When you land on the first flight to Kisumu International Airport and drive into the city you will be amazed at how sparkling it is. How clean the streets are. There are sidewalks and pedestrian crossings where cars stop for pedestrians.
“I imagined Kisumu would be loud and brash and, quite honestly, not this clean,” a friend told me recently on their first visit to Kisumu. They could not believe how calm it was.
There was no single paper in the streets. I was proud of my city because when you come from Nyanza, you have to lay claim to Kisumu.
We went to Anchors Lounge on Oginga Odinga Road, right opposite the famous Ka-Akwacha Foods. It was early evening; the sun was just setting over the shimmering lake. Downtown Kisumu has changed; there is the port and new businesses mushrooming downtown, making downtown a new contender.
Anchors Lounge is a small lounge, with red kitschy colours. It feels like a red night special. I did not venture inside that was glowing red like a duodenal ulcer. I sat outside, on the verandah with high chairs. I ordered fish. There were a few guys having beers.
Even though I had never been there before it felt nostalgic sitting there, looking at the lake. I thought of my dead mother. I think of my dead mother a lot when I’m in Kisumu. It can get very sad at times, but I do not allow it. Instead, I order a whisky, and if I have company I toast to the good life because life is for the living.
The service was great. I was served by a witty young man with a very slender frame who looked like waiting was his side hustle. Dusk descended and more people came in. the music got louder and the mosquitoes started stinging my exposed arms.
I rubbed whisky on my arms. Mosquitoes hate whisky. At 9 pm, I called a cab. I looked at the clean deserted streets on my way to the hotel and convinced myself that I was not lonely, merely alone.