precious

 

“Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives”. – Alexander Dumas.

 

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Hello beautiful people 🙂

It’s pretty obvious by now what this post is about. I spent an entire day with my sister from another father and mother, Nafisa, after eight years. She moved to the UK after high school with her entire family and we’d always stayed in touch. We’d started off as ‘best friends’ in our second year of high school but quickly chucked that label a few months in when our friendship grew into sisterhood. You could say we’re complete opposites, and I guess that’s what makes us perfect for each other. She always has such great advice, so confident and always stands up for me when I need her most, I love her ❤

She landed in Kenya a few days before I got back from my trip to Bahrain and went to Mombasa to visit her family so we only got to spend one day together, the day she was traveling back to London. I planned out a day full of touristy stuff to do with her for the few hours we’d be together and hope to explore Nairobi more to have a few more activities for next time 🙂

Hope this list gives you some ideas on fun things to do on a day out with your friend(s) 🙂

  1. Enjoy a meal together:

    We had a great healthy breakfast at Brood which was a few minutes away from our first activity for the day. Food puts you in a great mood, and you don’t want hunger getting you cranky and low on energy in what should be a happy and exciting occasion. We had chicken sandwiches on honey oat bread at Brood with some tea.

  2. Be real:

    Talk about life! Ambitions, love, dreams. Listen to each other and exchange ideas. Getting it all out in a day after eight years away from each other was hardly enough but it’s good for the soul 🙂

  3. Do something fun, preferably outdoors 🙂

    Because fun memories last forever. I need to grow my list of fun places to visit in Nairobi, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments! I’m that person who discovers a place and goes to it forever. But anyway, we went to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and The Giraffe Center. I’ve written about both places before on the blog, you can find the links below.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Their website.

The Giraffe Center.
Their website.

Lastly, Ramadhan kareem to all my Muslim readers 🙂
May Allah accept our fast and prayers.

And happy weekend to everyone! 🙂

this one’s for the foodies in the house

Well that’s a long title.

But yes, this one’s for the foodies in the house.

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I had the juiciest burgers with my friend Viola at About Thyme last Saturday on the last day of the Nairobi Burger Festival. We hadn’t even planned for it, it just happened. Life is quite funny in that way; When we plan things they don’t work out, but somehow spontaneity tends to work in our favour! The idea was to have some girl time together and catch up on life. We start off light and then into heavier topics – work, life goals, books, music and TV shows.

What are you reading? What are you watching? How is your heart? Work? Family? Tell me about your dreams. Maybe with time we’ll talk more about money and finances, I just love such real conversations. I digress. Back to my foodies.

I’m salivating just typing this out because I’m remembering my teeth sinking into that juicy burger! Slurp!

About Thyme Big, Beefy, Fully Loaded Bacon Cheese Burgers

Charcoal grilled aged ‘Morendat Farm’ beef burger on a toasted sesame bun with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes & gherkins with a choice of toppings.

Had mine without the bacon of course.

Toppings: Mushroom Swiss

With emmental cheese & sautéed mushrooms

All burgers are served with fries & ‘kale-slaw’ (Ni coleslaw ile iko na sukuma na si cabbage!)

All this yumminess for Kshs. 1,500/-

Downed it with a ‘Very berry’ smoothie which was as good as it sounds.

Want to know how to top off a killer burger? Grab some donuts from Donuts World in Westlands. HEH! Acha tu!

My favourite was the cinnamon one, yumm.

Sema food coma?!

PS. Mama Rocks is still my number 1 go-to burger spot in Nairobi *drool*

block 338

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook.

 

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Editing these pictures reminded me of the feeling I got walking from the parking lot into the squares of Block 338, Adliya in Bahrain. It truly is a treat for sore eyes, with colour, landscaping and art at every turn. The focus of the planning is on the pedestrian’s experience, with ample parking spaces at the edges and side roads of the district and continuous pedestrian space thereafter – loved it!

My cousin Seif was driving us somewhere I can’t remember now, but decided to take a detour for ‘a few minutes’ stating, ‘Fatma, you’ll love this place’. What was supposed to be a thirty minute walk-through turned into a one and a half hour excursion into sunset. I bet you my cousins wanted to drag me away, because if you know me and my animated mind even flowers and fallen leaves are a photogenic affair.

The walls are covered in art by local artists, not restricted to just paintings but sculptures of varying scales too. Not understanding much about the Bahrain culture and politics, a few pieces seemed to have a deeper meaning, a statement of sorts, which made me question what the artist’s message truly was. For example, these cute houses all falling into a blue bin by Ali Hussein Merza. Is this a message about the abundant social housing around Bahrain? I loved their housing! But probably it was a political message I need to look into a bit more to understand. And then the ethereal paintings against black walls by an unnamed artist. On a lighter note, cartoon looking characters and random positive messages in corners were a sweet surprise. Artistic freedom in its most evident form, in my opinion. Everyone’s style is so different, and each one has qualities that are admirable and for an artist to share their work it takes courage – I respect that. Makes me think that’s how life should be – we all have something unique to contribute and that’s one of the beauties of life – the variety.

Speaking of sweet surprises, the district seems to comprise mostly of the cutest restaurants – street after street. I wish I had time to pop by each and every one as each had its own distinct character. It’s always a great idea to see and try to understand new things we come across – to soak up how other creatives interpret space and interiors. The interesting thing is although each building had it’s own character, they all seem to marry well together, forming a balanced yet eclectic mix.

I’ve mentioned before how one of my favourite things is art galleries with integrated coffee-shop/  restaurants. Well, the Al Riwaq Gallery was a page out of my fantasy art gallery mood board. I had the pleasure of interviewing Wafa al Ghatam who is a research architect currently having an exhibition at the gallery titled, ‘The Village in the City’, while I was there which I’ll share in the next post on here. I got to interact with a few other creatives and lady architects in that short period. They recommended that I try the peach iced tea from the gallery’s cafè which seems to be a hit with the customers. Peach iced tea, need I say more? (I loved it).

Not too far from Block 338 are more ‘traditional’ stores selling Persian carpets, oriental scarves, dresses and basically the ‘old school’ Arab experience. Oh and the best darn shawarma/ malghoum shops too, at a great bargain. Cravings!

Also, I feel like I’ve said gallery too much. Need to dust off a few books and grow my writing skills further.

Favourite pilgrim spots at 338?

Al-Riwaq Art Space (pictures coming up in a separate post).
Florence de Mediteranee, which is the cutest French restaurant at the edge of the district (also coming up in a post. Need to get more hours in my day!)
And uhm, basically the whole place! Wish I had more time to explore 🙂

Google maps location pin here.

Useful links to check out when visiting Bahrain:

Bahrain Authority for Culture and Authenticity.

Visit Bahrain.

Time Out Bahrain.

Take me back already, yah? 🙂