Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PEELING BACK MOMBASA: AN INTRODUCTION FOR DUMMIES



This is a long overdue post, but whoever said better never than late is a sore loser.
It is that time of the month, er, year. The buses are fully booked, and even Channia express has the guts to charge 1500-plus from Nairobi to Msa, up from 800 bob. By 24th Dec, it will be cheaper to fly to Mombasa!
Yes, many a Nairobian ‘worth his salt’, and those who have mastered the craft of saving, are headed down to Pwani for Xmas. It is a yearly phenomenon; much like the wildebeest migration. In Dec, people from the Coast head upcountry for xmas, while Nairobians and ‘others’ head down under. Little wonder then , that Onyango from Buruburu will be at the Kenyatta public beach, his preferred getaway, only to realize that Njoro the guy from the local is also there, snuggling with Hadija Waithera, and four other watu wa chama pia wako area! Nairobi essentially relocates to Mombasa at this time! Wanna try Mfangano Island?
But that’s beside the point! There is this group of people who will be coming to Mombasa si Pwani for the first time. These are the people this script is meant for. If you have never been to Mombasa, here is a quick guide on the places u might wanna visit, and a few do’s and don’ts. I have been resident here barely four months, so I am not an expert yet, but what the heck, this is only an introduction!

Here goes:
1.    Bella Vista: This is where 97% of party poopers, er, goers from Nairobi frequent. Don’t be surprised to find that ka-regular from Betty’s and Tribeka here, coz he/she too will be told about Bella Vista. It is located just off Moi Avenue, next to the famous Elephant Tusks where shagzmodos take pictures as proof that ‘nilikuwa Coast’ ( Pembeni is to Mombasa what KICC is to Nairobi, but without hovering photographers). Bella Vista has VERY GOOD music. DJ Bunduki is special.
2.    Casablanca: If Bella Vista is the Baptism,  Casablanca will be your official initiation. The two locations are only a 50-bob tuk tuk away. Casablanca comes with its unfair share of twilight ladies, who will stare you into submission. If you are the weak type, chapa chupa mbili kisha uhepe, ama utabeba! But the real secret of Casablanca is not the main bar, it is the inner Casanova Bar. For an extra 300 bob, strippers await you in Casanova. Another 300bob will usher you into Casanova’s V.I.P. section. And another 3000bob will lead you to a bunny-ranch-ish dungeon.         Watch out for their live show, which starts at about 2.00AM. That show is TRULY LIVE. No further details, I’m sure some kids are reading.
3.    Bobs: Oh, Bobs. This is the after-party after the Party. Once you do Bella and Casa in town, take a mat to Bob’s. Taxis are so unused in Mombasa. It’s another popular joint, frequented by both Nairobians and (Mombasanians?). By day it is a gated parking lot, by night it is a banging club. It’s a Party in a Car Park. It’s main advantage is the open-air setting which enables lots of natural air circulation, which is welcoming in the unforgiving heat.  But if it rains, you are doomed. Bobs comes with an extra pub, Murphy’s, complete with a separate DJ. The slightly more mature Bobs patrons and slightly more expensive escorts frequent that place.
That essentially is the essential A-B-C of Partying. But here are extras to sample.
4.    MTWAPA: You have never really gone to Mombasa if you haven’t been to Mtwapa. Mtwapa is essentially a collection of all cadres of clubs, pubs and brothels, rudely interrupted by other businesses to make up the township. Mtwapa is also probably the residence of choice for the Many Hadija Wairimus and Fatuma Anyangos of Mombasa. You know what I mean. If you don’t, ask a friend. Highlights of Mtwapa are;
a.    Club Lambada: A club that flatters to deceive. It’s like Arsenal. One day it’s off the hook, the next it’s a staggering disappointment. Its main attraction is the swimming pool, from where the resident DJ spins (cool, huh?) and where the clubs holds the climax of its midnight cabaret show.  Those ladies can tease in the water!
b.    Casuarina: The population of Hoes to Patrons is 7 to 1. Need I say more?
c.     Lollipop. The first thing you see when you step in is a horde of very-nearly-naked women doing bad things to a pole. Its compact size makes it look like 3D.
d.    Every 5 metres is a kibanda that plays exlusive music, from Rhumba to Ohangla to Kilunda.
5.    Kahama: If you love Sports, watch it in Kahama. It is located along the Nyali-Mtwapa Road. Extra large screens which can air nearly 6 different matches at a time. So even if Man U, Arsenal Man City and Chelsea are all playing at once, Liverpool fans will still get to watch their match.
THE following hangouts are recommended for persons who want to enjoy their drinks without annoying riff-raffs and under-18s spoiling the moment.
6.    Sheba: Located at the Nakumatt Nyali building. Rooftop. Entrance mostly 1000bob. Its redeemable, but the charge alone keeps off wasee wa mtaa na watoi (pun intended).
7.    Lounge: Same building as Sheba, but ground floor. No charges, but for some reason only mature peeps are found there. Love it.
8.    Il Covo: Beach bar after Kahamas. Play mostly Techno and Urban Music. Do not go there expecting to listen to akina  Nazidi Kuwapa Vidonge. You will be disappointed
9.    Noons: Right inside Nyali Beach Hotel. In Nyali, of course. Very Classy. Frequented by Wazungus. Enuff Said.
And finally…

10.                  Kenyatta Beach, or Pirates. It’s a beach. Frolic and drink the salty, frequently peed on water. It’s good for your skin.
11.                  Mama Ngina Park. Mombasa’s Uhuru Park. It’s by the Ferry. You can go there when you are finally broke and waiting to go back home. Located next to the ferry, you can while away the time watching ships come and go across the channel.
This list is not exhaustive, I have not even touched South Coast with its Shakatak and Fourty Thieves in Ukunda. But it should get you started.
And now, the basic dos and Don’ts
DO
- Carry a cartful of money. Nearly every club here charges entrance fees. Charges from 200bob upwards peak. If you club-hop, you might just spend almost 2K just entering clubs. Make that 5k if you are the ‘sponsor’. And you haven’t even started drinking!
- Carry your swim-suit or that huge kaptula you sleep in for the beach. Nothing is as idiotic as walking along the beach with your tight jeans folded up your lower knee. Priss, styre up! You may also choose to hire those swimsuits, which everyone else has worn, from the beach operators. Afterwards see your dermatologist just to make sure.
- Book your ride back before you travel. Pesa itaisha Mombasa na hauna doo ya kurudi. Aibu ndogo ndogo nayo!
- Buy and carry your condoms, if you must do it. For some reason getaways to Mombasa also mean lots of casual sex. And Mombasa is sex waiting to happen everywhere you go. But u wanna go back home healthy, no?
DON’T
-       Chips funga, if you have no extra change. In Mombasa, unofficial opinion polls reveal that at least 60% of ladies in the nightspots are selling- from Bella to Bobs to Mtwapa. Casablanca and Casuarina probably stands at 99.8 %. Listen, if there’s a stranger willing to go with you to your kichinjio, chances are he/she will charge you. This is not Betty’s or Hearts, the ladies here are not worth just three Smirnoff Ice...
-       Go with a beach-boy too far in the waters ‘ati anakufunza ku-swim”.  Legend has it that some beach boys will lead unsuspecting ladies deep into the ocean in the pretext of quick swimming lessons. When you go that far, they will threaten to leave u to drown if you don’t push aside your bikini for ‘access’. He will do his thing as you hang on to him helplessly, then guide you to a crowded spot and swim under to the other end. Utado? Avoid this scenario. Always be with a friend, and don’t go too far if you cant swim alone.

Mombasa Yapapasa, Mombasa ina anasa. Have fun, but be safe.
Happy holidays. E&OE.

@FerdyOmondi

17 comments:

  1. I would say you have learnt quite some in those few months. Of note are those women doing bad things to poles at Lollipop and those innocent ladies who are left wondering what got into them (no pun) when they agree to go way beyond the shores. It goes without saying that you will need professional therapy when you finally decide to leave that place. Welcome back to the blogosphere and happy holidays too.

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  2. hahah siri imetumbuka nyongo ...nilikuwa nadhani macho nyanya Freddy unayapata kwa mnazi ...heheh ..dusty guide

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  3. Hahaha!! A funny piece, this one! I live in Mombasa but this made me feel like a newbie here......

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  4. great piece,well written,well researched and witty!

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  5. South Coast, we start from ''the office'' just after you cross the ferry, hii ni kama liverpool, the giant that was, no longer in business, then ''third world'' the ladies here stench, sweaty and half them are hadija Odhiambo,the rest are Ugandans, be very carefull with your drinks, very cheap accomodations also...

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  6. You talked about Mama Ngina but not F2 why? F2 at the far end is not for the broke really!

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  7. HI Ferdinand,
    I have searched the interwebs high and low for your contact info, and... well, no luck. Email me? Thank you!7

    P.S. You are such a good writer! I lol'ed a bunch of times reading this :)

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  8. This post got me laughing my heart out! Witty and informative. Love it!

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  9. U forgot to say about the beautiful ladies who one takes for a date just when one decides to chips funga they vanish just before your face...i tell u hautorudi mombasa tena

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  10. This is quite something...
    Now a new classy joint Bliss- Crystal Lounge in Nyali.

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  11. Hahaha great research philosopher,something tells me,u've gone through one or 3/4 of all that.Experience is the best teacher...hehe

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