18. Guzo ……………………………55 days to go




That right there is my sister feeding a hyena with her mouth. And the other one is what it is-a Babile mineral water bottle cap. And yes I was in Dire Dawa, Harar and Alamaya this past weekend. My younger sister graduated, and with honors I might add, from Haramaya (Alamaya) University. Suddenly I see why my parents would decide to have another child after a fine specimen such as myself. I was also able to see that the reputation that precedes the places I went to is based on solid ground. Harar in particular has an aura of chill and warmth at the same time: and I ain’t talking about no climate. 

I did not get to feed the hyenas and have a set of theories explaining why I failed to do so. It may be that I saw no toothbrushes and toothpaste lying around and was avoiding the stink. Once a girl did it for the first time, everyone else was following suit. And I like to think of myself as one not to follow the pack: may be the act got old right there and then. May be I was jetlagged 🙂 and not in the mood.  I think now is the right time to let you know that I flew, for the first time ever. I was concerned that I might suffer from vertigo but except for the occasional urge to jump, I was fine. But, as you can clearly see I suffer from the usage of big words. On an episode of everybody hates Chris, everybody was telling the main character (Chris Rock) “…myocardial infarction….” and he responds in the background “why can’t he just say heart attack” .I also suffer from the construction of lengthy sentences therein are contained too many and often unnecessary words which are made up of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Moreover, there were 11 “I’‘’s in this paragraph.

 My maladies are so many, so getting back to the theories … 

May be I was disappointed by the workings of Ethiopian Airlines to the point of being unable to give meat on a piece of stick to a member of the family Hyaenidae which has a bite powerful enough to crack concrete and whose females are endowed with a penis like structure which has them mistaken for males. On the ticket, the time of departure for Dire was stated as Friday morning at 8, and we arrived at Bole around 6:30 for check in. We learned that the flight has been transferred to 4 in the afternoon. We returned at 2:45, boarded the plane at 5:35, and landed at 7. But the worst was still to come. The return flight was scheduled for 3 p.m. and we made sure that we were there at 1. The plane came at around 7:30 and it was 9:15 when we finally got home. The hours in between ,we spent in the airport’s hideous lounge. There is talk of many Ethiopiawian, tiwilde Ethiopiawian and ferenjoch coming for the millennium. But this important gateway to tourist attraction is in a sorry state of being: from basic upkeep to catering to …

 Some of the times are approximations and by”we” I mean the others and I. 

 May be I was pissed by the queue in the stadium where the convocation took place. Most of the queues I get involved in are either horizontal ones with a bunch of people being restrained by a guy with a stick (so are they queues?) or ones where the line is well formed at the back but in the front there is an uncertain arrangement (and I hate uncertainty). On Saturday, it was the former. After a while the people overrun the police and scrambled for the limited number of seats that were in the tent: I was among the lucky ones. 

The trend in almost any speech made nowadays is to say “ yihen…. liyu yemiyadergew bemillenniumu wazema lay honen….”. If I fed the jib, it would have been something special because it would have happened on the eve of the new..shut your mouth! But many things before and after it (the act of mabilat) made it so that I couldn’t. Another of the “after” factors was the life sentence handed out on Monday to the Kinjit leaders and members. On the newscast, they were talking about how two weeks earlier, the defendants had written a letter of apology to the office of the prime minister and how the letter was not made public until after the rulings lest it would have put undue pressure on the court. But if you ask me, the signatures on the letter were copied from an agreement that was rumored to have been signed by the two sides; an agreement that laid responsibility on both sides for what happened post-election. And the rest of the letter, they have computers, don’t they? Another rumor is that the apologetic letter was in fact written by the defendants, a third in a series of which the previous two what’s his face would not accept. 

The thing is, I can not trust the rumors; neither can I the news. Anyway, the letter has reportedly been forwarded to the president. 

I guess the point I have been trying to make thus far is that there are two types of people. There are the doers like my sister, and there are people like me who waste time writing seven paragraphs of unrelated mumbo jumbo explaining why they did not, and some more ,counting the number of lines in those paragraphs which by the way is  49.

My recent travels were not only physical but also took place in my mind. It has been ten years since the death of Diana and mother Theresa , nine since The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and the world is left with people like Paris Hilton to make the headlines. Ten years since Titanic and I never knew that screen copies existed until then. Ten years since I started feeling hip hop and r n b, since I was a tenth grader, since Tamrat Layne got jailed….. 

That was for the past.

The future came to me while in a big ass lecture theater, attending a class along with other three students. I started fantasizing about how I would like to own the stage when I become a teacher in the foreseeable future. And there it was the future! It was ten years from now and I have devised a new way of teaching, a cross between psychiatry and pedagogy; psychiped if you will. I walk into the packed room without teaching aids of any sort. I hypnotize the students and spit my “game” .After an hour or so I count to three and snap my fingers: the students wake up feeling educated. My teaching methods have not been perfected yet, I should warn you. I still have to work out ways of painting mental images of complex chemical reactions and of cellular structures.  

This too happened in the future. 

One morning I see my students marveling at my wife who came to drop me off at school. The class starts normal and in the middle I say “I see some of you happen to have a thing for my wife: I saw you give her the jaw – dropped, drool – all overLook; the same look I had when I first laid eyes on her.” their eyes are wide shut but I can see their faces illuminating at the very mention of her. Then suddenly I pull out my gun and fire a couple of rounds (not towards them though). Bang bang! Class over! They wake up and run for the exits. That should teach them not to stare at her again. I get fired off course and most likely end up in prison. 

Apparently, me in the future is a very possessive dude with a gun. 

How about twenty years on?

I was thinking about a reunion with you guys. Corny as it may sound, we can call it vision 20/20, meet up in Nehase 2020 and do whatever : definitely hit Harar . I heard this story about people who were students in a Bahir Dar high school thirty years ago. They had a pact that they would meet this year and they are making good on that. 

What say you? 

I hope ay 


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