Distant Relatives in Kilifi is teeming with millennial backpackers from around Europe, most on a budget that has been stretched thinner than their wardrobes.
The t-shirts here are either faded at the neck or have a hole somewhere in them and the wearer will likely be volunteering at the eco lodge in return for accommodation, and will always either have dreadlocks or a tattoo that represents ‘freedom’ in some way.
If they are Kenyan, they are likely that type of individual that everyone always describe as ‘cool’.
I quite liked the ambiance here. It seemed like the kind of spot where I could come laze away a week or two at the coast under the guise of working on my first novel, perhaps have a holiday fling, gradually sink into alcoholism given that the bar is open at around 10am, and probably get talked into being vegan ‘for the love of animals’.
I would probably learn to love permaculture and trance music if I lived there for just two weeks.
We stopped by for pizza night which is one of the key attractions for guests either staying at the lodge or residents of Kilifi. Walking in with my partner, I couldn’t help feeling like a minority.
The last time I felt that black was walking down the streets of Stockholm, and yet here I was in my country’s very own backyard but there were probably only about six Kenyans at the packed restaurant, including the staff.
Everyone was very friendly so we tried to socialise, quickly realising that after talking to one traveller, you’ve pretty much talked to them all because everyone’s story is the same. “I’m on my gap yaah, or I was tired of my job and decided to quit and go see the world yadda yadda”.
Overestimating how hungry we were, we placed an order for a pizza each and these turned out to be too much for us to finish. One would have sufficed, particularly since the bacon and beef pizza turned out to be the best: perfect ration of bacon, beef and cheese.
My companion got a Hawaiian pizza which was left largely untouched because I hold the strong opinion that adding pineapples to pizza is just retarded.
In true Distant Relatives style, because avocado is now all the rage among cool-hipster-type millennials, they had a pumpkin avocado pizza. I was tempted to try it but couldn’t bring myself to place the order, but only because the mere mention of pumpkins always brings back PTSD of my grandmother’s terrible cooking when it came to pumpkins. They also had the classic margherita, but I always find this to be too vanilla. Why have a pizza with only cheese and tomatoes when you could add other toppings to it?
To round off the wood fired pizzas, there was a Congolese rhumba band playing Lingala and a dance floor riddled with left feet, so we got up to show everyone how it’s really done.