So the mood is set, Jim is all ears and I am giddy with excitement. I’ll paint Kisumu from a standpoint of wonderment and enthusiasm and excitement. After this narration, you would love Kisumu, Jim!
Since you’ve been gone buddy a lot has happened. It’s hard to pick where to start so I’ll start at the beginning.
First of all Kisumu, is not exactly mashinani like the rest of our shags. This is why I hate people who genuinely call Kisumu shags. Except your mum of course, she is the exception here. She moved back a few years ago actually. Your obsession with this city made her feel at peace with herself. Now that I have been here severally, I can definitely see why. It’s just magical. Methinks this magic has always been here. It just took the right kind of energy and visionary mindset to bring it forth. The governor might think I’m describing him, but in all honesty that guy hasn’t reached the pinnacles the electorate voted him to hit. He has a year or less to redeem himself. Highly doubtful phenomenon.
The City Center
The city centre here has become a breathing urban area.
Let’s just start at Imperial Hotel Kisumu. This has been the place to stay in Kisumu since Eden was a home and Eve walked around in flower petals. How were we surprised at what she did when the self-absorbed, overly self-indulgent and utter bitchiness was there all this while? It was written all over her clothes, or lack thereof. But I digress. The Imperial now has a sister and man is she fine! She is the express version. It’s an archetype of architecture. Simple, tasteful, elegant and above all else magnificently obnoxious. You cannot ignore it.They have a chef who speaks food as his first language. The staff is that family you never knew you had until they said “should you have any problem, then we shall have failed. Enjoy your stay”. I just couldn’t with Imperial. At night, the lights all around the building put the Nairobi sun to shame. Even the moon shines a tad dimly so this place can awe us with the impeccable lighting. It’s a sight.
Acacia Premier Hotel
Kisumu has grown into its own. So much so the Acacia brand of hotels landed here. With a riotous thud. No Kisumu didn’t come to a standstill but dude it is the stamp of luxury in an already luxurious city. I mean when you walk into Acacia, you risk looking like a degenerate. Everything fights for your attention. The decor, the ambiance, the air that you breathe is expensive. Your room will have you doubting whether you have been doing life right.
Accommodation redefined basically. Your bed will love you and you will love it back and sleep will be a love affair I will tell for you. Because you cannot write to save yourself. In the morning, right after the royal breakfast, which will be served by a boy who should be a part of the menu, the view will have you teary.
Once you step outside to the verandah, the Kisumu heat will embrace you. You might be hesitant. Then the sun will kiss your bare face only so lightly early morning. The breeze will hum by and if you listen close, you will hear it sing praise to you. And you will stand there and cuddle with nature. And believe that God possibly resides in Kisumu.
Its unfortunate that they only just discovered the reverence of the mighty Victoria. Did you ever see the lake from Kisumu, Jim? You would have shit your pants. It forces you to bow to it. It’s now littered with hyacinth but it persists and I think it is winning. I went to Dunga beach man, we ate fish but the seller thought the h too far to get to so she obviously kept saying fis. I think if your fish hasn’t come from this lake, at the Dunga beach specifically, keep your opinions to yourself when fish eaters are talking. Global warming will be a sustainable conundrum until we have all had fish from Lake Victoria. Only then shall we truly understand the need to take care of Victoria.
Oginga Odinga Street
You know how gender equality has become big this days, yes? Well, since team mafisi opened branches in every county, Koinange also diversified and expanded into new markets. Oginga Odinga street is their Kisumu chapter. The street is serious and usual during day time. Night comes with the second face of it all. Split personality on Oginga Odinga hehe. The girls here are a tad more bedazzled than the ones in Nairobi. They come in all shapes and sizes. Mostly gargantuan derriere, dark and dressed in a little more than your average hankie. Weaves in colors Mother Nature never intended and heels just higher than their standards. Its like a nightly Halloween party, without the fun part.
Then again what did you expect? That Acacia would register full beds (or empty but booked) then people would just dine buffet and drink house wine and retire to bed? People carry their needs with them. I’m just saying.
I would have failed if I did not talk about Rusinga Island. That thing you did not believe existed? Well it does. It would have blown your mind away. It is a gem. It’s the last slice of paradise on this planet. It’s a life half lived if you do not partake of this hidden treasure. I wish it was closer to Kisumu itself but the trip is made worthy at Rusinga Island Lodge. It refuses to leave you. I haven’t forgotten walking barefoot in the grass. A tickle that makes you excited, just enough so you don’t laugh too hard. The serenity of the lush trees and grass. I remember going to bed and feeling like I wasn’t alone. I slept on the left and Mother Nature slept to my right. She hummed, and brisked my curtains, she breezed throughout the night and lulled me to sleep. In the morning the sun was generous. It woke me up with abundance and I looked outside. Face to face with the phenomenon so well hidden. I sighed, some beauty that was to behold. You would love it.
I have so many fond memories of Kisumu. I would love to stay and talk some more because we haven’t even gone half way. But people have pictures to filter and post on instagram. You have angelic duties yourself.
We never made it to Kisumu Jim, but I did and you would have loved it. It would love you back.
Read About part one here