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KENYA // MOMBASA DAY 6

1 Last full day at the coast and we get up before seven to get into the truck we’ve rented. It drives us on dusty red dirt roads through remote little villages in the palm tree forests, sugarcane fields and pineapple farms. Little children run after our car, waving at us. After two hours we are all the way down by the Tanzanian border where a boat is waiting to take us out to Wasini Island and the marine park, just like we’ve done all the other times we go down to Mombasa. 5 You get on a big wooden boat and there is a dolphin safari, comfy beds to lie down on to eat fruit or read or listen to the waves. This is then followed by a couple of hours of snorkelling in glistering clear water among colourful reefs and sea turtles. 2 For some weird reason we instead end up with 20 other people and waves as tall as houses. The boat rocks back and forth and people fight over a bucket to puke in! I usually never get sea sick but this is insane, and then hearing one person after the other get sick, and the smell of it… These photos were shot just before the storm happened. Two hours of hell later and we’re finally by the reef, see the dolphins swim around the boat and get into the water to do some snorkelling. Unfortunately due to the waves there is a dusty cloud filling up the water, making it difficult to see. Daniel is loving it though, which is all I care about. We see Nemo and Dory and other fish. 34 The ride to Wasini Island is horrid too and I fear for my life more than once as the boat makes us all lift from our seats. We do make it though and my parents’ friends cook delicious fish and crab for us before taking us around the tiny island. All I can think is that I am knackered and so sick of anything that has to do with water. 6 I pass out in the car back home but feel better that night. We take a taxi to go to the palace Swahili Hotel, owned by a British Sikh who bathes in money. It is grand, beautiful, perfectly designed, and always empty. We sip cappuccinos by the beach and Saga runs down to put her feet in the mosaic pool surrounding the whole compound. We laugh at our day trip which was a hilarious disaster, and go through how amazing the trip has been so far.   Linn

KENYA // MOMBASA 5

10 Day five and our skin is sore and red from the African sunlight but we still head down to the beach after breakfast. 12There are no clouds to fight with the kites in the sky so we chill in the shade of the sweeping palm trees. 14 Saga being her awesome self is sick of the Swedish school with only 6 students in her class and is starting a Kenyan school instead. 13 and brave as a grizzly bear. It is going to be all in English and she’ll wear a school uniform and IT IS SO EXCITING. 16 We order coffees mixed with ice-cream and I tell Daniel stories of when I lived here as a child/teenager and how I got drunk at a certain bar just down this beach. I tell him how once when I was 14 me and my friends swam out in the black midnight sea, breaking into strangers yachts to drink vodka and orange juice mixers on deck. 3 My mum joins in and we continue discussing the agony and beauty of being a teenager. We talk about how, when I moved back to Sweden at the age of 15, the majority of the people in my old class were smoking weed and trying heavy drugs. I was chocked as I innocently only broke into boats? 2 Saga thinks that I should just shut up as she, like me being a teenager in Kenya, really wants to move back to Stockholm and go to a big school and to house parties and for coffees with friends. 11 Moa, having lived in Norway and Sweden for the past nine months disagrees and thinks that the only place to live is Africa. 226 My brilliant mum in her billion freckles. 23 And like a lot of parents, my mum also loves asking about and making us think about planning the future. Where do we want to go? Live? Work? What do we want to do? See? Taste? Try? 15 And I haven’t really got a clue. Apart from that I want to go to Japan, and finish uni and buy a flat and a french bulldog with Daniel. And maybe live in NYC when I finish uni? But above all that I want to write a book, and design some too. 4 Daniel tells us what he’d like to do and after all this deep talk we throw ourselves in the waves like children. 7 The waiter brings us steaming food fresh out of the sea whilst our bodies are dripping from the same water. 19 Back home that evening we get changed and steal aloe vera from our neighbours garden to ease our burnt skin. 1718 Then we sit outside drinking cold beers out of the bottle as the sky fall down on us, dying the whole world blue. 20 Judith cooks delicious crabs for us this night. And as mentioned previous years, the crab by the Kenyan coast taste as delicious as the lobster in Europe. <3 21 After a fruit salad and whiskey dessert me, my dad and Daniel take a tuktuk to an Italian bar for some more drinks. Mainly to make sure this holiday will feel as long and ever lasting as possible.   Linn

KENYA // MOMBASA DAY 4

2 I wake up early, as always and walk down to the little garden to read while the rest of my family are still sleeping. There is something wonderful with being awake when nobody else is, and embarrassingly late nights and even earlier mornings is when I seem to get most things done. Soon my mum, who has identical time preferences, wakes up and I hug her and say Merry Christmas, as this 28 degrees morning is Christmas Eve. We prepare a gigantic breakfast with the imported Swedish delicacies being christmas bread, strong cheese, smoked cod roe, mulled wine, and lussebullar, mixed with Kenyan coffee, crepes and African fruits. 1 The rest of the family wakes up and we sit and eat for a long long time, only stopping to chase cheeky monkeys back into the trees. 3 My mum being her pretty self. 5 Having finished we rush straight to our pool. 6 Where we hang out, listening to music drinking delicious midday whiskeys and reading books. 4 My Christmas present. And regarding gifts, we didn’t really have any. Me and my sister got our ticket to Kenya for Christmas and then our parents paid for ours and Daniel’s trips around the country. Instead me, Daniel and Moa bought gifts for the rest! Like Swedish food and whiskey and clothes from brands which don’t exist in Kenya. 9 Fast forwarding past hours of pool hang to the Christmas dinner, which we had booked at the most wicked restaurant I’ve ever been to: Ali Barbour’s Cave. We enter it by walking down a narrow, rocky set of stairs. 12 And yes, my lovelies it is in a frikkin’ goddamn CAVE! Filled with lit candles, old 20s jazz music and round little tables. 141813 I walk around the different chambers of the massive cave with candles floating midair, tilting my head back and forgetting to close my mouth in this endless moment of awe. It is breathtaking and overwhelming and sure must be a miracle, created by nature itself. 15 We get seated in one of the dreamy corners, ordering cocktails and eating steaks and eggplant cannelloni and carpaccio and drinking red wine and more fresh passion juice. Above us is the open sky with its stars. 78b10 The mystical bathroom. 17 Having finished dinner we move to the lounge to sip steaming coffee. 16 No sweaters and the heat gathers on our skin, making in damp and sticky. In the distant, waves crush against the black beach and somebody in the 20s is singing Christmas carols. It doesn’t feel like 2013, and like I usually possess a life with a 9-5 job, underground rush hour and council taxes to pay. It is so far away, that it feels made up. We buy some gin and tonics and move to the beach, just to feel the sand between our toes. Having a Christmas in the magical, golden Africa with my best people is more than I could ever wish for.   Linn

KENYA // MOMBASA DAY 3

1 Day three by the Kenyan coast and we wake up to the sound of monkeys running on our roofs, swinging in the tree and stealing the sugar bowl from the outside table. Just like every other morning here. 3 After a big breakfast Judith cooks for us again we head to the beach. 2 The day is wonderfully uneventful and the only thing that breaks up the stillness is a break to go swimming, or order another ice coffee or a creamy tomato soup. We lay in the shade, reading, listening to music, talking about the future and doze off from time to time. 4 Not until the sun is crawling down the sky again we pack up and take one of the tuktuks back to our house, sipping Kenyan beer by the pool and eating seafood in a pitch-black night.   Linn

KENYA // MOMBASA DAY 2

5 The following day, having slept for 13hrs we felt a lot more energised. 2B After another massive breakfast we headed down to another beach. Just as broad and white and empty as the previous one. 3 Sara was SO TANNED. 1 Me and Daniel not so much. 47 <3 And not too keen on sunbathing in general we ran back and forth from the ocean and the shade. Reading novels about British hooligans and Hurakami’s Japanese dramas. 800 I was well happy being in this kind of mad brightness again. There was no time to speak of and hours came and went unnoticed to the sound of the waves, as if we were non existing, and it felt lovely. 6 And anywhere where boys are half naked is considered paradise for me. 10 After getting a bit tired of the beach (I know I can’t believe it either sitting in a cold London now) we stopped by some German/Russian hotel with a massive pool with a bar in the middle. It was very weird and we weren’t allowed to buy anything. 11 After some lunch and some more swimming we headed back home for another core shakingly good seafood dinner. Then we did something not all do with their parents, we went to a beach club and got a bit drunk and danced in the pitch-black and starry night.   Linn

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