Only one shop is open. Wrong. All shops are closed. The last time we were here (Nov 2016), many of these curio shops were open, though the attendants were complaining of low business volumes. It was evident – what with the empty beaches and the only visitors being repeat tourists. Repeat tourists do not buy these products; they usually stay indoors, probably writing stories or looking up the sky by the swimming pool, wondering why the sky is blue.
As soon as we step on that beach, this GorMahia-jersey-wearing guy comes to us. He specializes in carving certificates (you need to head to the Kenyan coast to understand how a certificate is carved) and frames and some bead work. We aptly inform him that we need sandals. Never giving up, he leads us to that shop and opens it. It’s not his shop. The sandals he brings forth are not appealing. He is desperate. He is willing to go to town to bring some sandals. We tell him no. He has to sell something. We end up buying a shawl. Bargaining with him is more like a sinful act. He just wants money to survive. We leave.
See that tiny boat there? It has been swaying in that position for the past four days. It’s supposed to take you deep in the ocean to view fish and coral. But there are no clients (tourists). You can see the desperation of the operators as they narrate to you how difficult life is.
We sadly leave.
We surely need to reverse this trend. We need to attract more visitors to the country.