Walking through the different rows of the immigration of Hamad International Airport in Doha -Qatar, I remembered my earlier days of travel.
I can still feel the pangs of anxiety that thronged my soul those days.
I was never sure how much luggage I had and was always worried about whether I had passed my limit.
The airlines charge a hefty fee for any extra kilogrammes.
Any trader is normally overweight trying to get in as much as possible for sales.
I was a young hustler, a budding trader attempting to make it happen. The costs of trading were already significantly high and on many occasions I was not sure if I broke even in my sales.
So I spent as little as I could. I knew the cheapest places and ate the most modest meals. Sometimes I travelled with my own food from home to save on food.
I will never forget the many prayers, that the immigration officers would not be too strict.
I always pulled out my most generous smile hoping that perhaps the airport stuff would be a little gracious. Many were not!
The Chinese airport was always, always the worst. The airport officials have this preconceived notion that all Ugandans just like Nigerians and Ghanaians are crooks who need to be handled with utmost caution and near brutality.
Those days were bad!
Now I look back at those experiences with a smile. They form part of who I’m and in many ways shape my thinking and mindset.
I remember a cab driver in China attempted to cheat me by wanting me to hand him a huge payment note so that he could hand me fake money as change. I had been warned about this earlier so I refused to be cheated and we had a loud exchange. He had me firmly locked in the back seat of his cab.
There was no contact and if you have been to China, the Chinese only speak Mandarin. I started praying very loudly in my local language, beseeching God who had not brought me to China to be robbed, much to the man’s shock. He begged me to shut up. The fellow finally let me go.
I always trained myself to travel by the public means of each country I visited. I wanted to learn the place and the organised transport made it so easy.
I got lost a few times but that did not deter me. I am now familiar with the best cabs and the dirtiest and oldest trains. I can handle the tram and metro.
I’m the child of the most high God who owns all gold and silver.
Money loves, longs, and looks for me. It enjoys my presence. I lack no good thing because I am the blessed and my cup overflows. I carry His blessing to which is added no sorrow. I am blessed to be a blessing!