here i go again

Tomorrow I will be going to Addis Abeba for fasika. And I could just picture how it is going to play out:

I will end today feeling a bit sad that I would be leaving Bahir Dar. I have got full confidence in my biological clock that I do not set the  alarm. I wake up about five times during the night. When it is finally time, I …

Before that I need to pack. So this evening, I try to fit as many things as possible in my backpack. Some people have got brain power to help them rearrange things in a space saving manner. And other people have got knee and elbow power. So I knee and elbow the bag into submission.

I have dreams in which the bus has left without me and I am following it like “noooooooo…” and then I realize it is a dream and I wake up and see what time it is.

So when it is finally time (time, in this case, is around 3 a.m. because I would be taking the notorious 5 L ?- Aba Dula mini bus which has got a respectable safety record of two in three. Maybe this was why I have been blogging about dying. But I can’t die! Not now!  Today I was made an uncle for the eighth time.)  I take an anti emetic and wait for the minibus to arrive – a good thing about the Aba Dula is that they pick you up. All the while I would be hoping if someone hot would be sitting next to me, and somehow, somehow, we would strike up a conversation that would hopefully lead to filling her up if we happen to be sitting in the back seat. I mean, around ten hours on the road with someone, I should be able to break my own resistance and something has got to give.

Now I am in the mini bus and am listening to mezmur on my mobile (come on, it’s Passion Week!) and waiting goh eskiqed. To my chagrin, the breaking dawn reveals an old man or woman sitting next to me. Sunrise is soooo overrated!

But fret not! I knew this would happen. And that is why I have brought along a book to keep me company and to stave off undesired conversation.

I pray we do not make a stopover at Fiche. Here is my best memory of this town. Once we were coming from Addis Abeba and we stopped there for breakfast. A waiter comes and I order dulet  for lack of anything made of wheat. He comes and goes for a while, sometimes with the orders of other people. And he keeps on reassuring me that the dulet is on its way. Ten minutes later, I lose my patience and ask him more forcefully, and he tells me “dulet alqual lela neger ezezu” I went out and bought Nas biscuits.

Lately some people have been commenting “betam amrobihal! lemehonu mestawet tayaleh?”  They may be teasing but anyway I answer: “sew limot sil yamribetal”.


Provided I make it home safely, hugging my mom and dad is expected to feel so nice. And there is a brand new member in the family to boot. An hour after my arrival, the novelty wears off and I settle right in. Days pass and I am getting more settled and then comes the eve of my departure. I hate that night. No matter how long I have stayed in Bahir Dar, I just can’t look forward to returning.

On the return trip, I am strategizing on how best to write a post on the numerous chicks in tight jeans that I saw in Addis Abeba. After a stopover at my friend’s, I go to my shack to find plastic cups strewn all over the floor – the mice held I don’t know how many house parties. I wish they at least  had the decency to clean up their mess.

And some time later, I do it all over again


Thank you wikipedia

Today I went to a gathering of Jehovah’s  Witnesses. It was my first time to do so. Tonight was a special one, called “Memorial”. It’s a yearly event where the death of Jesus is remembered. Bread and wine was passed around. Now here is the thing. Many Jehovah’s witnesses don’t take the bread and wine because they think they have earthly hope. Only a few who see themselves as having heavenly hope take it. So much that only 0.056% [1] of them took the bread and wine in 2006. Can you imagine how embarrassed I would have been if I took it? But thanks to wikipedia, I was browsing about for “teklala ewket” when I stumbled upon this information. Yes, I did sit in the back because I arrived late [2] and so I had the chance to observe that no one took it except only a few [3]. But still, given my short attention span which is even going shorter by the day, I would have taken it if I hadn’t visited wikipedia on time.

As I had previously ranted, wikipedia can be biased. But heck, it’s less biased than controlled encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia Britannica can ever get.

Now go read about Etopia, the best city in the world Addis Ababa, the business woman Sophia Bekele, how Experimental Learning can be better than class room learning and the many Notable Oromo. And next time you hit your head against a hard problem go through the list of Problem Solving Techniques. Consider your problem solved already.

[1] Why can’t you just believe me?
[2] What can I say, I am abesha
[3] They probably didn’t know, poor chaps.

insulting your intelligence (for only 50 birr a year)

Now, I don’t own a TV.  I don’t intend to own a TV anytime soon – it is number 2834 on my list of priorities. But every now and then, I get exposed: when I am at my friend’s, go home for the holidays or am eating out at some place. And I get to see and hear some amazing stuff.

On the news, they were reporting that the amount of VAT collected has shown significant increase over the last few years but even that, was not enough. To corroborate their story they made me listen to a snippet from the answer which this repatriated traditional restaurant owner gave to their queries. I swear these were his words: “ beña hager yalew yeVAT tax asebaseb bizu yiqerewal. wich hager sewoch besihtet tax kalkefelu rasachew police eskemetrat yemidersubet huneta new yalew” !!!!!……..???……. some more of that !!!!!

I am not well versed on extraetiopic matters so tell me (those of you who are) – does stuff like this really happen?

Some other things I need to get off my chest:

  • I fear (yeseitan joro aysmana) WordPress would be blocked come these elections. How time flies?! I can’t believe that  it has been four years since Blogspot was blocked.
  • In the interval when the regular students leave and the winter students have not yet returned (or vice versa), the park on the way to the department is quite peaceful. I am looking forward to sitting on a concrete bench, with not a soul in sight, and reading some nice books.
  • You know the place in front of the Menelik palace where the minibuses coming from haya hulet make an exit for tourist hotel. There is a small garden there and you could catch – after school hours – kids showing off their acrobatic skills.
  • One of the little (very) girls in the neighborhood used to say hi to me and it used to make me feel so good. Because you know that she has no ulterior motives or is not doing it just to get it over with. Then she suddenly stopped and now acts like she does not even recognize me. Whatever happened to “it takes a village to raise a child”, huh? Her family must watch a lot of police program anyway.
  • I seem to have forgotten a couple of things. My chest still feels a bit heavy.
  • Yes! I got it! The dust from Sudan from last year was back. Bahir Dar was shrouded in its haze for a couple of days.
  • No, that was not it 👿 still heavy.
  • There is nothing worse than a barber that just would not shut up. And I have seen my fair share of those. But  last time,  I encountered the barber after my own heart.

Please read the following from The Plague – Albert Camus

Since plague became in this way some men’s duty, it revealed itself as what it really was; that is, the concern of all.


So far, so good. But we do not congratulate a schoolmaster on teaching that two and two make four, though we may, perhaps, congratulate him on having chosen his laudable vocation. Let us then say it was praiseworthy that Tarrou and so many others should have elected to prove that two and two make four rather than the contrary; but let us add that this good will of theirs was one that is shared by the schoolmaster and by all who have the same feelings as the schoolmaster, and, be it said to the credit of mankind, they are more numerous than one would think—such, anyhow, is the narrator’s conviction. Needless to say, he can see quite clearly a point that could be made against him, which is that these men were risking their lives. But again and again there comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death.


The schoolteacher is well aware of this. And the question is not one of knowing what punishment or reward attends the making of this calculation. The question is that of knowing whether two and two do make four. For those of our townsfolk who risked their lives in this predicament the issue was whether or not plague was in their midst and whether or not they must fight against it.


from the guys who brought you muz bezinjibil. muz is proving to be highly workable. and if you are wondering why almost every photo i take is on a green background, that is my table. yep! i have one table, two chairs ( one is a three seater 😛 ), many other things in twos like i was Noah getting into his ark, and no tv. call me the minimalist. my friend had to try hard in order to convince me to buy another mug. i just did not see the point in both of us having coffee at the same time. it was unnecessary like double spellings.  like a good host, i could have waited until he was finished, washed the mug, … but he was too stubborn.



Musicians are never in a hurry

It’s ironic. Musicians are probably the most skilled in keeping the right timing (even better than actors I think). Just not for appointments it seems. They’re supposed to start by now but I don’t see any of them on stage.

I like it. Why? a) It’s jazz and jazz is worth waiting for. b) The Jazz Bar has a nice cozy atmoshpere. c) They have free internet. I can have fun writing a blog post while I drink my.. errr.. mocha.

There goes one dude with a double base twice his size.


First song they played was Now’s The Time by Charlie Parker. It’s what I call “Comprehensible Jazz”.

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