They just won’t let you be a saint

If ever there was such a thing as a personal Zeitgeist, mine would be “get out of this conversation and quick”. I am tired of feigning interest; of false smiles; of condescension; of kissing necessary + unnecessary ass = unnecessary ass; of trying to impress; of pretending to listen; of not trying to understand; of talking in the auto-pilot mode. I try to avoid those kinds of situations but they seem to have a knack for finding me.

I try to avoid people and long for them at the same time .

But most of all, I long for someone to really make me laugh – laugh my diapers off. How I need that!

The morning of Timqet I went to the office just to get away from the house and the “holiday atmosphere”. In the afternoon, there was no escaping the family of my friend, who by the way happen to be real nice people.  I was there until 3 in the evening and when I got home, I was sure that there would be no question of an invitation after this late. I could have really made sure of that had I went to sleep directly. But no! I had to watch the lovers’ guide (you dig :wink:). And then it came: we should have supper together; they were waiting for other guests to leave. A bit later, the soldier joins us (where is your wife? I have been meaning to ask you for the last I do not know how many months). I be sipping on Mirinda and them Pepsi and wine. The air was so tense that, if one had stroked at it, one would have heard an invisible guitar.

And right at that moment…

You can never go wrong with football talk. I ask: “ahun CHewata yelem ende?”  I second it with: “yeAafrica budnoch bezih aquamachew lealem wanCHa liyawaridun new aydel?” later to confess that I had hardly watched a game since the tournament started. The wine is working now; even I have loosened up now. A lot of male bonding I tell you. We hold lively discussions on such varied topics as the speedy growth of today’s children, the true sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant, how the Somali people enjoy singing, deforestation… and should you feel that the conversation is slackening, you can always bring in the strife within the synod.

I went to my room around midnight but I did not go to sleep immediately. Had to finish the lovers’ guide, man!

Speaking of today’s children, my oldest niece – she is 12 – was telling me about how this boy has been trying to hit on her, giving her gifts of earrings and shit (“that was supposed to be a secret you asshole!” “Don’t worry; nobody reads this blog). Amazed, I listened to her talk, and all the while I was cursing myself: “afer bila! zifzif! yesint gize tananashochih…” . Afer bila zifzif, by the way, is the choice curse phrase of Ba Darians.

Today’s children are fast. They got their grind and hustle on. They be making moves. If only they could share with me some of their wisdom …

I asked my nieces: “what do you think is wrong with your uncle ? :sad:”

Kuku: “you don’t want girls to like you. Hmm, you want girls to like you but you are just silly”

Hany: “Oh my God you are a clown. You are not even a human. You are a clown”

And Hapy, she talks; calls her father “dude” and stuff. Once, she wanted to tell Hany something and did not want me to hear so she went “he don’t speak English…”

I hope they are as good in other subjects as they are in English. And I think they are. Knowing English should not be an end by itself but a way of gaining knowledge. I hate it when they hate having to speak Amharic, as if it was a sign of ignorance, and they refer to their teacher as Mr. and Ms.  Whatever happened to Ato and Weizerit?

And on top of that, they call you dude!

This is what I have been trying to tell my partners in backwardness a.k.a. my brother and my sister: if ever it was decided that I should have a child, she/he won’t be going to no “academy”. I will be sure to send them to a school with a real Etyopian name like Dejach Geneme, ATSe Naod, Weldo MeTaya or Bichegir. I don’t care if they grow up to not know an A from a Z.

I saw a solar eclipse while in Addis Abeba. I was also lucky to see the previous one (at Arat Kilo) four years ago. But in terms of rarity, an eclipse would not hold a candle to this:

My parents and siblings keep on insisting that I should change my dress code. They say – in so many words – going to class in T shirts shows a lack of respect for my students and that I am unfit to be a role model. I say that is the least of my worries now as far as the example I am setting for my students is concerned. They win. I go to buy sleeveless shirts. I had a sweater on when I left the house. This sweater, my mother hates it. She says its color has faded, is too old and I should no longer be wearing it. As a principle, members of my family are seldom crazy about my choice of attire.

It was a sunny day. On my way home, I had the sweater in the festal along with the new shirts. I hear a person calling me from behind. He says he has come from Dire Dawa for one reason or another and endetechegere … I was not ready to hear him out on an empty stomach. And so took the easy way out, gave him one birr. He says he does not want money but he would like it if he could get some cloth. I search through the festal and give him the sweater.

I have always wondered what it would be like giving what you have on to someone else who needs it more than you do. Examples such as my oldest brother and Chachi were in my head at the moment. If I do this, I would have gone at least some part of the way.

My guy wonders if I have got used clothes – instead of giving him new ones, that is. I tell him it is an old cloth. He goes on to ask me, with the sweater dangling on his hand (okay. maybe it was not exactly “dangling”. maybe he had held on to it firmly. but that it should dangle is very important for my story), if I have something yemiyamoK. I take back the sweater and head on home.

I love that sweater, man!


yogurt and coke – you should try it. i insist!

sexy bus

a traffic jam in abay bereha

the joy of traveling in Tir

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tibebe
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 10:27:34

    this is for you tilish

    yifat yifat silu betam des yileñal

    minjar minjar silu betam des yileñal

    sim yiwetal enji mitik yet yegeñal


    ayferam gam ayferam ….

    ( from gigi’s gedawo in african voice of women)

    re listened to her songs from one ethiopia and guramayle. and it was a blessing!


  2. getere
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 10:40:40

    The English-Speakers-Are-Knowlegeable problem is one of the faces of a more fundamental problem. You know what’ll make it go away? More Ethiopian scientists, artists, books, films, songs about Kera (instead of “I love LA”), ….. I remember seeing Atletu and wanting to be like him. He’s a cool guy.

    I like Atse Naod. My brother and I used to name ourselves Goradew and Balcha when playing video games. I like Goradew 🙂 One other name I like is Minjar. Don’t ask me why, I’m just hooked up with it. It’s not a temporary thing either. I’ve liked it for a long time. Minjar. The domain is in my wish list (it’s not taken yet!).

    Dress code? pfft. I say don’t worry about it.

    Good man. Give one if you have two.

    Really? Yoghurt and coke?

    Abay Berha! Maryam awchign! Are the roads dusty as before? I know they’ve rebuilt the rest, most of all the way from Adisaba to Gonder.

    For a moment there I confused Tir with Tikimt and paused. Some time ago I had a long dialogue with a friend about what Ethiopian year we were in. I also need to practice explaining myself with tirit bale amarigna. Yihe metatif tiru new. Bihonim bizu meshashal yemigebachew negeroch alu. Misale lemtkes yahil ri’esu gilts endihon…. You know what I mean? Speak pure Amharic without mixing any foreign word. Normally I’d go “Yihi blog arif new. Gin we can do better. Like titlun gilts lemareg. Malet. Like. Malet” Stupid yebole lij. wede fit


    • tibebe
      Jan 25, 2010 @ 14:47:20

      i wonder what Kera has to be sung about; bones?

      which dusty roads in particular are we talking about?

      yoke (yogurt and coke) Kerebih!

      what was all that shit you wrote about titles?

      weym beamariña:

      ya sileri’es yeTSafkew edari min neber?

      on your outlook on dresscodes, my man!

      about your abnormal relationship with clothes, creepy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

wordpress statistics
%d bloggers like this: