17-06-2021 by Claudia Peli
In the week dedicated to those of our fellow countrymen of a certain age who move or come to "winter" on the Kenyan coast, we repropose a story by our departed friend Claudia Peli, who with her polite irony often described stories of life spent working in hotels in Malindi.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you still have two days to listen to and comment on the Freddie and Sbringo parody on youtube (link below). By doing so, you will participate in the contest that offers prizes both in Kenya and in Italy, for those who can not be here by November 30.
Enjoy reading and listening!
Today a curved and jovial old man showed up at the office.
I was struck by his teenage attire: baseball cap, oversized psychedelic T-shirt, camouflage shorts with a low crotch.
Just like my neighbour's son in Brescia, only seventy years older.
"Good morning, can I help you?"
"Maybe Miss! I'd like to move into this hotel, do you have a free room?"
"Sure, come with me and I'll show you a couple."
He follows me pole to pole, poor guy in this equatorial heat must be tiring to walk at his age.
He tells me that his travel agency in Italy made a mistake in his booking and sent him to an out-of-this-world hotel.
He is very unhappy.
"I'm sorry, I can imagine how hard that long bumpy road is to get all the way into town if you need a shop or a bank..."
"But no, it's not that."
"Maybe it's the distance to a medical centre in case of need that doesn't make you comfortable." I hazard.
"No, it's not that either."
She sees me puzzled and opens up in a spicy confidence.
"You see miss, my friend Jenny says the road is too long to come and see me at night in a tuk tuk."
No wonder the old man's got himself an exotic girlfriend.
I have serious doubts that his shrimp will still be strutting around at night.
I wonder what kind of stunts she'll have to pull to wake him up.
Come on, come on, shrimp, get up! Up!
I have to laugh but I remain serious and professional and I inform him that the hotel's policy does not accept African female escorts at night. Not even if they are properly registered at the reception, nor under the cover of carers.
"But I'm serious about this, I want to marry her!" He objects sharply.
OH MY GOD...
I think she's had too much sun, or is it dementia?
"I beg your pardon?"
"I'm marrying Jenny. We won't tell my wife."
I thought he was a widower, but he's a bigamist casanova.
I'll keep quiet.
"You see, my poor wife is old and won't leave Italy."
The young man justifies himself, and I have the doubt that maybe he's fifty years old and just doesn't look it.
"I've looked into it, you know, miss? There are other men here who have two wives: one here and one there, and everything runs smoothly."
I've heard that urban legend too, is it true?
The old man has discovered malindie heaven and has decided to be pampered by a little black angel in the last years of his life.
In short, a glorious or inglorious end, depending on your point of view.
"When I first saw the Jenny I was blown away, love at first sight."
"One way." I add quietly, because she can't hear me.
"And how long ago did you two meet?"
"The other night at the disco."
"And when did he ask you to marry her?"
"The other night at the disco. Watch me show her how beautiful she is."
He opens his wallet under my nose and shows me a passport photo of a girl with pigtails, next to it is a photo of two blond children embracing.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but in my opinion this little man should stay at home with his grandchildren and help them decorate the Christmas tree, like my grandfather used to do in the seventies. Don't they do that anymore?
I guess if you'd asked Grandma:
"Granny, where's Grandpa? Why hasn't he brought in the tree I have all the little stars ready to hang yet?"
"Honey, didn't they tell you that Grandpa left for Africa?"
"Ooooh... did he go to help the poor children in Africa?"
"No dear, grandpa went to ...beep ... a beautiful little African girl."
What a trauma for me and my sister.
In the meantime, Nino, that's his name, informs me that he is going to Muyeye soon to meet Jenny's family.
Very good people.
Yes, very good people, living happily on your little pension.
Should we warn him? No, the heirs will take care of it.
I show him the rooms, but they're no good because they're on the second floor and he can't take the stairs because of his bad knees.
Eh, old age!
"Jenny promised to take me to a very good doctor friend of hers who has invented a magic ointment for my knees. But she says it will take a while to feel the benefits."
Chicken to be plucked, one pen at a time, yes it takes time.
So I propose a room on the ground floor with two single beds.
"Eh no miss! We'll be on our honeymoon: we need a big bed."
And he lights up with a proud Latin male smile.
HELP! I don't want the dead in the house... do you know what a hassle it is to organise the repatriation of the body and give embarrassing explanations to the relatives?
Damn, where shall I put this old man?
In the end I decide to send him to the hotel at the end of the street, where I promise he will be very well and they will know how to satisfy all his needs.
I accompany him to the tuk tuk, and as he walks away I greet him with my arm raised.
"Best wishes Nino and sons!"
And his eyes shine with emotion, as if he had his whole life ahead of him.
In just three days since we launched the appeal, Malindikenya.net has found the first 200 euros to operate...
Two hundred views in the first 48 hours after its publication on Youtube, but only 13 participants in the contest...
We have arrived at the ninth, penultimate song-parody of this musical journey into the verisimilar...
Kenya is a land where people fall in love easily, and one of the recurring themes in Italian songs is
by Freddie del Curatolo
On Tuesday morning Andrea Cozzi, one of Malindi's most friendly and brilliant friends, was missing.
Architect from Bergamo, always ready to beat and with the philosophy of everyday life. He was 60 years old.
The editorial staff of Malindikenya. net...
Still postponed the transfer in Sardinia of Mario Mele, a former resident of Malindi owner of Mario's Lounge at the Nakumatt, arrested by Interpol on 29 March during a joint operation with the police in the coastal region of Kenya.
by Freddie del Curatolo
Not all of our readers have noticed, but we have been keeping you company for a month and a half...