leave your thoughts at the door

መስከረም, እየሩሳሌም እና ዳዊት



ሰኔ ፴

Disclaimer: ሰኔ ፴ does not feature in this post. Or maybe it will. Who knows?

  • You know how, one day, Etyopia would turn donor and return all of the favor done her through the years. Well, I just wanted to tell ye all that it has already begun: yesterday I got to “spare a dollar” for a ፈረንጅ:: መቆየት ደጉ!
  • በልጅነቴ Suddenly Susan ላይ አየው የነበረውን San Francisco ላጭር ጊዜም ቢሆን ለመጎብኘት በቃሁ:: All thanks to a spelling error:


Highlight on name courtesy of TSA agent

I liked San Francisco. It somehow reminded me of አዲስ አበባ:: It could be the weather, ፒያሳን የሚመስሉ ቦታዎች, ዳገት ኮረብታው,…

Plus I brought this. I feel very accomplished:)


  • Four people, each in their own way. tried to impress on me the importance of reconsidering my decision to ጓዜን ጠቅልዬ ወደ ሀገሬ መግባት when it’s ሰኔ ፴ ~3 years from now. I asked: “what if I cannot be happy here?” “Trust me, you will be”… “coming to America may become even harder in the future”… “what will become of your children in Etyopia?…you’ve got to give them the best life possible”

A woman behind a counter remarking “you’re the same age as my daughter but look old” notwithstanding, ራሴ ገና ቦርቄ ሳላበቃ ለሚመጡ ወይ ለማይመጡ ልጆች አልጨነቅም:: ገና ወደፊትም ቦርቄ ማባራ አይመስለኝም::

Tibiaea ይቅደም!!!!




I dig this

The Dance ( by Jeff Foster)

We never rehearsed this

We are a mess

We tremble and Perspire

We step on eachother’s toes

Sometimes we go out of tune

And forget our lines

But at least this is real

At least we are not half-alive

Buried under the weight of some image

We never believed in anyway

I will always take the imperfect dance

Over no dance at all


In dealing with existential bummer, I sought that illusive thing called happiness. Then I started to think : am I always going to just want more? Why am I not happy with what is in front of me. Dreams that were never fillfulled, unrequited love, and the scary part is the getting old part without living life part.

I believe it was hafiz that said ” ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” Have I been running in the opposite direction all my life? I believe I have because I never stopped to think that no one controles my happiness but me. I forgot to be thankful for today.  Jeff foster puts it well I guess ” no external thing, no person, no experience, no substance , no circumstance, no revelation, no single experience ever has the power to make you permanently happy, you discover a deeper invitation: to realize that nothing, the no-thing that you are, is the source of true happiness, and that every experience holds the key .”

Now I got to learn to let  go of things and enjoy this journey and be present for each experience.





cellulose, polyester, and ጊዜ

Wrong place, wrong time.




The writings on the napkin. The experiments did not work, by the way😀 It felt kind of nice to see someone keeping a couple of other napkins (the way I have not parted with notes given to me on scratches of paper lo00ng ago)  with my scribbling –I done came up!pioneers of change

Read this book. An excerpt:

This left him in a state of ambivalence. Should he not concentrate on improving his own personal life rather than battling the insurmountable odds against national reform? On the other hand, which single passenger can feel safe sitting in a ship being tossed around by a storm?

What if the passenger feels confident that they can secure a place in one of the life boats?

the emperor of all maladies

On to the next one

manchester united

አንዳንድ ፊታቸው እንዲገለጥ ያልፈለጉ የማንችስተር ደጋፊዎች:: Bless you, E.


I and I, Walya style.

A fellow students asks me if this is my first summer here. ኧረ ልቾ! የዛሬ ሁለት ዓመት አብረን አይደል እንዴ የገባነው?! He goes on to comment how time flies…

You know, we have to put this debate to rest once and for all. Does time really fly, or is it that we are living slow? “You know, they say I talk a lil’ fast, but if you listen a lil’ faster
I ain’t got to slow down for you to catch up, bitch” – 5o cent.

All those physicists and I wonder why it never appeared to anyone to do this simple experiment. I mean, it does not need a Large Hydron Collider; not even a Small one. No need for an Einsteinometer or any other shit of that sort. All one needs is a cliff:



የሮብ ድባብ



The year of the (vicious ass) koala bear


Walter White style; well, kind of.

መቼም  አገሬው ሰው አክባሪ ነው. Never had my birthday be a public holiday :) Yesterday I was telling my roommate that I won’t be able to go to school since the buses don’t run for the holiday and he offered to give me a ride. Talk about trying to spoil it for me; and I told him as much. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I am reading this book:

surely you're joking

An interesting person. In addition to his scientific career (including the Manhattan project) that won him a Nobel, he talks about his exploits in areas such as safecracking, playing in a samba band, picking up ladies,… Especially the chapter on how learning needs to be done not by rote but understanding struck home. He also mentions how students that ask equations are discouraged by other students. These stories were from the Brazil of decades ago but I know that they still ring true in today’s Ethiopian educational system. Something for me to keep in mind as a student and teacher. An excerpt:

Finally, I said that I couldn’t see how anyone could be educated by this self-propagating system in which people pass exams and teach others to pass exams, but nobody knows anything.

Speaking of exams ማትሪክ ተሰረቀ/ዘ አይደል?! እኛ ስንወጣ አገሪቱ ተበላሸች እኮ?!!

This past week has been particularly shitty for some animals that live in enclosures. And especially Harambe: it has to suck, dying the day after your 17th birthday. I was going to say a black gorilla stood no chance but get shot (silverback regardless) and it would not have went down the way it did had it been a polar bear, then I see a picture of the black parents of the kid.

I believe the times call for this video. That’s where the vicious ass koala bear comes from J

Maybe I am trying to talk about the enclosures that I have built around myself.

A quote from Sheldon:

Although I can be faulted for being overly fond of koala bears. I don’t know what it is; when they start munching on eucalyptus, I just melt inside.

I’m quoting too many physicists for my liking.

A koala bear helped me celebrate the day:


This also happens to be the time of year when teams I support get to lose the Champions League Final😦 ለነገሩ እነሱ በተራገጡት እኔ ምን አገባኝ?! አርፌ ፓስታዬን ብበላ ይሻላል:


Now that you have learned that I have three sets of plates, I think my job here is done.



In a reflective (አንፀባራቂJ) mood. Why not, right? ድፎ ዳቦ ጀርባችን ላይ ሲቆረስ (I know what someone must be thinking😛 ), how as a child I used to fantasize about living in the simple ጎጆ I used to draw,…


Some Nas



ስለአንድ መቀመጫ

ትላንትና ይህን አየሁና ተደመምኩ:

I am no stranger to a Rahel song: still can’t get enough of ሆ በላኒ:: I once even went “that’s my jam!” when it came on in a club and hit the dancefloor of my own volition. The side effect of የተወጋ ውስኪ maybe.

But I was flabbergasted by the መቀመጫ that I had to ask a love interest “has rahel haile always been this bootylicious? or is it a recent phenomenon?”. She answered “I don’t have an answer to your question, sorry” I pursued: “is there a person whom I could ask? like, an authority on the subject?”…መቼም ሳትታዘበኝ አትቀርም…

Earlier, I had tried to share my excitement with my sister telling her አቅፌው ፎቶ ብነሳ ሁሉ ደስ ይለኛል:)

Her: “endih beka yeleyelih durye honk:) …. You really need to get laid, otherwise ጉዳቱ የከፋ ይሆናል😀

and ካለፈው ሳምንት ጀምሮ ኖርዝ ካሮላይና ያለው ወዳጄ ጋር (እሰይ! እንኳን ደህና መጣህ! Like, ለመድክ? አሜሪካን እንዴት አገኘሀት? I see. ሆ ሆ ሸንት  ቤት ስትጠቅም እየተጠነቀቅክ ወንድሜ!  ወዘተርፈ).  He disparages me “….ይሄ ሁሉ ምን ያደርጋል? … ተው እሱ ላይ አትንጠልጠል:: አወዳደቅህ…”

ምነው ማስፈራሪያውን አበዛችሁት ሰዎች? ድሮም ሀበሻ የቆመበትን ጠልፎ መጣል ነው እንጂ ማበረታታት መች ያውቅና? I will let you know ማስፈራሪያስ won’t keep me from eulogizing this unprecedented ቂጥ. ምናልባት ከሚሚ ቂጦ በኋላ የተፈጠረ ላቅ ያለ... I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing ሚሚ ቂጦ or her likeness. But I guess it must be a substantial one to deserve this:

mimi qiTo

This is a derriere fit enough to Trump “Ethiopia got booty” because no one is a bigger ass than he is. Yay! I just made a Trump joke.

This is the kind of ass that could be offered by የመንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች ጽሕፈት ቤት as a testament to the kind of ልማት the country is going thru. And nobody would accuse them of pilfering a pic of one of the many notable መቀመጫዎች on Getty Images.

ትሬፍ ብለናል, ራሄል::


My latest favorite expression:


The (over)thinker; አካብዴ tendencies. አስቴር አወቀ

No blasphemy but I am not crazy about Sundays.

Cooking finally done, I have told her that I would call after shower. After her, I sure wouldn’t mind calling my friend from Ohio (ቃለ መጠይቆች ምናምን ላይ ሰዎች እንዲህ ማለት ለምን አስፈለጋቸው? “…አንድ ወዳጄ ነበር:: አሁን ያለው አውስትራሊያ ነው:: …” አሁን ወዳጅህ የት እንዳለ አሁን ማን ጠየቀህ?! Degmo you know that ኤፍሬም እንዳለ story: ሰርግ ላይ የእንኳን ደስ አላችሁ መልዕክት ሲተላለፍ “…ቲቲ ከዲሲ ቸብ ቸብ ቸብ ዳኒ ከዳላስ ቸብ ቸብ ቸብ አንሙት ክንዴ ከደባርቅ ሳሳሳሳሳቅ”) Then I get a text from my former roommate: “I sure wouldn’t mind Etyopian coffee with bread from Etyopia.” I’m pressed for time.

The time issue እንዳለ ሆኖ another thing that had me worried was the “bread from Etyopia” part. Of course I had made him coffee a couple of times before. But what if the bread part was a pun? You know, what if he is trying to make fun of our የዳቦ reputation, or the lack thereof? መቼም የሰው ነገር አይታወቅም:: God knows how other Africans make fun of us. መቼም አንዴ ስማችን ጠፍቷል:: እንደገናም እየጠፋ ነው This being a year when my people are starving, again. Not to mention my people  shooting my people {even children} on the head, again. ወሬው ሁሉ የሚያስፈራ እንዲል መዝሙሩ. Every now and then “Ethiopia” searches lead to unsavory jokes. (Etyopia is not in the Middle East mofos! I once sat next to this woman on a plane. Why do I mention that it was on a plane? Refer to a previous parenthesis. ብቻ she was telling me how she had plans to visit the apostolic route of Saint Paul; and how it was a pity that Palmyra had been destroyed and it’s a no go zone; were there any Roman ruins in Etyopia? አረ ባክሽ ሴትዮ! ጳውሎስ በኛ በኩል አልፎ አያውቅም. ድንገት ካየው ካንዬን ጠይቂው)


I think the matter to death and finally settle on a reply: “… could you please come a little bit later… I got you fam, on the coffee…But the bread, you know we’ve been having that drought, man:) could be problematic.” If he was trying to be funny at our expense, I was trying to rob him of the joy by telling the joke myself.  Being proactive.

Well, cometh the hour, cometh the man, ግንድ የሚያህል ዳቦ ተሸከሞ:: I had not foreseen that. I try to save face, tell him I was joking. Show him the mad bread that I got. ከፈለግክ ቤግልም አለ:: እሺ የሚቀባ ምን ልስጥህ? Dude had used his own spreads before leaving home. Bread was good to go. He even told me that half of the bread was for me😀  በፍጹም  ኢትዮጵያዊ ይሉኝታ እምቢ አልኩ:: Keza I መጋበዝ him the on point rice I had made– በሞቴ! ከዛ ዓለም ዘጠኝ ሆነ:: ሩዝ ተበላ: ቡና ተጠጣ:: Current fellow African roommate joined in.  ጨዋታ ደራ  “…women complain about everything, everyday….you have to be tolerant…..village girls are more well-behaved than city girls…it’s difficult to be married and go to school at the same time… ” ናይጄሪያውያን ወንድሞቻችንን ደግሞ አማን😀

The previous day…

ውጭ አገር ላለው ሌላኛው ወዳጄ ገጠሬ እንዲህ አልኩት:


ሰለአስቴር ምንም የምጨምረው ነገር የለም:: ፍቅር ናት:: እግዚያብሄር ይባርካት:: One could never count her off. She manages to touch the heart almost every time; even with wishy washy songs like Wishy Washy😀

አቶ ገጠሬ. ሰለአስቴር ለመጻፍ ከፈለግክ እንዲህ ብለህ ትጀምር ዘንድ እመክራለሁ: “ሁሉንም ነገር የአዮዋው ወዳጄ ተናግሮ ጨርሶታል:: ግን አንዳንድ ነጥቦች ለማከል ያህል…”

Please make a certificate (like the one you provided last time😉 ) to the effect that I have hereby decided to transfer a year from the remainder of my life to Aster’s account. She deserves it.


New year, same old shtick, with slight modifications.

Wave after wave of ዕውቀት hitting me like the sea does rocks. Found a couple of hitherto undiscovered grey, nay, white hairs and couldn’t help but be amused, excited and worried all at the same time. As if the receding hair line, the vitamin and q tip packs I went through were not warnings enough…


Sweet dreams

Remember the what’s in your mind post? It has been 4 years! Fear not, this post is not about being dumped, nor is it about controlling your mind. I would like to post a few youtube videos worth sharing. They are relaxation videos. They are a bit long. Some of them are …ummm .. 10 hours long. You can play them in the background throughout the time you are sleeping. How nice is that?!

Forest sound is probably the first one I stumbled on. Those birds! It’s like sleeping in a forest without worrying about a insects crawling into your nose.

Love this one too. It really feels like I’m sitting on a beach.

And my favourite. Can you feel the warmth? Unlike many relaxation videos which show a nice picture, the video of slowly burning wood itself is just as relaxing as the cracking sound of the fire. Play it and turn your back to your screen. You will see the glowing fire illuminating your bedroom. It’s such a great substitute for a real fireplace. Kudos to all the uploaders.

I was once intrigued how my little niece stays asleep while we were next to her all the time. We would talk, laugh, drive, carry her into the house and what not. She would still be asleep. It turns out the womb is one noisy place itself.

To be honest, that sounds creepy to me. Folks like it though. And parents use womb-like sounds to soothe their baby.

What is real? How do you define “real”? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then “real” is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.

Do not let stress and the burden of life get to you. Smile, imagine beautiful things and have sweet dreams.


አዋጅ አዋጅ

የእግዚአብሔር ፈቃድ ሆኖ በሀገራችን በኢትዮጵያ በዓመት ቢያንስ ለአንድ ቀን የመኖር ዕቅዳችንን ከግብ ለማድረስ እየተንቀሳቀስን ያለንበት ሁኔታ ነው የተፈጠረው:: እርግጥ ነው ወገን: ስንመለስ ቂጣችንን መቀመጫችንን ሊወጋን የተዘጋጀ ፈተና አለብን:: እኛ ግን በፍጹም ጀግንነትና ግድየለሽነት ስሜት ሄደናል:: የጂጂን ቃላት ለመዋስ:

ብናልፍ እንኖራለን

ከጫሩን መሰስ


መልካም እንቁጣጣሽ! መልካም አዲስ ዓመት!!


ሌሎች አቋማችንን የሚተነትኑ ዘፈኖች:


public diplomacy

ከትላንት ወዲያ

Conversation with a ፈረንጅ at the bus stop:


“is there instability in your country?” instability being the polite word for “war”

“I was waiting for you to ask about that and about famines…we are doing better than before in both respects…if you come to Etyopia, you could see both high rises and beggars…the population is over 90 million…even now we have been having a drought…some part of the population may be facing food shortage but that does not mean the whole of it starving….”

“has your family been affected by the drought?”


“I am glad to hear that your family is doing fine”



English oral proficiency test for TA (teaching assistantship) purposes. Role play: I am supposed to argue in favor of a school lunch program for children from low-income families.

My shitty argument:

  • Biochemistry tells that most of the food (glucose) that we take in is consumed by the brain. The brain cannot function on an empty stomach
  • Coming as I do from Etyopia, I have seen a lot of children unable to realize their full potential at school because they would be lucky to get even one decent meal a day

ይቅር ይበለኝ! ሀገሬን ጥያቄ ሲከብደኝ አድበስብሼ ለማለፍ እንደምሳሌ ተጠቀምኩባት:: In the hope they will eat my answer up since ያው አንድ ጊዜ ስማችን ስለጠፋ::

ለማንኛውም ክፉውንና ደጉን, የሰራነውን ያልሰራነውን እና የምንሰራውን እያሰብን እንዲህ እንላለን:



አንደኛውን ዓመት በማስመልከት

ይህን ልዩ የበዓል ፕሮግራም ስፖንሰር (ንጉሡ ነው ወይስ ሰራዊቱ “ሰ” በነገራችን ላይ?) አድርጎ ያቀረበላችሁ ቃሊቲ ብረታ ብረት ፋብሪካ ነው:: ለምን? እኔንጃ!

  • እንዲያው ምን ባደርግ ነው አሜሪካ አሜሪካ መሽተት የምችለው? And I mean that in the most literal sense. Don’t go thinking about skunks now; I would like to believe of myself as a metro-sexual, although it does not seem that way. Rather, I am talking about that smell/close family of smells that we detect on and associate with ከውጭ ከመጣ ሰው ጋር::  ይባስ ብሎ ባለፈው ሹራቤ ላይ mercaptoethanol ተረጨብኝ::
  • I have come to see that a dishwasher is the epitome of “all sound and fury, signifying nothing”. ሲጮህና ሲንኳኳ ከርሞ ታጥቦ የተሰጠውን ዕቃ እንኳ ማጽዳት አይችልም::  On the other hand, I can’t fail but be impressed by scrubbing bubbles: now that is superpowers. ደግሞ “ሸፋዳ” የሚለውን ቃል እዚህ ጽሁፍ ውስጥ መጠቀም ካለብን I guess the onus has got to fall on automatic sliding doors. Curb your enthusiasm, will ya? I am just passing by.
  • I have lost some weight and I plan to take full advantage of it. ቤት ስሄድ ሆድ ለማባባት ወፍሬ ስመለስ ደግሞ to confound expectations
  • Things I want to say when I am in ኢትዮጵያ: “ሴቶቻችሁ እንዴት ቆንጆ ሆነዋል ባክህ?!”; point to a random G+several floors and “አሁን ይህን ለመሰራት ምን ያህል ብር ይፈጅ ይሆን?”
  • It ain’t fun, going legit. Microsoft deactivated my Office, is asking me to pay 99.99. How can I be sure that all proceeds go to the Bill and Melinda foundation?
  • Speaking of Bill, fucking Dish kept breaking up. Hardly watched 30 minutes of Bill Maher’s comeback episode
  • Sometimes it’s nice to go where everybody knows your name; and pronounce it right.
  • My brother says to me “A ና F ለመስጠት ከሆነ ባትመጣ ይሻላል” Goes on to mention how Makerere’s scientists managed to change waste matter to fuel. አዬ! Makerere 3rd in Africa, እኛ ፩፮ኛ, እንዴት ታወዳድረናለህ? This despite the comments made by the president of our university when he got wind of the rankings: “THEን ፩፮ ጊዜ ልቾ  በሉት! ከአንድ አስከ አስርማ አናጣም!” All things considered, my heart is so full of hope for the future and my eyes full of sleep at present. Weariness.
  • Weariness keeping me from reading as much as I would like to. Seminal publications on Science, The Economist, Playboy,…  I wish I spent much less time wandering aimlessly across  the internet.
  • I have become/continued to be so error-prone. ሰው ከስህተቱ ይማራል ይባላል ስህተት ከኔ ሊማር ምንም አልቀረውም::
  • I still can’t wrap my head around how geek glasses came to be all the rage. Makes one a believer in the human capacity to change (to the starting point) I am wearing glasses with the thickest frames since 11th grade. I lost my old one to the water.
  • My boy getting mad poonanny; a dedication for him:

ቆይ ግን አስቴር ካቡ ላይ “…እሸው የኔ ጌታ…” ነው የምትለው?

አልጠረጠርንም እንደምትርቂን

German beers drunk. Now ready to tumble into bed. Coming as it did at the end of the week on which I finished Stalingrad, I just know it is not going to end well for the Germans.

We will see tomorrow.



ያኔ ተማሪ ቤት ሳለን



10 tips for driving in Addis Ababa

I’m writing this for foreign drivers who plan to drive in Addis. If you don’t know what to expect in Addis then put your eyes on first gear and read on!

0. Basics

  • License: When in Addis, ask your country’s embassy to get your license certified for you. You will then have to visit the transport authority to get a license to drive. This manual and tedious process is worth it only if you plan to stay in Addis for a reasonably long time or if driving is important to your short stay. People also get around by taxis, hire a driver or get friends to drive them.
  • Speed limit: 60 kph (37 mph) in urban areas and 100 kph (62 mph) outside.
  • Insurance: Recently passed law requires third party insurance. Insurers pay out if whoever was driving the car had a driving license (this may change in the future).
  • Drive on the right side, overtake on left, anticlockwise on roundabouts
  • It is illegal to use mobile phones while driving

1. Check your car
Check your car is fully functional. Test turn signals, head lights, door locks, wipers, and check spare tire. Although an increasing number of automatic cars are being imported, most cars in Ethiopia remain stick shift. Check also both front and back number plates are present.

2. Watch out for pedestrians
Perhaps this is the first point all drivers should be aware of. Poor road conditions, unavailability of pedestrian crossings, lack of sidewalks and poor road safety awareness all contribute to high accident rates. Pedestrians can suddenly step out from the sidewalk onto the road or a teenager may cross a highway after jumping over the guard rail. Another problem is animals. Stray dogs and cats are run over by cars. Drive slowly in busy areas and be attentive all the time. Don’t expect others will respect road rules.

3. Keep your distance
Addis is built on a highland. Older cars are challenged by the steep roads in Addis. Some old cars by the way can be exported to Europe and US to be sold as classic cars. So if you are a business person in Addis and it is not going well for you, then you can take comfort knowing there is always a backup business plan for you. Keep a good distance from the car in front of you when you come to a traffic stop. Big trucks and buses are the ones to be most careful about. Practice with the handbrake if you are not comfortable with starting and stopping in steep roads.

4. Anger management
Addis taxis are painted blue and white. You will recognize them the day you arrive in the city. There are minicabs and minibuses. The minibuses are notorious for breaking road rules. Unless you see a minibus on the day it arrived in Addis, it will almost definitely have several dents on its body. Minibuses have stations where they pick up and drop off the majority of their passengers but passengers can get off upon request as well. So they go about their route constantly picking up and dropping passengers. Expect minibuses to suddenly break or forcefully enter your lane. Military car drivers are also known for their reckless driving. There aren’t many of them around, luckily.

5. Traffic lights and traffic police
There are plenty of junctions without traffic lights. In the absence of traffic lights, you must be attentive, assertive, slow and quick all at the same time as this timelapse video clearly demonstrates. If traffic police are regulating traffic then their hand signals override traffic lights. There are no speed or red light cameras in Addis. Traffic police blow their whistle to ask drivers to stop. Although some of them have motorbikes, it will be a lifetime before Addis drivers can witness a high-speed chase. If you hear a whistle, stop only if you see traffic police looking towards your direction. Minibuses get the whistle most of the time. In the very rare scenario that you are stopped by traffic police, pull to the side and get out of your car to chat to the police. Being nice can save you a ticket. You might think fines are small but wait until you see the bureaucratic system when you try to pay the fine.

6. Keep emergency contacts
Instead of insurance with car breakdown cover, Addis drivers have a network of friends they can reach out for. Always have contacts you can call.

7. Theft
Most theft is aimed at small items inside cars, such as phones, bags and clothing. Outside elements prone to stealing are the lights, wipers and number plates. Do not leave anything that can attract thieves. Take it out when you leave, put it inside a compartment or in the trunk. Some drivers take out their car radio/CD player as well. But I wouldn’t worry about theft any more than I do in other major cities. Forget mobile phones. In London losing a Range Rover you spent your fortune on has become common. So just tuck things away, lock your door, and if possible park in a secure area. It is common for companies and restaurants to hire security guards for their parking areas. In some places neighborhood kids may tell you they will watch over your car and ask you for a bit of money when you return. It should not be misinterpreted as intimidation. They haven’t done any work besides hanging out with their friends in their neighbourhood. They know that. You can safely drive off after a simple thank you or “Amesegnalehu”.

8. Parking
Parking fees are relatively cheaper than other busy cities. In chargeable areas parking attendants put a ticket on your windshield with the current time on it. You pay when you come back. Take care when parking beyond the end of the parking time. You will face a fine if the parking attendant leaves without collecting the fee. Ask for the closing time. If there is a chance you can stay beyond that time then just pay all of right away instead of worrying about it later.

9. Weather and road conditions
Addis has dry and rainy seasons. There is no snow. The rainy season can bring heavy showers with hail. Showers are usually brief. So you can wait for it to finish if it makes you uncomfortable to drive. In the dry season you will quickly learn that parking your car in the afternoon sun is a great way to get yourself baked. Day and night are evenly divided throughout the year. It always becomes completely dark latest by 7:30 PM. If your headlights are not automatic remember to put them on. Many streets are poorly lit or have no lighting at all. You may want to switch to full beam but remember to notch it down when other cars go past you or when you follow another car closely. Trucks coming into Addis from other cities are the ones that usually leave their full beam on. Slow down if bright light blocks your view. Roads in Addis are being improved at a very high pace but you still find rugged and muddy roads. Just because it is a road with tire marks on it doesn’t mean you should drive on it. Commonly damaged parts are front bumpers and mufflers (silencers). To defeat a big bump try driving over it diagonally or retreat to find a better route.

10. Talk to people
As a driver in Addis you will need help with directions. Your car is broken doesn’t mean you are left in a desert to die. Ethiopians are helpful and welcoming people. Helping each other is how people get by. Pretty much everyone in Addis speaks Amharic and it is easy to find someone who can speak enough English to give you directions. Try to communicate with people with a combination of your limited Amharic, English and hand gestures. Avoid staying inside a small comfortable circle where everything is provided for you. You will make the best out of your stay by experiencing the city and its people first hand.

Although I raised several points to be careful about, driving in Addis is not just gripping onto your wheels expecting a horrible accident. Problems can be avoided if you are aware of them before hand. Addis is a fun city and driving is the best way to get around. After you have successfully driven in the Merkato area of Addis, come tell us your experience and we will give you a free T-Shirt to certify you as “Addis driver”.

የአንድ እጅ ጽሁፍ

This is in no way meant to be a parody of the previous post😛 but uh…

I was emboldened by dicknanigans to do this –an exhibition of sorts:

page 1

Scribbling while on the phone and what not. I must have been feeling particularly ኬረዳሽ on that day. The EBS shit, I don’t know.

page 2

Ideas for a blog post that was just not meant to be.

And some lovely music:



Wosene’s hand writing

Am I living in a dungeon? Just last month I talked about my excitement when I discovered Meklit. My latest discovery is Wosene Worke, a US based Ethiopian artist who makes art out of Ge’ez letters.

Wosene Worke 2

If you like Mulatu Astatke, you may have noticed the album cover on his Inspiration Information album. The cover is beautiful, its Ethiopian, and goes very well with what jazz music is about. The perfect cover!


Here is one painting from Wosene’s current exhibition “Word Play: Future Tense”.

Wosene Worke

By the way, those seemingly random letters are parts of words and sentences. I didn’t pay attention to it myself until Wosene spelled it out for me. I leave it as an exercice to you:)

Thanks to the Gallary of African Art (GAFRA) for exhibiting his work. In fact, GAFRA first opened (a year or two ago) with Wosene’s paintings. There are many other prominent African artists on their website.

Not all great paintings are unaffordable. I leave you with the one below. Its painted on sheep leather. I forget the artist’s name but I will try to find out next time I catch up with a friend who brought it.



in a store near you



Song takes me to a happy place

gilgel gibe

Photo taking more space than the news. ጠላቷ ይሙትና የአርባ ካርድ አስመሰሉት እኮ!:)

addis electric

Same newspaper, four days later. Better content this time. And yet, I can’t help but think that someone over at the newsroom (or me?) might be overly fond of her and/or is finding it hard to look beyond her womanhood. I am willing to bet (though that is not among my strong suits; I mean, I bet against the guys seen below😦 ), that the picture was not even taken at the day of the meeting. And if it was, couldn’t they have posted her a picture of her leading the deliberations and stuff? This pic looks like the ones  ፎቶ ቤቶች ከውጭ መስታወታቸው ላይ ለናሙና የሚለጥፉዋቸው:: Is that an i watch she’s rocking?:)


I like this photo. They all be like “show me my opponent.” I have a good mind to adopt the double-denim as a permanent dress code sometime in the future.


…Graphomania is not a mania to write letters, personal diaries, or family chronicles (to write for oneself or one’s close relations) but a mania to write books (to have a public of unknown readers)… Graphomania (a mania for writing books) inevitably takes on epidemic proportions when a society develops to the point of creating three basic conditions:
(1) an elevated level of general well-being, which allows people to devote themselves to useless activities; (2) a high degree of social atomization and, as a consequence, a general isolation of individuals; (3) the absence of dramatic social changes in the nation’s internal life.(From this point of view, it seems to me symptomatic that in France, where practically nothing happens, the percentage of writers is twenty-one times higher than in Israel. Bibi is, moreover, right to say that looked at from the outside, she hasn’t experienced anything. The mainspring that drives her to write is just that absence of vital content, that void.) But by a backlash, the effect affects the cause.  General isolation breeds graphomania, and generalized graphomania in turn intensifies and worsens isolation. The invention of printing formerly enabled people to understand one another. In the era of universal graphomania, the writing of books has an opposite meaning: everyone surrounded by his own words as by a wall of mirrors, which allows no voice to filter through from outside.

Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera


ጠቃሚ ቁጥሮች


A nice, symmetrical number. Not old, not young, but a viable, die-able age (Arundathi Roy)

I share the day with

and one of these two

Even Google recognizes –I am a big deal😀


101Days left till I go back home. The details that go into the preparation, akin to hosting the Olympics. I bought the tickets way early in the hope that I could sit back and get my schadenfreude on as the prices went up. But the opposite has happened and I am all sohn von einem weibchen!

Maybe I should start a countdown; I know GeTere would like that very much😛

Remember when we used to call her ቡቲክ and say that she is just showing off the nice fashionable clothes that she has brought from abroad? Now, her clothes look kind of funny.


Approximately how much of my studies are done. Although that part was challenging in its own right, it’s the opening act for a bigger CHALLENGE. Still, that won’t stop me from giving myself a pep talk, the way trainers say “OK, guys, last 10 rounds!!” in a 12 round exercise.

Met a fellow African student who’s in the final year of his studies. We chatted about our strong shared desires to go back home and be the instruments of as much (positive) change as we could. Decent conversation. Let’s just hope that we won’t end up being big condescending fishes in small ponds which constantly reminisce about ponds left behind. We need to bring the pond home, nah mean? And although it has got great chances of turning out to be the right and profitable decision, should we start to get it in our-probably-bald-by-then heads that we are martyrs “Look at us! We came back!”, may we chill.

Another thing I need to be doing is get my mythos and logos straight. This, from AAAS blogs, is what I would like to achieve; I hope it is true.

…Rather, what distinguishes American graduates from our foreign-educated counterparts in the workforce is what has been described as American core values—an optimism of outlook consisting of qualities such as a can-do attitude, rugged individualism (as popularized by historian Frederick Jackson Turner), efficiency and practicality, progress, and freedom. Generalizing about national character is, of course, perilous (and internalized values are difficult to measure). Will Americans excel at innovation in every industry or work setting? No. But there is apparently something in our educational DNA, learned but not inbred, that gives us a creative edge…


ደግሞ you live and you learn ነው አይደል የሚባለው? Discovered that “አልማዝ” is Russian for “Diamond”

ወዲህ ወዲያ እንዲህ እንዲያ

to and fro


መክሊትዋን ያልቀበረችው መክሊት -ሃተታዊ ሆኖ ግን አጭር ዳሰሳ

Long time no see. I thought Meklit is worth talking about. She performed at Southbank in London. I listened to Kemekem on Youtube before going to her show. That’s pretty much how little I knew about her. Every single song in her show was good. I couldn’t put a single genre to her music. Ethio-jazz-soul-folk-goodness? She was great on stage. Loved her stories about life, childhood and Ethiopian music.

ከመከም ያገር ልጅ ይሻላል
ከመከም ቢከፋም ቢበጅም

She surprised us by bringing a jazz giant, Pee Wee Ellis (he was not mentioned in the listing). The result? Heaven for Ethio-jazz fan like myself.


They went on to play the classic Ethiopian song Abay Mado. I doubt he rehearsed with them before appearing. You could see the two looking at each other and syncing up their improvisation. It made it even more fun to listen. It was like going back to the 60’s. Only a picture can explain how I was listening.


I was last in a long queue to get her signed CD and a picture with her. Her latest album is We Are Alive. Do check it out.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 07.00.33

She said she had a lot to learn about Ethiopian music. You are right Meklit, there is decades of music to learn from, not to mention traditional songs that never made it to recording studios. I look forward to hearing more from you.


Girma Beyene, Seifu Yohannes, Teshome Mitku. All great artists whose songs are getting revived.

አይነጋም ወይ

ኧረ አይነጋም ወይ




መልካም ፋሲካ



So, whom/what do you turn to?

While we are on the topic of unrequited love…


Meet my bed. Check out my throw pillows; there’s tens of ways of arranging them! That’s where I lay my weary head down every night.

“ፊትን ወደነገ አዙሮ መተኛት”: ነብይ መኮንን is a favorite expression even though I have not been  practicing it. There was the rosary on the vacant pillow (or clutched in hand. i know, i know. i am supposed to pray with it, not sleep with it) phase which I still go back to, every now and then, especially on those days when it feels like the monsters are gaining on me. Recent times have seen my mobile phone occupying the same spot where the rosary used to sit, lulling me to sleep with Sheger FM.

It is not that I am having trouble sleeping. It is rather a case of going to bed being the most exciting part of the day—for better or for worse—and trying to set it off the right way.

What’s all this got to do with unrequited love?

Well, in all honesty, probably nothing. I mean, I got so much love to give and shit (my love be just sitting there, waiting, like a winter’s growth of grass on the playground of our primary school, ምሥራቅ ድል, ጨረታ ያሸነፈ ሰው መጥቶ እስኪያነሳው. ኖ ጨረታ ፎር ማይ ላቭ, ቤይbae) but there are currently no vultures lurking around in my life, at least none that I know of:smile: But it must be nice to have someone to turn to at night, someone who would be a personification of my late night traditions, all rolled into one. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. I ain’t seen her, Lord! (A very polite exclamation mark.) If I had, she would be my way of loving you. Forget the radio, the sound of her breathing would be all the information I need, proof that the world is functioning just fine. And the few pages I used to read before bed, before it got too cold to stay exposed for even a minute, she would be my lifetime of reading.

ህመሟን የማውቅላት;  of whom the best I would bring out, only to the best I would compare… (ዘፋኞቹ የግዳቸውን የሚዘፍኑ ይመስላሉ)

Someone whom I would make cherish her day

A lot of “would”s

We be so tight with Kd in the nanomolar range that nothing or no one could come in between us except maybe some room for her vibrator. I have come to find out from my extensive reading:smile: of The Guardian that women don’t mean their vibrators to replace their men but to augment them, like augmentin. Cool.

This also from the Guardian; even after somebody had commented on the mistake, the “Aramaic” was still there last time I checked.


Back to the topic at hand. The world is crazy. Something wrong with the human race. A whole lot of people running towards love. A whole lot of others running away.

Fuck it, I’m out.


I had missed out on these cats all this time

okay universe here I am

Open up your eyes and look says the universe, our time is short and I am yours, you just need to take a chance and enjoy it all, do you hear me talking to you across the water, across the deep blue ocean? the universe keeps on asking. I close my eyes and sail through the sea and travel across the turning tides, that is what I have always wanted, feeling the breeze of the silently blowing wind, watching the night sky and the beautiful sunrise: a line of beautiful lights over the horizon and them old stars, and this old soul of mine refuses to give up even though my heart is broken into pieces by a vulture, but no I will not give up, I am here to stay and make the difference that I can make. The universe says you have to learn how to bend with out the world caving in. I will give the world my love and I shall receive what I seek.

Love is a funny thing, when you love someone, you heart beats beats so loud. your feet can feel the ground, when you love someone it comes back to you, makes your blood flow with energy, says the song writer, I am afraid I have to disagree Jason Mraz, it hurts in a million ways too, Life is wonderful and it runs in circle, cause and effect is how science describes it. It doesn’t take time to fall in love but it takes years to know what love is: the universe answers. It takes a silence to make a sound, this I agree with. So many questions have been creeping in my mind, it is starting to feel like the world is saying I am not welcome any more and I needed the vulture to save me, instead he chose the vow of silence, I don’t wish to change you, you have it under control: you wake up every day different,

But the universe kept on saying, I am yours and I decided, I will not waste my days, to worry about the things I should just let go. I will live in the moment, live my life, lazy and breezy with peace in my heart and my soul, let go of the thoughts that don’t make me strong: this I decided after so much prayer. I want to be a beautiful mess to you, I am saying I love you and I am hearing I love you back and I am smiling back better than ever and I will give you all my broken heartbeats.

'Et tu, Brute? ...You asshole!'



Previous Older Entries

wordpress statistics
%d bloggers like this: