Kenya 2022 | Day 5: Mombasa’s Beach and its Queen

When I landed in Mombasa, I was warmly welcomed by many taxi drivers offering to take me to the hotel. I flashed the Uber price in their faces, 1000 shillings. They wanted 1800. Just before I ordered the Uber, one guy named Nickolas accepted 1000. He wanted to call it a night after this ride. The first part of the 18 km drive was silent. For some reason, unknown even to me, I asked Nickolas what was the most important thing in life! He immediately said: “relationship to God”. He elaborated by telling a story about that rich, famous, and proud politician who used to brag all the time until he got cancer and was whining with regret in his last moments. I tipped Nickolas generously, and he smiled a unique smile that was not about the money, but rather “destiny, again”. His smile put me in a good mood for the evening.

Bahari Beach Hotel is a kind of a beach-front resort. I slept bad and woke up around 7 am to have breakfast facing the ocean and the palm trees that decorated the view. What made palm trees a sign of relaxation and holidays? It is conditioning. Where I grew up, in the Arabian desert, we had a lot of palm trees and no water. I think I started having this connection when I moved to Europe.

I spent the day completely inside the hotel. I always thought that such an activity would be boring for me, well it wasn’t at all. I started with 2 hours working out in the gym, then I went to relax on the swimming pool reading and playing online chess. At some point came to me a tall, strong lady and offered a massage for a good price. She had such power in her elbows that dissolved some knots in my back muscles. Feeling completely tired but hopeful for a better mobility, I went back to the pool side.

Some minutes later, Bella the DJ approached me and asked if I want to play ping pong. Her job was to mobilise the lazy guests, hehe. I challenged her and told her to drink two glasses of water as a reservoir for all the tears that she will shed after losing. We played a couple of games as well as billiards. Bella gave up. Then there was the dinner buffet and a dance-show by some Masai tribe. Here is a 30 seconds video that won’t add much to your life but shows the ambiance with Bella.

The resort had a few customers, the majority are German couples. Some are younger with children. Most of the time I chatted with the waiters and the hotel staff. I love the people here. The vast majority are friendly and happy people. This might be one of the friendliest destinations in all my travels. You know, there is the friendliness of the customer-support guy that is bound by your transaction. Friendliness here seems different and more sincere. I observed the people in the street while riding the taxi. The ratio of people smiling or laughing is far higher than any place I have been to in Europe. This made me question many things. Well, I like living in Europe, but people here don’t seem to mind the hard conditions very much. I have been to Tanzania and had similar impressions, but not to this extent. I am eager to visit other African countries to know more.

The next day I checked out after another lovely breakfast. I took an Uber to Mombasa downtown to stop in a supermarket and get some sun cream. This might have been the first time in my life to buy one. It was not.. since they didn’t have it. I asked a lady working there, and it took her a couple of seconds to process what that was. Still they didn’t have it. I thought, well I will just buy any creams. What did humans do before sun creams?

I have finally captured this big booty

Mombasa was a busy city that shows a clear presence of the Muslims. It is Friday. Through my passing by, I heard multiple sellers reciting Quran while waiting on their goods. Even one blind guy was reading a Braille version of the Quran loudly. I think maybe he was a beggar. What also caught my attention was the many beautiful graffities about COVID. Later I googled this to discover that this was supported by the government. I post a couple here and leave you with a link that shows the rest of the graffities..

I took a Matatu to Diani beach, which is now becoming one of my favorites.

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