“So you are also going to Mombasa”, the three girls asked me, “which part – North Coast or South Coast?”.
The three girls are working in Ukunda (= Diani Beach, South Coast), and took the same bus at 10pm back from Shagz, equipped with a heavy bag full of potatoes from Mama. Vegetabools are kinda expensive in Ukunda.

“I am going to Mombasa. Downtown”, I replied.

“They call this place a city”, the 18yrs old young Kenyan from Garissa seated next to me in the bus told me this morning? when we eventually arrived downtown. Sorry, downcity?
He also told me about that police stop at the entrance to Garissa town where I’d been to in November, and how they use the polio vaccination signs to spot the difference between Kenyans and Somalis. “My brother is from Somalia”, he told me, “and just the other day I saved his life by showing my arm (to the police) first”. His polio vacc sign is on his lower arm – his brother’s on the upper arm. “Refugees” are assumed to have enough money as many deal in US-dollars. Which is why they are often targeted by the police.

It worked. Bloging via OperaMini actually works. Wow. Ok ok, just 400 characters, but still. Nice!

“The Shining Hotel”? – lemme me pls call it this way – actually has a photo on the internet. The place is quite impressive – the rooms not so. But it works, I waited 3hrs for? an empty room? and: it is downtown. Just 5 minutes away from Fort Jesus and the sea. The SEA!

I stood there, earlier this evening, enjoying the view on the ocean and just breathing fresh air. Beatitude.

Dear upcountry hoteli owners: IF you don’t know how to make proper chips/french fries – and I know you can’t – pls leave it to the experts. Or come to Mombasa and learn how Mr JKE likes his chips to be: deep fried. Until they are crisp. Yeah!
Eating in Mombasa is a dream-come-true. YES, I had my first steak (a real steak!) here and for the same price I get a daaabool cappuccino in Nairobi.

Makes me think I should travel more often. And start blogging with a satisfied stomach. Actually, yeah, I saw a few (many, actually) men at my age (~30) who were rather fat. It must be the food here.

One last rant for the evening: surfing at internet cafes sucks.
First, some idiot allocates you one of those f***** up PCs with a lousy screen at the size of about the palm of my hand + a worn out mouse & keyboard, then the connection is damn slow (GPRS is faster!) and the worst: MS Internet Explorer.
Ppl like it though – everyone here is busy (video) chatting with their loved ones via MSN/Yahoo IMs and you start thinking to yourself: how many bloggers are there on KBW from Mombasa?

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

8 thoughts on “downtown”

  1. Msa huh lucky you, i have to deal with near frost bite just to see a nice display of fireworks, mmhhhm the viazi karai, the food oh God!!!! Cybers and how crappy they are deserve a post lol. Happy new and have load of fun

  2. You asked: “how many bloggers are there on KBW from Mombasa?

    heheh, guilty as charged & yes I videochat with family & friends in Msa very regularly.
    Enjoy your stay there & do visit South Coast when you can.

  3. Happy New Year and be blessed down coast. Thos internet cafes in Mombasa suck, but they do have some good websites, and one such is the Coast Week website.

    Pop into Bob’s and have a drink on my behalf if you can.

  4. You could have had a real steak! even before Mombasa – in Nairobi, via Porter House. Just how much did you pay in Msa (translated: how much is a double capp at Java House)?

  5. Added: I’ll see tonight if Porter House does chips the “right” way – I’m with you, it ain’t chips/french fries unless it’s deep fried and crispy.

    Porter does make mash potatoes! the right way. Try ’em with the garlic sauce. Yum!

  6. Ich kann nun auch mit Dir fuehlen :) besonders die Sache mit den Internetcafes – du kommst dann wieder da raus hast gerade mal nur die mails gecheckt und bist 50% naeher am Herzinfarkt… und der Typ bekommt auch noch Kohle dafuer >:( !
    Und die Leute hier in Chennai haben auch keine Ahnung, wie man echtes Essen zubereitet … aber wir machen das schon !

  7. Ahh, what would I do to take a vacation to Mombasa again instead of these beaches in Florida… I enjoy it so much better there.

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