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Mombasa: In love with life; In life with love.

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There is much to be said about this city, and the mere attempt to verbalize its voice is, already, a sin that should be avoided. But I am in the business of verbalizing my feelings and thoughts, so it is with forgiveness that I write this.

Mombasa is that kiss your mother gives you in front of people. It’s so embarrassing, and yet so calming, so warm, and much needed. It’s the Sun saying “Welcome and stay here forever!”, and in its’ people’s lips, moist by the humidity of the town, manifested in words much more than can be perceived.

The smiles and somewhat romanticized simplicity of Mombasa people, and its railways, embraced by the white sand that, sometimes wind, caresses the pores that bleed out sweat in its extremely hot days.

It’s Mombasa, and if you’re not a romantic by nature, expect to be converted.

Dust away the shoes you had been carrying from the business of wherever you came from before you enter this city. In fact, remove them altogether for the sand grains wish to massage your toes.

It was evening and the breeze whispered in my ear, “this is where you come to fall in love.”

This is where love was first introduced to human lips. Walking around Old Town, moon lit up, a street’s serene scent of the Mosques that were filled with activity; how does one escape falling in love in Mombasa?

If not with the holiness of long but not forgotten footsteps of history and its traditions; if not with the heat at that melting pot of cultures and people; if not with the food, with the spices and with the tea… if you go to Mombasa and don’t fall in love, what love had you been carrying in you so long?

It’s complex and immensely difficult to translate the voice of a city. It’s silly to believe that I, a mere human, would be able to, in 400 words, capture all the dreams I accidentally on purpose walked by in Mombasa.

There is some part of me that must have remained on such a ground, or in the ocean.

There must be something, a dream or a wish I may have let out in my sleep, that flew from my mouth to a destination only the stars would be able to guess.

I left something in Mombasa, not sure what, but I’m definitely coming back for it.

Lover of all things bright and yellow, with an unorthodox taste for neuroscience and politics. She travels in and out of herself, and enjoys getting stuck in transit while doing this thing called 'life'. (Mozambique)

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