The plan was simple. I would wake up, pick my laptop, type out a draft story for this blog, brush my teeth, take a bath, dress up and go to church. And the rest of Sunday would unveil itself whatever way it wanted until sunset.
The first part went as planned. I woke up. Then I fell into a trap. See, doing nothing is easy. It keeps your blood flowing, doesn’t drain your energy one bit. Time flies and you don’t even notice it. It’s the zone of comfort.
You can simply open your eyes and lie in bed, your head on a pillow stuffed with wool, legs spread out like you are your own king. You can then lurk online for hours on end, following Twars. If you don’t know what Twars are, what social media platforms are you on again? I mean, like seriously. Some youngling will probably read this five decades from now and wonder what Twitter was all about. They’ll see Twitter as an ancient platform that their grandparents spent hours reading through. They won’t question the effectiveness of 140 characters. But when they retrieve other tweets they’ll be able to find at that time, they’ll also get to know stupid some people were on that platform.
Those kids will have moved on to new technologies and better ways of using the internet. Maybe they won’t have Social Media. Whatever they will have will have a name that will be the buzz word of their time. It’s yet to be coined. They will probably have micro-chips in their palms. That’ll be the in-thing.
Their relationships with robots will be more refined. They will live in a more interconnected world than the one we are living in today. I hate to think about this but I read somewhere that some humans will marry robots by 2050. As in, how? That will be insane.
Robots will display emotions and respond to human feelings. They’ll be so human-like that they’ll *cough cough* fall in love, with themselves that is, not humans, I hope. I’ve got to switch my mind from this.
On Sunday morning, I chose watching the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the 2019 Formula One season over writing my blog article. I was going to write 1,250 words about the Safe Boda who drove me from Kampala road to Capital Shoppers, Ntinda last Friday. I had parts of the story written in my head. I can still hear his voice.
“I save about Ush. 200,000 weekly. That’s after all my expenses are taken care of and after I’ve paid Safe Boda their cut,” he says, as we follow the instructions from the green traffic lights. When things go so well, he saves upto Ush. 500,000 a week. I was in awe. It’s a feat he couldn’t achieve before he joined Safe Boda last November.
He shows me a picture of his wife. She’s wearing a gomesi, tied to the waist by a brown gomesi belt. She’d posed for a photo, all teeth showing, a smile written in her eyes. He swipes and shows me his daughter. A two year old girl in a pink dress, her cheeks so smooth and round I could use them as a stress ball.
“I’ll take her to school next year,” he says. “I can’t wait to see what she becomes when she grows up.”
He genuinely is a good family man. I ask him a question that just flew out of my mouth without reason. “How much do you love your wife?”
He holds the brakes to allow a car make a turn at Froebel in Bukoto.
“I do the best I can to provide for my family. I never want my wife to doubt my love for her. I carry gifts whenever I can. I work from 9:00am to 9:00pm during the week and on Saturdays. I don’t work on Sundays because it’s the day I spend with my family. I love my wife.”
He’s a good man.
The plot of the story was to carry the reader along my journey but I got distracted by Formula One. Twitter handle, @F1.
The truth is, I was never a fan of the sport. I don’t understand its rules. I barely know the teams, not even the names of the drivers. I’d previously listened to F1 commentary on sports shows on radio. I wouldn’t pay attention. The closest I’ve been to F1 at the race tracks and cars at the back of newspapers, the sports pages and online. It’s not a sport that appealed to me, until I gave it a chance.
Have you ever met someone and at first glance they didn’t seem like they were your type? Then you chat them up and realize how dazzling they are. You see their funny side. Their smile makes you smile. Their unfunny jokes make you chuckle. And when you look in their eyes, you see a spark of something you can’t point your hands to. You see something extraordinary. Your heart gets drawn to them. Your mind tells you not to pay attention but your ventricles would’ve already given in. You decide to give it a chance.
That’s how I fell for Formula One.
I saw a 10-part documentary about the 2018 season. I thought, “I’ll just download three episodes. If I like them, I’ll get the rest.” I watched all of them. I was sold. The adrenaline. The speed (I got a head-spin at the beginning of the first episode). The drama. The money. Oh, the money! It’s a luxurious sport, a money guzzler. Those with the dimes pump it into designing the best cars. Those without it settle for what they can handle. It’s a sport of crocodile eat crocodile.
You’ve got to want it so bad you’re willing to sacrifice the hundreds of millions of dollars in making your team appear on that race track. It’s prestigious. It’s a sport of great precision, minimum errors and utmost focus. Accidents are bound to happen. Fatalities aren’t ruled out. Everything is done to keep the driver safe. There is toe tapping, nail biting, chills running down spines, scratching of chins and cheeks, shivers, holding of breaths, and everything in between.
I gave it a nod.
There was drama in F1 last season. This, I learnt from that documentary.
Red Bull and Renault are competitors on the track. For many seasons, Red Bull bought engines for its cars from Renault. I found that unusual. How do you ask your competitor to sell engines to you? You’re giving them an advantage. Anyway, Red Bull decides to terminate that contract. They opt for Honda to handle their engine needs for the new season.
In a twist, Red Bull’s driver, Daniel Ricciardo who was waiting for a contract renewal but wasn’t sure of getting it, signs for Renault. That was a draw. That upped my interest in following the sport this season.
So I buy data, open this sports app I recently downloaded. It’s light, a mere 9.9 MB. I saw it on Twitter, a reply to someone who was asking for a way to stream a game live. It’s on that app that I watched Arsenal score two past Manchester United a few weeks ago. I find it reliable, an app that has changed my sporting preferences. It brings the world of sports to my palms. All I’ve got to do is have data. And no, it doesn’t devour data like a hungry vulture.
I stream the race. The teams are in the fourth lap and Daniel Riccardo, an Australian on home soil with his new team is at the tail end of the race. He’s number 20. Renault is limping at the back. He didn’t finish the race. McLaren’s car goes ablaze. Fire Marshalls spray it with carbon-dioxide. Red Bull, with Max Verstappen finish in third. Valterri Bottas wins the race with his teammate, Lewis Hamilton coming in second. Two podium finishes for Mercedes.
Bahrain Grand Prix, I’ll watch you. I think I found me a new love.