Taking the Local Bus

Since arriving in Kenya everyone we have spoken to has told us “you have to see Lamu”.  One person described it as Zanzibar before all the tourists.  Plus it was only a 7 hour bus ride from Mombasa.  We arose around 430am today to be at the bus stop by 530ish.  The bus was late – no surprise.  The baggage stow was filled with a few inches of water since it was raining (luckily they stuck our bags inside the bus by the driver).  We went for a bus instead of the matatu option this time since people warned that the road there wasn’t “optimal”.  If sub-optimal means brain-shaking bumps for the last 4 hours then that is the correct term.  At least we were protected by the two men with AK-47s in the front seat.

Locals are always more entertaining/interesting than a bus full of wazungu (the plural of mzungu or one white person).  The population here is largely Muslim so we witnessed men using tiny portable prayer speakers on the bus – and the awkwardness of the other men who had not been so pious.  The man behind me had no qualms with horking and spitting constantly out his window and I got some chicken dropped on my feet when the man in front of me threw the bones from his meal out the window.  Here, food scraps go out the window. 

Speaking of food scraps I was starting to doubt that Kenyans could keep up with Peruvians with the extent of their culinary selections to be had through the bus window.  That was until today.  Peruvians watch out!  Kenyan’s are it.  Cheap and fresh.  For 10 bob you can get yourself a whole mango with the top sliced and peeled handily and spicy flavouring on top.  Not into spicy?  How about roasted corn for 20 shillings?  Water? Milk?  Goat blood?  We shoved 10ksh out the window and decided to try something brown and rhombus shaped.  That was smart.  Basically hard, dirty fudge – pure sugar.  Mmmm. 

In Lamu for a few hours so far the town is beautiful.  I have pet multiple baby donkeys and we ate fresh kingfish kebabs with veggies and tamarind sauce sitting with a view of the ocean.  Wandering the “main street” – busy but only about 1 meter wide in some places – we came across a lovely fabric store with a tailor that will make anything for you custom.  We’re both off to modcloth.com for some inspiration!

We also found ourselves in a fairtrade crafts store.  I was standing next to the shopkeeper’s daughter (about 5yrs) while browsing the wallets when I felt something warm and wet.  I looked down expecting to have been peed on – nope – vomit.  There was a new one.  Oh well, I just kept shopping, it wasn’t that much vomit.  It looked like she had spaghettios for din-din.

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2 thoughts on “Taking the Local Bus

  1. Anonymous says:

    mmmm spaghetti o's!! Sounds verrry interesting where you are.

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