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The Craft Center offers perfect loner’s escape

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The Craft Center offers perfect loner’s escape


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You are a loner. You like to sit in a corner with a book. A glass of wine. Maybe some cheese later. But for now just you and your book. Maybe you want to finish ‘Shoe Dog‘by Phil Knight but you have not been able to because, well, life.

You have a career, children, a husband or wife. Maybe even wives, who knows, man? So you take two days off but you do not tell anybody. You drop laundry off at the laundromat.

Maybe run a few errands you’ve been putting off, then you decide to take a drive as far away from home as you can. A place you will not run into colleagues or friends – new and old. You head to the Craft Center on Nairobi’s Gigiri Road.

It is a cluster of restaurants and artisan shops selling clothes and curios. You aren’t interested in that, even though if you nip into one of the shops you will be tempted to buy something.

You want quiet. You will pick one of the handful of restaurants that all overlook the parking lot. Great thing you can sit in one restaurant but order from one of the menus from another restaurant around.

The restaurants have outside seating. You will pick one that is not too obvious or exposed and you will order a wine [yes, even if it’s before midday] and dive into your book.

Once in a while you will look up when a biker rides in with a loud bike, but otherwise nobody will bother you and Phil. It’s a great place to be alone without being alone, if you know what I mean.

But also you could go there to socialize. It feels like a place for a lunch and a wine, not a whiskey or a gin. A wine. A bottle shared and at dusk everybody packs it in. But I realize this is also someone’s local; a place they pass through for a beer and a bite after a long day. What am I saying? Why does it take so long to finish a book?

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