05-02-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
All too often, people make fun of the romantic relationships between Italians and their Kenyan partners.
Partners who are less and less occasional. Maybe not monogamous but present in time among the affections, desires and (often) the monetary transactions of their "wazungu".
To speak in 2021 of "sexual tourism" is to define a phenomenon that is no longer mass, not attributable to us Italians and confined to less and less touristy and increasingly dangerous realities.
Times have changed and require not only more attention and circumspection, but also different habits.
On the Italy-Kenya axis, people meet in chat rooms and on social networks, rather than at the counter of a bar, or even less, in times of pandemic restrictions, on the dance floor of a disco.
Often the friendship develops virtually for months, only to finally blossom on the first fateful date. And in times arid of deep relationships, good words and people who know how to listen, a friendship often becomes more important than a position in the kamasutra.
This is what is happening now that the Italian cages, if not yet open, have certainly widened. Not all the compatriots who had to abruptly break off an existing relationship to return to Italy and then had to hold out until August to see the international borders reopened, were able to return to Kenya immediately.
Italy's blockade of tourist travel beyond Europe, the second wave of autumn and the restrictions still in place in the two countries have put the brakes on almost everyone, even the chronic lovers.
Before Christmas, as temperatures dropped and testosterone rose, some risked losing their tickets and made it, others were turned away at check-in.
Those who waited in vain for the Christmas holidays in the hope that the Italian government would reopen leisure travel outside the valley of tears were further disappointed.
But with the new year, there were no more excuses, no more brakes. A self-certification and away we go, for heart problems. But not the classic ones, this virus is totally different and certainly more sympathetic, even though it may bring with it ephemeral illnesses, expenses as high as medical ones, post-lockdown depression and other unpleasant side effects. But during the 'illness' there was certainly pleasure and enjoyment.
To speak of prostitution, exploitation or, on the contrary, of local youths taking advantage and deceiving, besides being old-fashioned, seems a bit frustrating.
You simply meet two lonelinesses, each with their own reasons. They recognise each other, give each other something in return that each needs, and as long as this balance holds, it works.
I don't want to be wrong, but there are plenty of relationships like this in Italy too, between Italians. And also in Kenya, between Kenyans.
Let's get back to our cocks and hens escaping from the Belpaese and its anxieties: we recently met a forty-year-old man from Campania on the beach of Silversand in Malindi, in the company of what we were introduced to as 'his girlfriend'.
The two had met at Christmas 2019 and when he returned to his homeland in mid-January, they didn't stop hearing from each other, daily, on whatsapp.
Something was created, he says, whereby it was also a pleasure to simply share thoughts, stories, views on life at the time of the pandemic in different places.
Now that he has managed to come back, here they are together again. They know each other as if they had always been together. Are we really sure that sex is the driving force behind everything?
Driven by this social need, other Italians arrive who have not cultivated previous relationships but have already gone on dates with boys and girls they have met on the net and who have not necessarily presented themselves to them in a leopard-skin leotard or with greasy gym muscles.
By writing to each other, following their lives through social diaries, they have had time to consider, according to their drives and ambitions, desires and expectations, whether this was the right person to date, even though they live 8000 kilometres and hundreds of habits and issues away
Under a palm tree that stands out in the immense African sky, on the shores of the Indian ocean, there are also many normal people who will meet other normal people.
Made even more normal and innocent, by the general madness of this world.
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