Monday, July 22, 2013

Getting There And Away

It seems so grand and worldly to advise people on how to conveniently travel off to a remote African island, so I thought I'd do just that, although I have to admit I have absolutely no clue as to whether or not the following can be described as the most convenient way to go. Rumor has it (or actually it may be a downright fact?) that Princess Caroline of Monaco has a house in Lamu, right next to the hotel in Shella island where we stayed, and my gut feeling says the she might have an even more convenient way of getting there and away.

Anyway, Johan and I flew with Airkenya from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Manda Island in Lamu, whose airport is more of a landing strip and feline hangout than an actual airport. And from there we were picked up and sailed to Peponi Hotel - easy as that.

Even though I'm quite afraid of flying and was girlishly upset with Johan for booking us a flight on a tiny, tiny airplane (the kind I'd sworn I'd never, ever, ever fly!), I have to say it was a most relaxing and smooth way of traveling. No endless queues at security check, no trekking down to a faraway gate at the very end of the airport and no stressful baggage claim and subsequent confusion on which train to take in order to get somewhere remotely close to your hotel.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

In dire need of a sewing kit

At the risk of offending the residents of a town dating back to the 14th century and which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Johan and I could have both sworn that Lamu Town had been constructed as a set for an Indiana Jones movie.

It's got a hustling and bustling seafront, a busy town square, beautiful buildings in various degrees of picturesque decay and refurbishment, and narrow alleys lined with little hole-in-the-wall shops and hotels from where Indy could pop out at any given moment.

It was quite an adventure to go, I have to say, and I'm happy we went with a guide. Apart from a 4-year old boy who smiled wide at me and happily greeted me with a "fuck you!", people were really nice nodding hello or going "jambo!" as we walked through the town. Yet, it's hard to deny that we stood out, and it's also hard to deny that both Johan and I look like the easiest and most naive targets ever.

As we waived goodbye to our local guide and settled down in the shade outside the city museum, a man came up to us, eagerly chatting away about Denmark, Roskilde Festival, the red light district in Istedgade and the suburb of Klampenborg, where he had supposedly lived and left his children behind on account of the climate not being to his taste. Within a couple of minutes though, he started pleading his case: Money, he wanted, and when we didn't want to give him that, he asked us to go buy him a needle and a thread, which to us just seemed too silly.

"Can't you borrow that from someone?", we felt tempted to suggest. "Say, your mom or your sister?"

It took ten minutes before he finally gave up on us, after which Johan and I deemed it time to go home, running for safety in our hotel shuttle dhow.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meanwhile, in Lamu

If you're guessing I'm in Lamu, off the coast of Kenya, then you've guessed it right. Johan and I being big city travelers, this is the first time we've ever gone off on a beach vacation together and so far, the whole package has far exceeded all our hopes and wildest dreams. This tropical paradise has it all: Sandy beaches, friendly locals and delicious food (along with a wee threat of malaria and Somali pirates, for extra excitement). Pure heaven.

I have yet to go surfing and climb up a tree to pick my own coconut, but that's solely because we're staying in a hotel where we're being waited on hand and foot (they even do the surfing for you, so you can relax in a hammock all the while). Peponi Hotel, it's called, and I can't recommend it enough. They were even so kind to upgrade us to a huge suite with an equally huge terrace overlooking the ocean (that has never happened to me before!). Also, they strew colorful flowers everywhere, even on your toilet paper, which is a custom I'm considering bringing back home.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

case study

While all of Copenhagen has been soaking up the sun and beer at Roskilde, I've been cooped up inside working on this. It looks tiny in the photo, but in reality it comes across kind of massive, measuring some 150 cm in width and breadth.

As I was putting the finishing touches on it, I realize it's got a bit of an Eames-y look, which I'm very satisfied with. I'm done with striving for originality and feel perfectly comfortable imitating.