Dope songs about dope Etyopians

My favorite song at the moment! The entire VCD is estupendo; makes you wanna get up and …

I have fucked with Agewigna music since way back, ever since the asheshewmele  and akelateyi (nefsuan yimarewina) days.

And that girl from the tewezawazoch, the one with the Key shash- man she done asheshewmeled her way into my heart! I think I’m in love.

Very educational too. I never knew that Dondor café was named after a waterfall in Chagni. I always felt that it was where the Ethiopian mafia hangout. And who knew that the Agew had sebat bet, just like the Gurage?

 The resemblance to ye Wolaytigna chifera, uncanny!

You have to see the whole thing!

You could say this particular VCD is balehulet ahaz

One day I had the misfortune of watching ETv. They were doing a report on the Teddy Afro concert and reporterachin egele egele goes, roughly:  “ Hagerachin Etyopia lalefut ametat balehulet ahaz yeeconomy edget sitasmezegib endeneber yitaweKal. Honom, yetewesenu wegenochin kedihinet lemalaKeK  altechalem. Lezihm yimeslal 🙂 tawakiw dimTSawi Tewodros Kasahun weym Teddy Afro “belimena menor yibKa”  yemil ye musica zigijit…

So why not bestow the title balehulet ahaz upon anything as remotely smashing as our sweaty economy?

Or else I could use about a hundred words of praise about the music and put an exclamation mark at the end- the way they write the slogans on the first page of Addis Zemen or the walls of some offices. If I were them, I would have put not an exclamation mark at the end but a tiny dump truck. Or better still, a garbage truck.


Tilish, you see I have adopted the “Etyopia”.

Christmas presents urgently needed

I always forget to buy Christmas presents. I can’t be blamed. We don’t have that in Etopia.

I still feel bad when people give me presents and I don’t have anything to give in return.

So yesterday I was meeting a Scottish family which I feel part of. I was looking for presents the day before (started too late) but couldn’t find anything. I don’t know how but I somehow convinced myself to go to bed. As if the what-present-to-give problem will go away by itself the next morning. So I got up the next morning, a bit late, buses stopped working so I was going to be even more late, and on top of it I had to use my precious minutes to produce a present from any material I can get hold of in my flat. So after about 10 minutes of cursing myself and putting the room up side down in search for a stack of Ethiopia postcards (with no luck), I finally got a picture. It was a picture of my aunt’s daughter (yes, yes, there is probably a word for it but i won’t bother visiting the dictionary) getting baptized. The baby was cute and it showed Ethiopian Orthodox practices. It had number 16 written at the back and note in Amharic that my aunt wrote. But I was out of options so I wrote a Merry Christmas note at the back of it, and started searching for an envelope. Yeah, that was just as hard. Finally got a business envelope (I don’t think anyone on Earth got a Christmas card inside those kind). So to make the long story short (don’t you hate it when people say this AFTER they have made the story long?) I arrived at the church 20 minutes late.

They liked the “card” though. I could have done better by putting it in decent envelope and carrying it in a bag while I went to church (it got a bit creased). They are like a newly found family so the new child being baptized made some sense.

I am so embarrassed that for next year I have decided to get presents way way before Christmas. Merry Christmas and thank God we are all ok, simply worrying about presents.

New bike, Avatar

I’ve always wanted to have a bike. So I went out and got a new one! Rather, a new old bike. They said it is a well kept bike but what do I know. I just knew I like the look of mountain bikes and that I can’t afford to get a brand new one. I it for 65 quid, accessories (lock, lights, helmet and Edinburgh bike route map) 50 more from The Bike Station which was recommended by a friend. Very friendly staff.

It started to snow when I was in the bike shop. Given I’m not confident to share the road with cars and buses, and snow on top of it, I thought ten times before deciding to ride it home. I finally made it though. My hands were freezing. And then I had to carry it to my flat (three floors up) because 1. I couldn’t find room to lock it up downstairs 2. I knew I wasn’t going to ride it often and 3. I wanted to study it.

I saw Avatar today. I rate it 7/10.

To those of you who are planning on visiting Tis Abay

Sit your asses down for there ain’t nothing to be seen!

Three times I have been there, and you would be a fool to expect to see the falls the way they are shown on the back of the one birr bill. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the national bank is going to replace the bill with a coin.

The last time I saw it, loser looked like two people were standing on the cliffs and pouring the water with a jug.

An observation: the Amharic letter of ti resembles a fall

And I am telling you that it does not even have the amount of water that ti does.

You can even chill by the water’s edge. And do not think that is a good thing – given the way things used to be.

So, don’t do it if disappointment is not your thing.

But, should it be the case that you are hell bent on going over there (the hard-headed never learn), take heed because I don’t want none of yeall to get ripped off and disillusioned at the same time.

  • At the Bahir Dar bus station, forget the people who try to lure you into minibuses and take one of the bigger buses. I hope you will agree with me when I say 10 birr is a much better proposition than 350 birr (adjustments based on world oil markets apply.) It is only 30 or so kilometers of pista menged. A big plus is the chance to mingle with the locals. But as soon as one of them starts giving off vibes that they want to show you around once you get there –mingling over. Just kidding. Tell them that you already know the place and you are going back to see if the water has dried up or not. And you could continue chatting about all matters dry.
  • stay away from a certain Aba Tes….’s car. It is green and does not work.
  • midway, at a town called Andasa, you can buy zeituna
  • once you are in the Tis Abay bus station, you will see in front of you the gate to the power station. Walk towards it a bit and to your left you will find that there are two adjacent small houses: one has got a transmitter or something in its compound and the other is where you buy tickets for the “big visit.” Ethiopians prepare 3 to 5? birr and  foreigners … it is posted on the windows. Not exorbitant I tell you. When asked if you have got a video camera on you -and I know you do- say no. I don’t condone lying but it is a small lie when compared with the bigger lie that goes by the name Tis Abay. 
  • in the meantime, resist the advances of all those who try to be your guides, some even force-50birr-fully  claiming that they have permits. However they badger you, state your case calmly; tell them that you know that there are two ways of getting there viz  cross the bridge that Atse Fasil/ the Portuguese built with eggs and stuff or take a boat (the manner in which I did it on all three occasions.) Never, under any condition, give them the finger. I cannot guarantee your safety if you do that.
  • now where were we? Yeah, the ticket booth. Turn around and walk a little. Do you see to your right that little shop, the on painted Coke-red? The first one? Take that narrow road next to the shop and walk on. Have no fear of being lost. As I say in situations like this, think Magellan, Columbus, Moses,…
  • in no time, you will see the banks of Abay
  • keep on moving and you have reached the dock. A boat will get you to the other side – a one minute affair- for a 10 birr return trip. The 10 birr is to be paid on the return leg.
  • before or after you have crossed the river there will again be people trying to show you around. You may need someone to take group pictures and a local boy or girl may come in handy (“ready?” and all that.) Be judicious in the way you acknowledge their services.
  • now you are on the other side. Congrats if you have made it alone  thus far! And you can go the rest of the way by just keeping on going 🙂 more often than not, there will be people returning from the falls. And if you are taking a local, he is likely to show you a plant known as yesew neger a.k.a. the sensitive plant a.k.a.  Mimosa pudica. What this plant’s leaves basically do is shrink when touched. You will not miss it if you travel mindful of  the plants around you.

  • there you have it – Tis Abay, to your right.
  • knock yourselves out and a happy disappointment.


P.p. 1. some may wonder why I try to bring our tourism industry into disrepute. My answer to that would be: truth over tourism, bitches.

P.p. 2.  I hear a friend is coming into town. No doubt he is going to want to visit Tis Abay.

October 15, 2010.

Well, Tis Abay put me in my place. Saw it some weeks back with some friends and, impressive! And yet, it was not at its most impressive!

Respect, frigging respect, man, I mean water!

Disclaimer: seasonal changes still apply.

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