Travel

When it’s hard to sell Kisumu

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Kisumu Boys roundabout at the intersection of Nairobi road and Kakamega road in Kisumu. FILE PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NMG

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Summary

  • I love Kisumu more than I love Kampala. And I love Kampala a lot! And so it’s heartbreaking to go to a place like this and get deflated because you want to root for this lakeside town.

How do adults who can tell the time miss flights? I’ve always wondered snootily.

I humbly discovered this a few weeks ago when I missed a flight from Kisumu to Nairobi. It feels weird. It disorganises your day. Re-arranges your chi, a bit.

It’s a bit like being caught in the rain; you start running but at some point, you realise you can’t avoid being soaked, so you give up and walk in the rain. And you whistle under your breath, an old tune from the 80s like Samba Mapangala.

I missed the flight because I was in the village and time slows down in the village.

Anyway, when we finally got to Kisumu (missing the flight by 30 minutes), we called this local radio presenter and asked him where we could cool our heels as we waited for the next flight five hours away.

He said, “Homestay in Milimani.” He said it was posh and it had an amazing view. Well, it wasn’t any of those.

It looked unattended, like the owner had a brilliant idea but wasn’t bothered enough to execute it well.

This is the bar I’m talking about. The view was okay, slightly obscured by a little patch of greenery in front of it. There were some bandas overlooking the lake. A bunch of girls in very short and very tight dresses played music loudly from their external speakers and danced raunchily.

Their menu lacked lots of drinks. Below, they are building what looks like a big hut that will act like another bar. The girl who served us was very sweet, though.

I love Kisumu more than I love Kampala. And I love Kampala a lot! And so it’s heartbreaking to go to a place like this and get deflated because you want to root for this lakeside town.

You want to tell your friends who haven’t gone past Nakuru, “Oh, are you going to Kisumu? Go to this and this place, the view is amazing, the food is insane. Ask for Akinyi Nya’ Yimbo. Tell her Biko sent you. Tell her I miss her.”