Sunday, August 15, 2010

Clubbing in Muhanga

This post is rated PG 13 for adult language and content.

Last night I went to a club in Rwanda’s second largest city, Muhanga (sometimes called Gitarama). There are sadly no pictures beyond the mental images permanently burned in my brain. After waiting 10 minutes for my change (cover: 1000 francs, or less than $2) and being felt up by the security guards, I entered the club. Impressively, it was a split level, so my companion and I retired to the second floor where I promptly spilled half a 1500 franc beer (aka very expensive) when I leaned on the rickety counter it was sitting on.

The upper level offered an excellent view of the place. Picture a dark and dingy split level club, decorated with eclectic posters (a basketball star, an action movie, Bob Marley). As is typical wherever there is a Rwandan bar with a TV and music, the music videos did not match the music that’s playing. On the upper dance floor were two guys taking advantage of all the empty space to find a happy medium between dancing and seizuring. On the lower level were lots of Rwandan men, but not a woman to be found, so the men were grinding on each other. And I do mean grinding as in crotch-to-leg contact (remember, kids, homosexuality doesn’t exist here).

Eventually more friends arrived and we moved to the lower level where the male in our party was subject to aforementioned male-on-male grinding. (“I think I might have felt his penis.” “If you think you felt it….you did feel it.”) About 3 Rwandan women eventually arrived, but it was still a mostly male affair. One guy we were dancing with offered to buy drinks, and in a classic Rwandan manner, brought the unopened bottle and bottle opener onto the dance floor so he could open the beer in front of me so I would know it wasn’t poisoned.

The music was a nice mix of danceable hip-hop and 2-year-old pop songs that were fantastically fun to sing along to. Despite the auspicious start (gropey security guards are always so charming) it was a fantastic night, topped off by the 3am discovery that my 5000 franc ($9) hotel had half-frozen water bottles in their fridge.

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