It is weird when it rains in Diani. It is confusing. It’s an oddity. An oxymoron of sorts. Diani should be sunny and bright and hot. Nobody should ever have to wear something warm in Diani. A rainy Diani is like a crying clown. But when I was down there last week it rained a lot. The sky was constantly wet and gloomy.
I called up an old friend who had moved down there; uprooted his life from Nairobi and packed it in. Started a new life with his dog. If it sounds romantic it’s because it is. It’s also scary.
He didn’t seem scared though, he seemed, how can I say this, rejuvenated, peaceful even. “I no longer have to pretend,” he told me, “Nairobi forces you to pretend.”
We went down to Soul Breeze Bar at the tail-end of the long strip in Diani. He swears by the food there. I don’t care for seafood but I care for new experiences. My friend ordered a juice. I gave him an inquisitive look, a look I reserve for people who are on antibiotics and insist on coming to a bar. “I stopped drinking,” he explained.
I whistled. I didn’t find it in me to order a drink next to someone on a journey like this. I felt like I could taint him. That I wouldn’t go to heaven if I did. So I had a cider which isn’t an alcoholic beverage in my books. Cedar is like juice with a lemon wedge on it. [That’s how you know it’s not alcohol.]
We had a great conversation about reinvention and freedom and peace. He stroked his dog's head as he spoke about his life in Diani and the more he spoke the more I admired and envied his courage. Then it rained.