wait whacha say? “there is always a first time, and only in NY”

 When I left columbus that friday morning, it felt so liberating  to know that I am going to Carrie’s Newyork. I got off the plane and took all of Newyork’s air in; it felt nice, I looked around me to the excited faces of the highschool drama students who flew with me to learn the arts of drama and theater in Newyork for five days. I smiled and said to my self ” lucky them, they get to stay here for five days.” I grabbed my luggage and went through the gate. I knew I had a 3 hour wait before my cousin’s flight gets in from chicago, so I decided to call and let Tsioti and the kids know that I got there safe, when I called Emanu and Nahome, they were getting ready for school, so they said they will call me back when they are done, so I called Kuye (my cousin) who told me that her flight has been postponed and she won’t be there untill 3 oclock, I was disappointed but hey I decided to make the best out of it, lIttle did I know my next 6 hours will be spent in a fairfield marriot hotel watching Colin Cowherd on Espn U, ouch.. right? I mean the fact that I got to watch Colin Cowherd is awesome, but not while I am on vacation in one of the most beautiful cities.

 So first order of buisness, to let my wandering Newyoker know that i am in his city or buy a Robert Ludlum book. I did both. My wandering Newyorker, it has been a while since I saw or talked to him, I remember him though when I listen to, hmmm good times in chi city, any way he tells me he is going to DC, and I text him back, ” next time then.” So note to self…” donot try surprizing people, it doesnot work fo you”

An hour or so and a few pages of ” The Prometheus Deception” later, I decided to try my luck with an early check in for our room. It made total sense to atleast not to worry about falling asleep in the middle of JFK airport and loosing my luggage or something else. I was in luck after all, the Fairfiled inn even sent me a shuttle, I checked in and then nothing. I felt small in this tiny room with a bed, two chairs and a TV. So like I said, watched Colin Cowhered for 4 hours, then some stuff I have erased from my memory started bothering me, it is about… oh never mind that is another story…

Any way kuye came about 5 hours later and we went out to explore the city,  but first order of buisness was finding a good Shushi house; waited for a cab for a few minutes and guy came out of this Benz and stated he is here for us, we were like, ” we are waiting for a cab, ” then he gave us an angry look and said ” wait all your life then. ” Did we miss something?… yeah big time, apparently there are no yellow or white cabs like we are used to, Benz is the cab in newyork baby…hahha…

so any way we got on a bus, yeah, a problem there too…I, not having used the bus no more than 2 times in Chi city was on a strange land, Kuye on the other hand uses buses so many time in Chi city so she started giving him the fair and the driver says..”no only in quarters ” which we donot happen to have, but we got a free ride with a warning to get some quarters next time we hop on a bus.  Then we said our thankyous, I sat down next to a seemingly nice elderly lady with a smile and kuye was standing holding a pole and we started talking, a minute later I get a tap on my shoulder and the elderly lady says ” stop talking, you are shouting in my ears” she smiles and adds ” but I would like it if you give me your hair” touching my hair. I am smiling and in my head ” wait did she say what I think she said, and touching my hair… man I feel objectified..naahh” …..yeah right then, the adjective nice was thrown out the window. Kuye asked ” atawri new yalechish” and I nod ” awo,” .. atigermim bilen teyayenina. But just to be polite we stopped talking and we laughed as we get off the bus.

Then we walked and walked for like 7 blocks and realized the direction we got from this somewhat “know it all” asian teenager for the sushi house was totaly wrong and we decided to just get back to where we started, that is when we run into this nice, very tall guy with a real Newyork accent. He gave us directions to where we can find the shushi house and to a bus stop where we can catch the bus that will take us to our little Inn. He asked how our day has been and we both said…” Newyorkers have been mean to us untill you”, He smiled and said ” We are not mean, where are you two from?” we both hate the usuall ,” Originally? from Ethiopia answer”  Ok I will be honest I say that at times if I know the person, but not in this scene. So for those who want to know…here is one ” lehagere lijoch”

so any way, we both told him where we are from but when he asked, ” so did you meet online and decided to visit the city?”  we both wanted we run, which we did by rushing the conversation but not before hearing about a girl he once met online and dated. That is his story to tell not mine so I will leave it at that.

Shushi was changed to a sandwich from Dunkin Dognuts and we hoped on a bus only to miss our stop and end up in the second china town. It felt crazy and we kept going up and down like paranoid couples. I felt I was in an an old Bruce Lee movie, but it was not bad, everything smelled of food and in the middle of it there were expensive cloth stores, hey it is Newyork and nothing is weird there. Then we got a work out walking to our hotel,  since taking a bus was ruled out  because we are a couple of ” wezgabawoch” with Jack sparrow’s compass and not pirates.

Later that night we met up with Biruke and the boys and my mokshe, the night life in Newyork is much more different and yet the same, apparently Newyork is home to both diurnal and noctornal creatures. We went to ” Webster Hall,” a nightclub that is kinda neat. There were no meanings to any kind of words posted on the walls ,( get it?, webester.. meanings…) but it had different levels and each level has different performers and Djs that play different music. We stayed for a few minute on the first floor, kinda boring so we moved up one level and there, it was filled with so much people and yet you feel cool air, it all has to do with the architecture of the room. It had a very high ceiling just like the rooms in ” Ras Desta Hospital” or much like ” Ye diro ye Ethiopia betoch.” Any way, everything was techno which happens to be the new thing everywhere now, it was fine though and everybody is dancing. That is when Biruke changed everything, he brought a drink which i took and took small sips of and pretended to drink, but he should have known better than to bring me a shot. I took the small glass from his hand and I moved out of my body and looked at myself  in amazment when I drank it all in one gulp and wanted to puke, “wait did I just do that?” was what I asked myself, apparenlty I did and I just said to my self ” oh no, I donot drink at all; first time taking a shot  and my liver will be confused out of its little hepatic cells, yayks” It is kinda funny, feeling your legs are light from underneath and you are confused as to what is happening around you. the good thing is I was surrounded by friends and family I trust,and it was a good feeling. I broke my promise to Senay ( my friend in California, he was to be the one with whom I was  to sit and have shots with, in a controlled environment he used to say..haaa).  A few minutes later though I was fine and started having fun but wished I was listening to some 50 cent instead of techno.. here is one for the road untill I come back with part two

MONA

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an external observation, an internal one and a joke which, I fear, no one is going to get

  • Five years after Jah Yasteseryal, it dawned on our spiritual leaders -the importance of asking amnesty for the jailed Dergue officials. Who was it that said “zefagne ayTSedqim?”…
  • I am sick of people flaunting their love -f them! Long live divorces and separations! May the pool of people whom I think I have a chance with (yeah right!) keep on getting wider!!
  • What you are about to see is a play on the myth of Psyche and Charon. Inspiration has been taken from the behavior exhibited by bajaj drivers at dusk and/or when signs of rain are seen.

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well, this soaks!

11:something: My friends are signing off for the day and warn me of the advent of the rain. I decide to stick around the office.

Just like I thought -all that noise, the skies were bluffing. I go hang out at my distant relatives’.

3:something: I go home. The rains decide to let rip just I make it to the gates. I knock and knock and knock and knock … well you get the idea. Telatachichu endih yidebdeb. Then again, we are supposed to love and pray for our enemies. Seytan endih yidebdeb endalil degmo rain would be a most welcome respite for the devil after spending eons in and around the fire.

Anyway

I call my landlord’s son -his phone is switched off (or as I would learn later, tebelashitual.). I call my landlord -he does not answer (or as I would learn later, his phone was in the jacket which he had taken off).

I am left there, knocking, getting soaked and contemplating figurative applications for my situation. It sure is sad is to make it to the gates, only to get hammered and sickled, in a bad way.

Well, not exactly in a bad way. For one thing, I don’t hate rain that much (though I could take comfort in avoiding it -should I desire to avoid it.) Second, I was feeling very sleepy on the evening stated, that it was like I was carrying my sleep home in a jug, careful not to spill it. But after the debacle, I end up taking a cold shower before bed. It sure beats taking one in the morning. My fascination with the figurative side of thing  continues into the bathroom. This is what it must be like to approach chicks -takes a lot of daring to feel the first few cold drops and then, you don’t want to get out.

Sad.

Our dog joins me at the door. He is urging me to be more assertive in my knocking and get us out of the frigging rain,puh leeze! Next thing, he is suggesting the names of people whom I should be calling.

“Son of a bitch! Can’t you see me doing just that?”

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The son whom I was telling you about, he makes me feel old. We are very cool in the house but if I happen on him when he is chilling with his chums, he gets visibly uncomfortable, the way we were made uncomfortable when meeting our parents or elders on our way back from school with friends.

That, right there, is  the kind of shit that makes one think if one is of a different generation from these kids;

That, right there, is the kind of shit to make one feel like a dinosaur;

The kind of shit that makes one think whether one should say sayonara to T-shirts and take to wearing  tweed jackets.

And most of them are taller than me -what’s up with that? You know I don’t like looking up to people.

And the kid doesn’t even like Tupac! I mean, isn’t digging Tupac an integral part of being hip? That is, unless Tupac has suddenly went out of style and has been supplanted by the likes of Eminem (and mind you, not the bangin’ Eminem of old, but Eminem who is not afraid or is fond of lying), Chris Brown and an assortment of dudes.

People, we have gotten old! A generational chasm has been created; a chasm so wide that, if you filled it up with the water I took in last night, could float ocean liners.

I gave the kid prominent songs of the big five, kind of hit him with the real heat: Hit‘em Up -Tupac; Notorious Thugs -Biggie and Bone Thugs  n Harmony; Ether -Nas; Renegade -Jay Z and Eminem. His response  -tepid at best.

Man, I remember when back in tenth grade, a certain Dagmawi (who used to wear the jersey of some famous basketball player) reported to the class that the Notorious Big has been shot in retaliation for killing Tupac Amaru Shakur. I had never heard before that moment of those two dead people (I think Dagmawi went on to add that, Tupac may actually be alive, somewhere, biding his time-apparently 7 years-to make his big come back) but it didn’t take me long to realize that they were important people and that our lives would never be the same again after their demise.

But try telling today’s kids about Tupac and Biggie and they will act like you are Alemayehu Eshete and you are raving about Elvis Presley and James Brown.

And you are left with shit else for option but to take up the expression “ay yezare lijoch!”

all is not lost

peda is for pedantic

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