Royal Reception

By on June 22, 2015

I love the Colosseum. Not the elliptical Amphitheatre in the middle of Rome where eons ago gladiators made their names entertaining people by shedding weaker men’s blood; not that Colosseum. The Colosseum I am referring to is a tiny little shack somewhere in Kiwatule, Kampala – Uganda. You see, I named my home the Colossuem for various reasons but mostly just because I could.

I love this little place so much that every time I travel away from Kampala, I find myself staying up till strange ungodly hours simply because I cannot sleep. Sleep does not come easy when I am not at the Colosseum, even when I go back to my parents’ house for the occasional visit, I feel like a stranger.

My body has somewhat been wired to believe that sleep anywhere else other than at the Colosseum is just but a nap; a long power nap. And so on many occasions I have turned down offers to travel away from Kampala simply because the body is afraid to take long power naps in strange unfamiliar places.

Very recently, I had my back against the wall and ended up spending the night away from my Colosseum; in a strange and unfamiliar place, a place that so many people speak of with esteem and unmatched regard. Ladies and gentlemen, I spent a night at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort. The reasons for which I spent the night in that hotel shall not be divulged here and now because they will turn this Blogger into fodder for the local gossip machines. However, just know that circumstances of great proportion dictated that I spend the night at this massively talked about Serena Hotel somewhere in Entebbe, at a place called Kigo.

Arrival

Whenever I pay a visit to my folks back in my native village in Serere, the welcome is something of a small ceremony. There is merriment and hullabaloo for nearly everyone is happy to see the son of the soil visit his ancestors.

When I arrived at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort, there was no such merry making. However, the pomp with which I was received was nothing short of strange. You see, these people at Serena have a thing about reception of a visitor; apparently, it is everything. And so, even if it was likely I was the poorest individual in a 10-mile radius, I was received with an air of importance. As the habit is, when they make you feel important, you wear the shoes; perfectly. So I simply waltzed out of the car and almost glided towards the direction I was being ushered. My host had made sure I was directed every step of the way probably because he knew he needed to convince me on a business deal.

They even carried my bag.

People who are used to visiting hotels are probably wondering what the big deal is by now. You see, when you have grown up not trusting anyone to hold your bag because you fear they will open it and realize it is empty, you involuntarily open your eyes wide when a random smartly dressed guy at Serena lifts your kikapu. But then I had to act natural because, hey; this is the Serena!

I sauntered from the car park area through the magnificent entrance and to the cushioned sofas at the reception area. The entire place reeked of hours of interior design and expensive set up. The rather spectacular terracotta was staring at me – urging me to pull out my phone and take a picture. I fought the temptation – at first. A palace of sorts, the central citadel was designed as if to remind anyone that they are not just in any hotel but in the Serena Hotel. It stands surrounded by the broad café as well as the cocktail terraces both of which had important looking individuals either typing away at their tablets or chatting away as if this sort of royalty is their daily thing. Just above this reception area is a Roman fountain; the kind that you see in movies where they guy and the girl profess their undying love to each other with the fountain blessing their innocent promises. The Roman fountain with white-arched galleries gives massive rise to a rather clean and clear glass atrium, through which shafts of light illuminate and make a spectacle of the fountain courtyard below.

What a sight!

And this was just the reception. Jesus!

With smiling faces occasionally looking my way to make sure I did not feel too pressured to act rich, I began to fit into the shoes – I began to act like royalty. I sat on one of the couches, cross-legged and royal. I pulled out my smart phone and did what any sane person would do; sneaked in a few pictures. If the battery had not given way, I was going for the kill – to change my Facebook Cover photo to something from this rather lavish and exquisite hotel. For the first time ever, I was willing to tag any and every friend I had ever been to school with. They would have to be notified somehow that I was going to spend the night at Lake Victoria Serena Resort.

This was a big deal.

There had been no usual Serere welcoming committee with gourds of the local brew, several chicken thighs and demands for tales from the city. There had been no kids running around screaming my name and begging to walk next to the boy from the town. There had been no reference to my change in size or smoothening of the skin because of the city weather.

But there was royalty, pomp, and pageantry. I felt like a king.

For a moment, I forgot about the Colosseum. I forgot about my cat Hendrix. I forgot about my own brown fairly old but rather welcoming couch. I forgot about my dim but homely lights. I forgot about my simple yet relatively large bed. All I could think of was this royalty right in front of me. As I drank in the entire spectacle, something strange happened. My host asked if I was interested in wifi.

Are you kidding me!

“This must be heaven,” I remember thinking.

And just like they say heaven is – there was soothing music in the background. I was able to make out of the ushers mouthing the words to John Lennon’s Imagine. These people even knew good music. Gosh!

For the few minutes I sat in the couch, drinking in the glamour of the Hotel and waiting for my room details to be sorted out, I am sure I used up half the money that had been paid for the room. What with the thick carpets, fresh air, smiling ushers and very spectacular wall hangings and picturesque chandelier hanging off of nearly every ceiling.

And this was just the reception!

That night as I sat on the bed of the Hotel room, I caught myself worrying not about whether I would get sleep, seeing as I was not at the Colosseum. This time, I was worried about whether I would wake up from the the royal sleep I was about to have.

1423213459_lakevictoriaserena03How is this for a bed!

“Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.” ― Edgar Allan Poe

Bernard
a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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Beewol – The Talkative Rocker

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Baldie. Ailurophile. Social Media Junkie. Blogger. Pluviophile. Fixer. Sober Drunkard.
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  • Esther

    What an experience! I just can’t help smiling…

    • Indeed it was an experience 🙂

  • Viva

    Just read this, very cheerful read this one. I’m now in a great mood thanks to you