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Masai business

December 2, 2011

Although Somali pirates are certainly not a problem down here on the Kenyan coast, there are other diversions that suggest a different kind of danger, the danger of impressionable girls having their heads turned by alarmingly languid and attractive chaps clad in dresses as my picture today indicates.

These Masai warriors are much used locally by the bigger houses as security guards and they can be quite scary. The cost of hiring them, at around 500 Kenyan shillings a day (about £3.50 at today’s exchange rates) is almost irresistible as they also add a certain local colour, with their brightly lit Masai robes. It also of course gives the house guests a degree of comfort. However, how much comfort do they provide? and  to what extent do they have the opportunity to personalise the service? This thought came to my attention when that nice lady decorator found this particular specimen on the beach at Watamu yesterday afternoon.

Has he any idea how much trouble he is getting into here? not with me, with her.

We had walked along the beautiful white sand beach at high tide and at a small village of local craft stalls had purchased a wide range of fabrics, jewelry, a hand carved ebony chess set, some curious African ashtrays, a carved sandstone elephant and various other bits of detritus for the grand total of around £15, when her eyes lit on James, a charming Masai, rather too charming in my opinion although that charm dissipated somewhat when he demanded 50 shillings for the photo, about 35p. Had there been cushion covers available on that market I would have been certain that she would have added to her collection, which stands almost waist-high in our bedroom.

Dinner, a most fabulous crab thermador produced by the smiling Kenyan kitchen staff at Alhamra, produced a discussion about the nature of the wager at golf today. We are due to play at Vippongi Ridge about 45 minutes drive towards Mombassa, and which looks astonishing in the brochure. I for one will be attempting more than usual to keep my ball on the fairway as over dinner increasingly embellished stories of wild life, especially at the wilder end of the spectrum of the word wild were disclosed by our host Nigel Rowley, a Kenyan veteran of 25 years standing. It seems that giraffes, pythons, monkeys, and warthogs are just some of the animals we may witness on our round, and although we will have caddies for those errant golf balls that refuse to stay on the fairway, those least accurate of balls may have to be declared lost, unless we want to risk losing a caddy. I do hope someone has a rifle close to hand in case any of the wildlife takes a particularly unwelcome interest in golf. In the end the wager seems more to do with losing the least golf balls, given the narrowness of the fairways, the local breezed and the abundant wildlife

Lunch at the golf club will follow my victorious round, and I hope to be able to say afterwards that I have never been beaten at golf in Africa. We have to start very early leaving here at 7 30am this morning due to the heat that builds up in the afternoon, but that will be nothing compared with the hot air that I will unleash the accompanying and admiring associates upon sealing the expected success. It is a fair bet however that if anything goes awry with these planned victory celebrations, then I may not have sufficient room to be able to report the result in this column tomorrow

Chris France

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Cultured Cathie permalink
    December 2, 2011 10:07 am

    How are they ‘brightly lit’ those Masai robes? Battery, electric, little solar panels perhaps?

    Like

  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    December 2, 2011 12:35 pm

    You can actually see the little solar panel shining on his forehead if you look closely. TNLD looks like a cross between Britannia and Brunhilda in this picture.

    Incidentally yesterday I was on the very verge of posting you a vast cheque in order to invest my hard earned cash in Medina Palms when I read that the shops are like dark little caves and today I learn that the place is festooned with security guards and I’m likely to be attacked by wild animals on the golf course.

    I think i’ll invest in a nice little mobile home on The Isle of Wight instead !!

    Like

    • December 3, 2011 9:35 am

      more your style I think, although they tell me Bounnemouth is nice for the elderly. Me? is kenya, barbados or Ibiza, or all three….

      Like

  3. Pinman permalink
    December 3, 2011 1:56 pm

    *Bounnemouth* is nice for the elderly

    Especially if they can’t spell……………..

    Like

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