Out of Africa, Again – Prelude to a Birthday Party

07 April 2016 – I went into town with Krista to buy some necessities, get money, and to buy booze and kikois. A kikoi is, according to Google, “a distinctive East African striped cloth with an end fringe”. The bottle of whisky I bought at Kioko Enterprises was 930.00 KSH or approximately $9.30 USD. This same bottle of cheap but passable whisky costs $50 SGD in Singapore. The five-litre box of wine that I bought as my contribution to the Neem House festivities, cost 2,200 KSH and the grand total of 3,130 KSH included 431.72 KSH in tax.

The coast feels like a different country with Arab and European influence obvious everywhere. Neem House was designed by Bunny Allen and built for Krista’s mother and stepfather. She spent school holidays there and Malindi continues to be one of her favourite places.

The downside of Malindi, in my opinion, is the beggars. Some of them, like the guy with a stump where his left hand used to be, offer strings of beads etc.,(which I bought) but others, like the blind man with a boy who guides him or the girl who cannot speak, are just begging. Some will wash your vehicle without asking and then expect to be paid for their efforts. I know this makes me sound hard-hearted but like the panhandlers in Vancouver, the relentless requests for one’s generosity can be taxing.

After shopping, Krista dropped me at Silversand where I had a shower and changed my clothes. I was waiting for a tuk-tuk to pick me up when Krista pulled up to collect me. At Neem House, we had a dinner of red snapper with vegetables and salad. I felt totally spoiled.

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