Saturday, July 20, 2013

In dire need of a sewing kit

At the risk of offending the residents of a town dating back to the 14th century and which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Johan and I could have both sworn that Lamu Town had been constructed as a set for an Indiana Jones movie.

It's got a hustling and bustling seafront, a busy town square, beautiful buildings in various degrees of picturesque decay and refurbishment, and narrow alleys lined with little hole-in-the-wall shops and hotels from where Indy could pop out at any given moment.

It was quite an adventure to go, I have to say, and I'm happy we went with a guide. Apart from a 4-year old boy who smiled wide at me and happily greeted me with a "fuck you!", people were really nice nodding hello or going "jambo!" as we walked through the town. Yet, it's hard to deny that we stood out, and it's also hard to deny that both Johan and I look like the easiest and most naive targets ever.

As we waived goodbye to our local guide and settled down in the shade outside the city museum, a man came up to us, eagerly chatting away about Denmark, Roskilde Festival, the red light district in Istedgade and the suburb of Klampenborg, where he had supposedly lived and left his children behind on account of the climate not being to his taste. Within a couple of minutes though, he started pleading his case: Money, he wanted, and when we didn't want to give him that, he asked us to go buy him a needle and a thread, which to us just seemed too silly.

"Can't you borrow that from someone?", we felt tempted to suggest. "Say, your mom or your sister?"

It took ten minutes before he finally gave up on us, after which Johan and I deemed it time to go home, running for safety in our hotel shuttle dhow.


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