54 – A castle in the garage and a strange bicycle ride

Every time we moved to a new house my father would make or repair crates for our furniture. Our house in Kampala had a large garage and as we kept our cars outside, this was a perfect place to store the empty crates.

Two large brick-shaped crates were stacked upright each against a wall and a third laid down between them. This gave the appearance of a battlement with towers; the rest of the crates were placed behind them.

For imaginative schoolboys, this made an ideal place to play and our little gang would climb onto the ramparts while others tried to besiege us. Just one problem, it was pitch black behind the castle walls. Normally this didn’t bother us, but we kept hearing noises and our imagination started to work overtime. Eventually the spider webs, the slithering and hissing sounds were all too much, and we abandoned our castle to creatures unknown.

In those days, Kampala wasn’t so big and you could ride a bicycle to the outskirts of the city. Despite all the hills, my friends and I would go exploring. On one jaunt, we came across a very strange village, nearly everyone was an African albino. Unfortunately, in East Africa, an albino is a valuable prize to a witch doctor or considered by others as bad luck. They would be killed and dismembered for medicine. It would make sense for their collective security to live together, but I feel it only made them an easier target.

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