Sometimes, I wonder who cursed me in the love department. I never seem to have any luck while my friends are happily married, engaged, or in serious relationships. My desperation to find love led me to date some questionable people in the past – something I swore I would never do. After taking a trip to Kenya’s coast, I met a lady who became interested in me but turned out to be a racist.
I had taken a solo trip to Diani to unwind for a couple of days after a stressful couple of months. I didn’t have much planned but I knew I wanted to go snorkelling. So, I made arrangements with the hotel and they booked me a slot. We were 5 people on the boat headed into the deep sea – a young Kenyan couple, two white women, and myself. I felt like I was on top of the world since the white women had noticed me and seemed to like me. Soon, one of them came to sit next to me and we got to know each other.
We went snorkelling and she was impressed by my swimming skills. After returning to the boat, she handed me my towels and helped me dry down. However, she kept staring at my now kinky and ragged hair. I had a big afro which had shrunk and became rough after swimming. She seemed unimpressed by my new look but I brushed it off and tried to distract her.
“I can’t wait for lunch. I’ve really worked up an appetite.” I said.
“Me too.” She agreed with a smile that made me forget the look of disapproval she had a second ago.
The ride to Wasini Island was even more magical than snorkelling. We saw schools of dolphins swimming alongside our boat. Soon, we were on the island, hiking up to a makuti hotel to have lunch. We were served an array of seafood including crab, shrimp, and lobster. After lunch, we took a short walk around the island and made our way back to the hotel. The lady then invited me for drinks in their room. Though I was exhausted, I could never turn down drinks.
She had a much different attitude from the boat. She was friendlier and more bubbly. Maybe it was bubbly but I liked this version of her. In fact, I even forgot the awkward, borderline racist comments she was making on the boat. She handed me a second shot of vodka then poured another for herself.
“You know, this is from my country,” she said with a heavy Russian accent.
“It’s lovely,” I commented.
“Of course it is. It’s Russian.” She said in a snappy tone. “Have you heard of Russia?”
I laughed thinking she was joking. Despite the current ongoing war, how could anyone think that someone didn’t know what Russia is? Even my grandmother knew Russia. However, it became apparent that she was serious. She took my silence as a sign that I didn’t know where she was from and decided to give me a mini-lesson in Geography and History. I let her do her thing. At that point, I had come to terms with her racist behaviour.
I didn’t stay too long in her room before she asked me more inappropriate racist questions. However, that wasn’t the last I would see of her. I bumped into her at dinner. Once again, she insisted on sitting with me. I couldn’t tell whether she liked me or she was trying to insult me. At one time, she behaved like a completely normal human being but the next, her racist colours come out. I decided not to engage her when she started asking inappropriate questions or making insulting comments. However, that didn’t work.
When the trip ended, I was more than happy to return to my normal life. What was supposed to be a relaxing and fun trip turned into a miserable one. I had o sneak out of the hotel before I bumped into the racist woman. Luckily, I didn’t and I made it to the shuttle.
Weeks passed by without any incident before I got a call from a landline number. I picked only to hear the Russian accent I had grown to hate.
“I’m in Nairobi.” She said excitedly.
“that’s good. What do you want?” I answered in a monotone.
“I need to explore the city.”
“Okay. Good luck.”
“Come on. Don’t you want to help me?”
“I’m kinda busy.”
“I’ll pay you.” She said.
I was silent for a minute. “How much?” I asked.
“I knew you just wanted money. You should have said that a long time ago. You didn’t have to run away from me like that.”
She offered me 500 Euros for two days. I make that in a month so there was no way I would turn it down. I met her the next day and she handed me the cash. It turned out she didn’t want to explore the city. She wanted my company.
“You know, I’ve never slept with a black man before.” She said. “And I like you. If you want, you can spend the night with me and I will double the money.”
I was in shock. No one had ever offered me money to sleep with me. In fact, it was the opposite. I was the one who had to spend money on drinks, dinner, and gifts to get a lady. As much as the deal sounded too good, I declined it. My pride as an African man could not allow me to sleep with a racist. She let me keep the 500 Euros because she “liked me”. Before we parted ways, I gave her a brief lecture on the racist things she said to me. She apologized and promised not to say them again. I never spoke to her again but I hope she changed her racist ways.
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