Freddie's Corner

FREDDIE'S CORNER

Bye bye lobster, once queen of the kenyan sea

It was a symbol of a tropical holiday here

19-07-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo

Years ago in Malindi with a thousand italian lira you could buy an alive lobster at the port.
Today if there is still a lobster alive, she pays you a thousand shillings to leave it alone.
I remember that in 1990 on the golden beach of Che Shale by the fishermen of Mambrui I exchanged a kilo of lobsters for a Genoa T-shirt and they even thanked me.
Except then I stopped the next time to ask myself if I had the tunic of a slightly stronger team, which brought back mine.
For a long time the queen of crustaceans was an economic touchstone for those who wanted to live or stay in Kenya for a long time or simply wanted to make themselves beautiful with friends back home: "In Malindi with the money I eat a sandwich in Italy, I make myself a lobster" or "I came to Malindi because now in Italy to eat a lobster you have to sign a bill of exchange".
Then maybe they'd end up going back to Italy with their tails between their legs for the lobsters they'd eaten...
Nowadays lobster is no longer so cheap and has become a rarity, also because the Chinese take half of it from the Kenyan waters, together with squids (and luckily they like shrimps very small... perhaps for a sort of sexual identification...). Nevertheless, the price of the crustacean queen is always derisory, compared to what you would pay in Italy.
Maybe it is difficult to find her still healthy, even if the intermediaries between the fisherman and the tourist, the fish sellers who beat the streets and knock on the villas of Malindi, study every possible method to revive lobsters in the presence of a mzungu. They know where to touch them to give them a final impulse even though they have been dead for three days, they hibernate them alive waiting for medicine to find a cure to resurrect them and teach them the Thriller ballet. When there's nothing more to do, they use the same makeup techniques for them that make Berlusconi look little more than fifty years old, they paint them with tempera and bleach the flesh that has turned yellow with Jik, the local bleach. Fortunately, with a lobster gone bad, you don't go to the creator of Heaven and Earth, but only to the creator of your Kenyan toilet, even for several days.

TAGS: aragosta kenyacrostacei kenya

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