Travel

My crush sinks at Moorings

mooring pic

The moorings floating bar at the Mtwapa Creek in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • This is the feeling I got when I visited The Moorings, floating restaurant at Mtwapa Creek after hearing so much about it.
  • The service was as pale as a newborn hamster, the manager pompous with an attitude of an African chief of the pre-90s era.
  • It wasn’t anything like I’d seen in the pictures people posted online.

I once had a penpal. If you are a millennial and wondering what that is, back in the stone age you’d frequently correspond with a “pal” you’d never met, and perhaps would never meet, by way of letter writing. In retrospect it was both charming and ridiculous. Like a relationship going nowhere. Obviously I loved letter writing so I had a couple penpals.

There was this particular penpal called Phoebe, from Great Britain (that’s how we called it then). She lived in provincial UK. She told me about her farming family and about castles and the beauty of their rivers and hills, managing to create (no fault of hers) a utopic image of Great Britain in my mind. I, on the other hand, a shy introverted boy keen to escape and who was just discovering the infinity of fiction, told her terrible lies about lions and spears. Terrible.

Strangely enough we never quite exchanged photos of ourselves but I remember imagining her looking like the pretty white girls I saw on KBC TV in foreign programmes; blonde and wearing frocks. (TV was black and white, so we didn’t know some had blue eyes). I fantasised finishing school and headed to the UK to live in their castle and marry her and live a life of astonishing fantasy.

We corresponded until the internet came upon and we acquired emails and then not long after mobile phones which meant photos. Then she sent me her photo and I thought, naah, maybe marriage isn’t in the cards after all. I was disappointed because she had crushed the image I had created of her. It’s a bit like meeting your favourite writer.

This is the feeling I got when I visited The Moorings, floating restaurant at Mtwapa Creek after hearing so much about it. The service was as pale as a newborn hamster, the manager pompous with an attitude of an African chief of the pre-90s era. It wasn’t anything like I’d seen in the pictures people posted online. But the view (if you get a good table) almost saved the romance I had built of it in my mind.