I’m seated in this room, my swivel chair positioned right where the A/C fan blows its good stuff. I’m listening to this insurance guy. A new friend. Maybe friend is too big a word. Acquaintance. That’s it. He is telling me about life insurance. The first person in a while to convince me that I need that incomprehensible thing.

I won’t lie to you. I have never been sure about insurance and every other thing adulthood has been throwing my way. Anyway, he weaves a neat story about it. And I am almost sold. But not in between thoughts about how I ended up here in the first place.

I’m in Mombasa.

The last time I was here, I was a 16-year-old in form three on a school trip in my capacity as a geography student. Completely different circumstances. In Sharon, the old bus that ferried us everywhere way before the new bus entered the scene, complete with its art that looks like it was lifted off the set of TingaTinga Tales, before the digital migration hit SK Macharia and company.

It happened so fast, I’m still not absolutely sure I was in Mombasa the past weekend. Lol. Anyway, yeah. Since everyone close to me is waiting for this blog post, here we go. You all know I have a thing for startups ever since I set foot in the outside world. Well, I am still at a startup, only that it is a startup on steroids. Decisions are made fast and implemented. One minute you are in one office, the next you are moving to another. One day you are social media manager, the next you are demoing an application you did not even know you knew how it works.

One day you are the girl who has never been on any flying object, the next you are in Mombasa in 40 minutes. All alone, acting like you got your act together. You ask the lady at the check-in to give you a window seat since this is your first time and she lets you have the one next to the wing, where you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro. You are delayed for 20 minutes due to “VIP movement”. You watch this air cabin crew member perform her safety demo. She is as pretty as a picture and you begin to understand why these people need to be pretty. You sit next to two wasted dudes. One is chatty. He’s an engineer. He does this like once every month. Just fly somewhere and get wasted with his bachelor friends. Different strokes.Mt Kilimanjaro

The next minute you are in heat country, boarding the first taxi you have ever been on in your life. It is terribly hot. Cab guy is Kamba. You can tell from his deep accent. He’s chatty too and a great tour guide. The hotel is your next stop and you just need something cold. Then you get to work. Time flies. Thank God and engineers for A/C. You meet people. You actually engage in small talk, regardless of how anti-small talk you are. You are getting the hang of it. Smiling at people. Helping people out.

The next hour you are trying to sleep. Somehow there are no mosquitoes on the 5th floor but the heat is still there, despite the A/C. You took a shower to try cool down but that did not help. A cold shower in Mombasa is equivalent to a hot shower in Kikuyu. You toss and turn. You call him and while the time away. You turn on the TV and Flightplan is on. Are you kidding me? Yeah, you loved Jodie Foster in that one, but please, not when you are in between the first and second flights of your life. Finally, you are out.

You have hours to kill the next day. You take breakfast and check out. You walk a bit. Sand on the side-walks. Such a strange sight. You finally yield and wave down a tuk tuk. They are everywhere on Mombasa streets. More cold stuff to ingest. One new friend made, insurance guy. Before you know it, you are on your way back to MIA on the new Jambojet Shuttle for only 200 bob. Talk about killing taxi business. Hehe. Business at MIA is kinda done kimalamala as compared to JKIA. Jambojet is also as cheap as they come. Your colleague cracks a joke about how you’re all waiting for one of them planes to land to go for another squadi. Lol. Matatu mentality.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold, Shiku the rookie traveller. 😀

I trust I have atoned for my being MIA around here. I do not even get the time to open this tab during the day. Now, I sleep.

Written by Shiku Ngigi

Mum and dad’s daughter. Shouting big sister. Learning to listen. Jesus freak. Recovering tomboy. Mouse potato. Bass addict. Waking up the writer in her.

    10 Comments

  1. silas February 26, 2015 at 3:24 am Reply

    am just laughing ….that my county of birth its where i call home….hii kimalamala siioni kwa dictionary do you mind posting a definition….good one it gave me a feel of home sweet home

    • Shiku Ngigi February 26, 2015 at 7:29 pm Reply

      Haha! I just replace ovyoovyo with kimalamala.

  2. Dickson Otieno February 26, 2015 at 5:57 am Reply

    I’m jealous. I have been to many places but not Mombasa.

    • Shiku Ngigi February 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm Reply

      You’ve been to better places Dickson!

  3. Samuel Kimori February 26, 2015 at 6:54 am Reply

    Shiks u are good in your stuff…keep writing

    • Shiku Ngigi February 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm Reply

      Thanks uncle!

  4. Kevin March 1, 2015 at 5:40 pm Reply

    Awesome description Shiku, captivating tale. I was also in Mombasa last weekend for only the second time in my life, and also my first time on a plane, but I don’t think I or anyone else could have described the experience as vividly as you have. From the tuk tuk takeover, to the difference between JKIA and MIA.
    Thumbs up, great piece.

    • Shiku Ngigi March 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm Reply

      You just made my Monday night. It is always a beautiful thing to know that someone goes through the same thing and related to a description. Thank you so much Kevin.

  5. Alex Chim March 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm Reply

    I just discovered your blog.(Wasn’t stalking you) *looks the other side*…ok I was, but I have to say I got what I have always being looking for. I appreciate how you write. Tre Bien.

    • Shiku Ngigi March 13, 2015 at 7:59 pm Reply

      Hehehe I have a stalker. Thanks for passing by, Alex.

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