“Kaliniberi road,” she said.
“With an ‘i’ or an ‘a’?” I said.
“Yes,” she said.
I’m not a suspicious or paranoid type, of course, and so it takes several minutes of separation before I begin to wonder if my darling adorable wife is safe and sound on yet another one of her yearly jaunts to Uganda. The fact that she has merely passed through security in Kelowna and is, in fact, nowhere near the Great Dark Continent is entirely immaterial.
I am a worrier. There, I’ve said it — it’s out. The reality, though, is that I am a person for whom a trip around a new mall is impossible without at least a glance — okay, a looong glance — at the illuminated map. I like to know where I am going and, if I am not there with her, where my darling wife is going, as well.
In years past I have been forced to rely upon the relative paucity of information that I have been able to dredge up from Google maps, but seeing as the data seemed to come (counter-intuitively) from a pre-sattelite era, I was never able to even get a toehold into the tiniest crack of comprehension as to where exactly Erika would be. The good people at Google tried their best, and were kind enough to answer the first several dozen emails I sent them, but never did the data come. I would zoooom into Kampala city and hit that teasing little “+” button, only to find the dreaded “Image not available at this zoom level”.
Now, on the year that I’m heading back with her (and, by the way, I will be stapled to her for most of the first month — okay, two months), now, finally, my queries have been answered. Now the Google Gods have given me the joyous magification level that I have always dreamed about. Now, finally, I can see a street-level view of Kampala.
I hope that if you have a loved one who is travelling to Ug with us this year, you too will be able to virtually follow along. And if the satelites happen to be in the right place at the right time and take an image of a pink sweating bald white guy stapled to a lovely smiling vision of a woman, you’ll know where I am, too.