tibebe goes to subafrica

Now, I am not high like Harold and Kumar but have been fiending for a good burger. I hear about this place that fits the bill (of “Ethiopia’s Sandwich Kings) and decide to check it out with the informant. First try, they were closed; I curse my frigging luck and bide my time. Yesterday after class, with a couple of friends  not being able to make it, I find myself sitting alone on them green seats:  A modest place, it heralded my coming with Busta Rhymes’ “Fire It Up”; and I am like “well, fire it up then, and bring me a damned cheese burger and an equally damned strawberry smoothie!” I taste it and… Let me take you back to the day when I was finally able to bring home a screen copy of “Titanic” from yeEtye Almaz LIj video bet. Do you know that feeling which you get when you are walking around with a glass you are wearing for the first time, or after it has been modified a bit? Man, I was floating the one point something kilometers  to home!  Wondering if people knew that I was in possession of “The Titanic” at that point in time; it was like I was bringing home a panacea to all our problems.

I still do business with Etye Almaz and hers; they have this unsung, amazing times Avogadro’s number yoghurt which my sister makes a point of buying by the bundle whenever I hit Addis Abeba. I tell you, I am positively in love with that thing! I swear by it. I drink it in the morning, before departing for Bahir Dar.  Plus it wears a do rag:Where was I? Yes, I finally reached home (to underwhelming acclaim) and we watched Titanic. And our reaction was “that’s it?” I guess what I am trying to say is that, over expectation is a bitch and in these kinds of situations, more often than not, one is bound to be anticippointed. The burger was real juicy and tasty. As far as burgers in BaDa go, it is in a class of its own. Even the burgers that I have had in AA, I hardly think they are of its caliber (now I am using big meaningless words). But I was looking for a “that’s that shit!” moment, akin the one they had when they finally found that burger joint on HIMYM; and the moment was not to be found. Still, I finished the burger in less than 10 seconds; I am sure it was not because I did not have lunch.

I was a fried onion ring and smoothie virgin and on that front, I had my moment alright!

The waiter was personable and I think I caught a glimpse of the spoken about Danish chef. An extra primate was present in the form of the monkey that was tied in front of the hand wash:


this year’s introduction

the first lecture

second encounters

Met that lady  again;  and again,  I was striking the same pose; now on the steps of the administration building. So she, seeing my plight, decided to hook me up with her daughter. But there was a catch. She wanted to know what my religion was. I told her, “a bit of everything” and that the one religion with the most beautiful heaven can come claim me. I then told her the religion i go by and but tried to explain that i don’t want this religion, or any other for that matter, to define who I am. I am a human being, finito! And that I was trying to be a man of faith.

She didn’t find my way of thinking to be normal.With references to stories of other pretenders who had tried to woo her daughter (and failed for the aforementioned reason), she said goodbye and I did the same.

It was like the battle of the big P’s:  principles Vs pu…  and i was rooting for the latter.


Response to ehilina wuha, literally … turned post.. then I cried when writing about emayena abaye

Just read this…. you should know by now that I have no comment. One thing I know tsom is, when we are fasting, we should give the food we don’t eat to those who need it. But tsom also is to refrain from acts of violence, gossip and on and on…okk I have a comment to your post.

I agree with you completely Tiye about not taking what they hear about each other at face value and ignoring it even if it is true. This especially saddens me, it is funny so many things are happening around me that try erase the sweet and beautiful fantasy life I imagine for my self or my children. Papy and Tiye you know what the one thing is and I am not going say more on that matter , but the second has to do with the way I was raised. I grew up in a muslim and christian family. My parents wanted my sister and I  to respect both religions. I enjoyed celebrating Muslim holidays  as well as christian hollidays. My dad is Orthodox christian and my mom is a muslim turned Orthodoxchristian. Actually we were raised to respect every human being and accept them the way they are.

Kes haile nefsachewun yimarina ” egnanetachinin sanawk sewun animermir, yegna hatyat kelelaw endemians weyim endemibelt anawkim” yilu neber.I think it was kes Haile that used to tell us this, any  way the moral of the saying is, before judging people or before labeling them less worthy, we should ask ourselves ” who are we to judge, only the almighty GOd is allowed to do that.”

It is funny though, I don’t remember what the story is but one time I said something about a certain someone ( honestly I don’t remember who it was about) and didnot want to do something with them because they were ” pente”… I will never forget your words Papy,.. ” oh betty I did not know you thought like this”… it went straight through my heart and I felt like I failed you. You made me realize that I don’t practice what I preach. I never told you this but in my heart I promised myself to have atleast tolerance to those different from me to the best of my ability and respect everyone despite our differences. Hope you approve papiye.

Speaking of yemuslim siga, I miss my maternal Grandma, Emaye nefsuan yimarina, she used to always have a fight with my uncles because they fed us ye muslim siga and she used to say  

ere tewu bakachu lijoche zare ke gash kinfu gar endatalugn.” Abdella (Abdiye my uncle) laughs and responds back,  ” emaye, siga eko atibelam, merek merekun new yeminabelat, mereku degmo wuha new, ye muslim aydelem“. I enjoyed her cooking. She makes this amazing misir wot, i miss her shai,  I miss her beso, it was amazing. Truth be told I loved everything she made.

I miss ke Abaye ( My maternal grandfather, an adorable father, grandfather and a beloved brother) gar Mesged (selat maderes), it is funny I stand next to him and do exactly what he does 5 or 6 times a day. I enjoyed siting next to him and listening to stories; I enjoyed taking part in their daily gathering for coffee. In the morning with Abaye and Emaye,  then at 10 o’clock with Abaye, Emaye, emama dinke, Ako, ababa zergaw, emama desta, Emama zenebech, sometimes Tsehay used to come. then at night with Abaye, Emaye, Asiye, Bitiye, ene membere, yobdar, medhanit, tutu, abdiye (when he comes from hawassa), Ahmed and who ever happens to stop by.

Emama dinke used to call me ” werk aferahu”, emama desta used to call me ” Addis arogite ” and I used to respond back “ negere gotite” Ababa zergaw used to give me a kick ” be kezerachew“. Ako used to have cows and I love milk if you remember; and she was funny too. The house is always filled with laughter, and so much incense, sometimes it is hard to make out  anyone in there. I loved eating ashuk, or kolo yebuna kurse.  Abaye, Emaye and Ako were muslims, the others were christians,but they loved each other regardless.  Good times.

I miss Akiste Merem ( ye abaye ihit) who used to come from Asmara, everytime I see her she says, ” yemitifeligiwun awkalew” and she pulls out this mint candies that have chocolate and coffee in them, I loved ye akiste meremin hambasha and her loving laughter. Then there is Agote Siraj ( ye abaye wondim ), I loved braiding his beared, he enjoyed making me happy and as a five year old I enjoyed playing with his beared. Abaye yihen siyay ” aye anbesa siyarej” yil neber.

I used to make Emaye mad running around all over her kitchen…”auzbilahi niseiytan wurejim“…. donot know if this was right, but I used to say this copying her and she laughs or ” ekedekshachewuna beletu meshesha” She was ye fitawrari meshesha lij.  sometimes I think  some of fikir eskemekabir is written based on her story. Her dad disowned her because she loved and married a muslim, she didn’t care about the inheritance she lost, she always said ” I found the best inheritance, which is my children.” 

I loved spending every day at my grandparents house. My aunts Kemeria, Lomiye, Asiye and Bitiye (merima, now mary because she became christian like my mom), Abdella, Ahmed (Mame) and my grandparents.  I never met Kemer and Lomiye because they left Ethiopia before I was born, I met them here in the US, but they were in my life as much as if they were there with us. Asiye was my second momy. Bitiye and I became closer after Asiye left. Bitiye is my friend, my aunt, my mom everything.  Abdella ( Abdiye) used to tell me that I never knew how to say my dad’s name and when asked what my name is, I used to respond ” Bethelehem Minku.” It was funny. And I love it when Abdiye says  ” Itiye kebetun” and I respond ” jib belachew.” He says this when I am running around the house like crazy.

 They call my mom Etiye, so I took that and called her Etiye. But one time Asiye started calling her ” sistu”  and I did that, I remember my mom’s reaction it was funny.  And it is in that crib that I learnt how to write,.. the story goes someting like this as I was told by Asiye. Asiye was studying and I took a pen and paper from her to scribble something, I was like two and half years old, she said, then I wrote and took back the paper for her to see. She states she screamed because I had apparently written the letter ” T”, she didnot believe I had written it so she made me do it again and again and I spent the whole day writing ” T” for everyone one that came to that house which probably is for more than 1o people. You have got to live in that house to know what I mean when I say more than 10 people, because people come and go. Asiye always suggests I marry a guy whose name starts with T, ironic huh,…. ( Tibebe or Tilaye…) I guess it can also be a last name…. hmmm so Mr…I donot know.

 Emaye used to have so many different types of ” Mar ”  in the house and when I ask, she used to say ” kebe ena beke ametulign“..so I ask her where are they now?, she points to the darkness underneath her bed and says ” ke algaw sir tegnitewal“.. for so many years I used to kneel and look for kebe ena beke.

The memories, the things I did with my aunts, jumping up and down the sofa because we saw ” ayit“, those stay with me. I thank God I have photographic memory of some events, and I can still remember the smell too. I miss tit meftel with Emaye;  she got me hooked on  Apple and Tiringo.  

Bitiye and I always used to fight, Asiye always wonders how we ended up to be the best of friends. I remember one time I had a fight  with  bitiye and I was running away from her, and she was running after me trying to catch me litikonetitegn,  and I hear my Emaye saying ” erso min lihonu new degmo kehualachew yimiketelutina yemirotut“.. so apparently abaye is running behind biti trying to catch her and let me escape.

Amazing times, I loved how Emaye used to call Abaye ” Erso, Antu…”it would be nice to try that to who ever I will end up marrying. I hate that I never got to say goodbye to Emaye or Abaye  and for that I think I am going to cry for a life time. I cannot stop crying so I have to stop writing now. I love you Abayena  Emaye, may you both rest in peace, Actually may all your  families and friends rest in peace as well. I have learned the true meaning of love through the way you lived. I love you all.

It is funny, I didnot think I would write this much and especially share what my childhood has been. I am the first grandchild, I was spoiled by them in a good way; but I am also the only one that got to spend a lot of time with them than any of my cousins. I grew up with so much love and in turn I hope I am giving it back to eveyone that crosses my path.

Good night my

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