Editorial

EDITORIAL

Italian tourists discover a pre-war Kenya

Which August is outside the resorts of Watamu and Malindi

12-08-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo

They will think that the worst aspect of their holiday is that the clouds often obscure the beautiful sun that tans them and encourages them to swim in the pool.
They will also think that it is a little too windy at the beach, but this will not stop them from experiencing the thrill of bathing in the Indian Ocean, especially when the tide is neither too high nor too low, and the sea shows off various shades of blue.
They will also feel that it is a pleasure anyway to feel shivers when in Italy they have been suffering for at least a month from the heat of the antechamber of hell.
They will think these things, and they have a point, the Italian tourists who have arrived in Watamu and Malindi for the week of Ferragosto.
There are an average of 1,500 of them, not counting those who, despite being 'first-timers', immediately went to look for the bed&breakfast or air BnB option, as they are used nowadays, while remaining tourists in spirit. You can see it from the questions they ask, the doubts, the false beliefs, the knowledge of English (alas, all too often even in the younger generations...).
For two August months in a row, in 2020 and 2021, everything had stopped in the world and consequently also the charters, made especially for those who are not really (or not yet) travellers.
Call him a 'mass' or 'package holiday' or even an 'all-inclusive' tourist: he hardly likes to leave the resort in which he has most often decided to self-confine with the help of a travel agency or internet surfing.
But whoever goes out, inevitably, instead of the desert outside the resort of Sharm El Sheikh or the sandy sea of the Maldives, finds Africa, with all its beauty, nature, people and paradoxes.

Post-war tourists (or rather of the after ONE war, the one against a virus, and during a real war) will go back to the old clichés, those that if they had happened on the coast during a pandemic August holiday, would have had less effect: "Africans cannot afford a holiday like ours", "Africans are poor and they all live in mud huts with a roof of dry palm trees", "Africans have no food" and so on.

Indeed, in the last two years in Watamu and Malindi we have had confirmation of the two Kenyans: one is the same as always, which on the one hand has grown in awareness but on the other has more and more problems, and on the other a class of citizens who can afford much more than a charter holiday, storming the buffet and leaving 2 euros extra in a week.
This year the high-flying Kenyans are not to be seen, simply because they are not there. They stayed at home waiting for the election results. Some to vote, many to see what happens, mindful of the past. Others because they are somehow interested and involved in power games.
And tourist destinations go back to being pre-war.
So the Italian tourists put their noses out, flee the beach for the wind and the beach boys who have been like drug addicts on white powder for two years, and discover something.
There's not much known for taking decent selfies. It's better to live, but how do you manage nowadays without mobile phone photos to share on social media? But yes, there are plenty of other things to do that are reminiscent of any good holiday: shopping in the local bazaars, buying garish sarongs and cover-ups, a few souvenirs to take to friends and family and other amenities. Tasting passion fruit juice in a local bar (no, no...better Italian, so you understand the menu) and finally tasting a real Kenyan cuisine speciality. In Malindi and Watamu it is full of them, they are seen and advertised in every restaurant and even in the kiosks by the sea: pizza!!!

Have a good holiday and welcome back.
Soon the real Kenya will be back, who knows if one day you will come back real too.

TAGS: vacanzeferragostowatamuturisticharter

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