We arrived in Mombasa City after dark and not on the South Coast mid-day as the bus Company T.S.S. Express had promised. Two bare-skinned girls stepping out into the very conservative muslim city that never sleeps. Street kids begging for money, matatudrivers trying to get customers into their vans and everyone trying to sell us something. Now this had been fine in Nairobi, except now we were too tired and too stressed about where to sleep to handle it.
In a moment of clarity Jo decides that we shouldn’t try to get into the white vans and hitch a ride to the South Coast after dark. So we sleep at the overpriced Castle Royal Hotel.
After breakfast I hustle with some people and fix everything that went wrong the other day. Finding us a hotel at half the price and rides to and from the hotel all the way to Nairobi.
We arrive at the gorgeous hotel. The reception has gorgeous arabic relaxing chairs. We are escorted to our rooms by a masaai. An enormous queen-size bed and the room even smells nice.
Our view is of a whole family of monkeys.
The beach is a two minute walk away and just outside the hotel is a nice lounge place with pool tables and a big screen for footie games – happiness.
After some hustling and bustling with some black cabs in Karen we found ourselves a driver to the Giraffe Centre and the Baby Elephant Orphanage!!! We went bananas at the orphanage, taking +150 pics of elephants playing in the mud so that post will be for later when I feel like sorting through all of them…
You put the pellet in your mouth and then call for the giraffe…
La cute mom and le cute lover did not forget : ) I was so happy when Jo told me they had contacted her just so I could be brought presents from Stockholm. So happy!!! Thought they forgot Got marshmallow hearts, jellyhearts, new headphones, a portable mic (!), sour Swedish cars and almost 1 kg of Marabou. I’m one ecstatic girl feeling ever so loved
I had just done some shopping at Junction. It seems one can never have too many socks or shoes. Or steaks when you’re feeling violently ill (which is why I was wearing a sweater under the hot African sun). Anyways on my home I bumped into Emilia who was on her way to the bistro. The girls’ resolution for MUN had been passed so it had to be celebrated. And so commenced two hours of being silly at that lounge place. That is all.
I spent my last days of the South East Asian Tour in Bangkok or Krung Thep as the Thais call it. My home was by the longest street in all of Bangkok, Sukhumvit. Which I didn’t know at the time. “Radisson on Sukhumvit Road please”, I said one night to a myriad of taxi drivers. I hadn’t bothered learning which Sukhumvit I lived on – all the cab drivers asked me politely to step out of their car because I was wasting their time.
The place was absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous rooftop pool, cool gym, fresh conference rooms and delicious food. The room service was superb and the room had an awesome control system with which you could do, decide and order every single thing imaginable. Internet, TV, temperature, more lemon shakes, music, movies etc. The list was endlessly overwhelming – which was the main reason why I spent my days relaxing there and my nights outside. But honestly the food – oh. my. god. I’ve had dreams about that burger more than one time since coming back to Nairobi. So delicious. I need to know how they make that meat taste like that.
Because Sukhumvit counts as the “main street” of Krung Thep – you could find almost anything within walking distance. I spent my nights wandering, getting lost on purpose to find the most hidden and coolest spots. Sushi-restaurants on the cheap, all-you-can-eat steak places and a street that was so downright diry and sinful it made Vegas look like Chuck E Cheese. But that’s another post.
Complimentary Caesar salad with that delicious lemon shake which was my stimulant beverage of choice during the entire Thailand-trip.
One of the most central places in Krung Thep is Terminal 21. A shopping mall beyond compare. They have every boutique, every delicious ice-cream shop, every style of restaurant. The mall is structured like an airport and every floor is a different terminal with a whole other vibe. Oriental floor, British floor etc. I stopped at level 4 because a) I bumped into a gang of Barcelonians as I was rushing up the escalators and b) charmed by their accents I went to their recommended steakhouse.
It was delicious, rare and delicious. 600g of pure deliciousness. With fries. I think I have to move to Argentina soon. Their steak-reputation is awesome and I really need a place that understands my obsession with steaks. No fries, no salad. Just a bloody steak. Mmmm. Life.
Breakfast at the steakhouse in my last day of Bangkok.
Lions, elephants, cheetahs and all other fauna that we saw on the savanna were incredible. However, the stories of the Maasai people and understanding their view of the world was far more exciting. Now, five months after the trip, it is still their stories that have stayed with me and impacted me the most. Far more than any lion’s roar.
Epadey has killed a lion. With a blunt knife. When I ask him why, he says it is tradition. It is a testament to his courage, strength and – indirectly – an indication of his ability to take care of a woman. He tells us this lion-killing ritual is very important. We ask him how many fail and lose their lives in the process. He is silent for a long moment. He looks down on the ground, he’s thinking.
“My little brother didn’t make it”.
We all stand in silence, we assume that his little brother died. “Yeah, he was scared shitless and ran home. But momma wouldn’t let him in the house until he had finished the job.” We all laugh nervously in relief. I wonder what I would have preferred, given the choice. The normal demands put upon me by my own mother, study to a university-level, get a job, husband and kids. Or go out on the savanna on my sixteenth birthday and kill a lion.
Killing a lion seems less time-consuming.
Agnes’ gender has been mutilized. With a blunt knife. When I ask her why, she says it is tradition. It is a testament to her courage, virginity and an insurance to the fact that sex will be so painful that she will only be able to do it in “case of emergency” – i.e. with her husband for reproductive purposes. When we walk with her towards the village we ask her how she truly feels about female genital mutilation, or FGM.
“I’m proud of myself for having done it. It hurt, but in the same way childbirth hurts – in the name of something good and worth it. When I get a husband it will please him so.” She continues talking about how it is a shame that the Kenyan government has their noses up the Maasai traditions. “Do you see us, come to Nairobi and try to change things up? No! And yet they move us around like cattle, change our values and our lifestyle”. I think about the ironic fact that she herself has been converted from Masaai beliefs to Catholicism in exchange for medicin and other types of safeties that the missionaries provide. She says she can tell that one day I will wake up to the truth of God and become a good christian.
I wonder how the pope feels about female genital mutilation.
All the pain Agnes has to have gone through, and is going through on a day-to-day basis for the aesthetic viewing pleasure of a future husband, I can’t imagine it. And I start think of how all women suffer to be considered beautiful. However, I think the line has to be drawn way long before genital mutilation comes up.
Incredible frustration I feel when you steal my pictures, videos, texts and code. It is not OK. Give credit or don’t use my material at all. And no, I’m not putting watermarks on everything I make just because I know some people will steal it, thwart it and redistribute it without permission. This battle for infringement without credit goes way back to the first grade when I made a beautiful finger-painting in monet-style and then friggin’ children without imagination in my class stole my idea and pawned it off as their own.
Give credit or eff off.
Interpretation of an old picture by Rosie Hardy
See that little byline above? That is how you link and give due credit, you mothertuckers.