July 27, 1987

7/27/87 Lamu

at the Castle Inn

What can I say about Lamu? I did a lot of shopping and went to the beach this afternoon. Took pictures of the elaborate carved doors to the shops. Life here was on a very different time schedule. Breakfast was anytime after six. Some shops opened around eight but all were open by ten. But open hours were never posted. The people were active all morning until noon, then the shops closed for lunch and the hot part of the day. Around three, they all opened again and stayed open till about 10pm. Some shop keepers had fixed prices but a few would bargain.

Open vegetable market in front of our hotel

One of my new Kenyan friends, Bob, took me out to buy a kofia, a hat worn by the Muslim men. The teenage boys and younger wear western clothes, long pants and a T-shirts. All the other men were the full-length kikoi. Lamu has a lot of tourists so there is no wrong way to dress. But in all other places we go, it’s the only thing acceptable. The kikoi feels great, very liberating and cool as I’ve been wearing it for a couple of days.