodas appear without warning and I do one last check – both ways – before I brave crossing the street. Here they just don’t stop for anyone.

It feels like the middle of the night but it’s just 9 p.m. in the Old Taxi Park. Commuters are standing in line patiently until a taxi arrives and then it’s a free for all. No chicken on my lap for this journey at least.We pass the boys selling chapatti, their wooden glass cabinets on the front of their bicycles lit up by a candle. The journey home is thankfully quick. I’m tired and I ache all over after yesterday’s 10 km race (part of the MTN Marathon).

Runners start MTN marathon, Kampala, Uganda

Half of Kampala turns out every year to run the annual MTN marathon. Not everyone is happy to wear yellow though (as it happens to be the colour of the ruling NRM political party too).

Today’s ‘recovery run’ at the Hash was hard work; I just didn’t have it in me.

As I limp home the last few hundred metres (hark at me, I’ve only got a blister!) I see dozens of cars parked either side of Namuwongo Road, where normally there are none. Thirty or more people are gathered outside the front of a house. And then I remember seeing the funeral services car outside the same house this morning.

I hear the sound of singing and notice the bowed heads.

A blog from last year was Grasshoppers – eat them or smoke them? Discuss.

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2 Responses to Grasshoppers back on the menu!

  1. […] Kenya he said the same grasshoppers are collected and put on the fire, the smoke believed to keep ghosts away. An educated man, we […]

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