24-02-2018 by Freddie del Curatolo
The history of the tourist Malindi begins about forty years ago but the first hotels, the first abundant seasonal influx and consequently the first nightclubs, were not Italian but German.
When italian tourism began to happily "invade" Malindi, the German community was already present and numerous. In the 1980s, the city's only European nightclub, Stardust was built by the Menyarth family and run by the friendly Bernard Graff. Beside, there was the only outdoor pub where you could sip a beer with little intrusive music and wait for the "small hours", this restaurant was called "Biergarten" and was run by a picturesque character named Hermann, a middle way between a biker moustached Hells Angels style and a wrestelerticcio.
There was no evening that from a heated conversation, banal and maybe even funny, accomplices dozens of Tusker did not end in brawl.
Not only the mugs were flying, but literally the people outside the pub were flying too. The Biergarten was also one of the few meeting places where to get acquainted with the local girls who often approached their "prey" with the simple request of a drink; also the "fireflies" at the time greeted and spoke more easily in German than in Italian but soon they learned to prefer the somewhat grotesque friendliness of our fellow countrymen rather than the rough and not very imaginative approach of theutonic. However, they too, when the alcohol level rose, began to quarrel by taking their hair (or rather, extensions) and giving rise to real competitions on which Hermann accepted brand or dollar bets. Between the counter and the tables of that bar in Africa were the most diverse, colourful and paradoxical stories of adventurers, missionaries, travelers from every nation and elements so strange and different from each other that only an African sea port like Malindi could gather.
Occasionally, some even more scurvy typaccio than Hermann appeared, so much so that one day, in the early nineties, the German whisker took a knife and decided to abdicate. With the definitive decline of German tourism, the Biergarten made room for a series of Italian and local initiatives which, however, never succeeded in reproducing the ancient splendours of a unique and legendary place.
The appointment is not to be missed, for Italians who are in Malindi and surroundings in this period.
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by Freddie del Curatolo
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