the week in brief

Let’s see…

Well, I celebrated my three-years-in-Bahir Dar anniversary. I drank more ethanol than any other week in my life. Taught foreigners for the first time.


I hear a significant proportion of one of my new classes consists in Eritrean refugees. And that was why I was stressed to a higher degree than the usual level of stress that I experience before starting a new class; or before any class for that matter. I mean, I am representing Etyopia here, people! So my English has got to be on point; I have to bring my A game on subject matter. And my better self says to remember that I am here to teach, regardless of creed, race or color.

The class went aight. One of those classes.  Couldn’t tell Etyopian from Eritrean. They all channel apathy in the same way. I tell you–you cannot tell them apart! And I am not trying to channel Teddy here, trust me.

And yet, I tried to be careful about my wording and got queasy when:

  • a student used cluster to define the aggregates formed by hydrophobic interactions
  • I likened hydrophobic interactions (and the freedom of water molecules that they engender) to hoarding prisoners in a single cell and with the minimum number of guards, the guards being water molecules
  • I used the enemy of my enemy is my friend to point out that,  even though they don’t possess a marked affinity for each other,  non-polar substances  come together in the face of a common enemy–water

I learned that Chinese scientists succeeded in cloning a sheep with zero cholesterol ergo making it something to be devoured with no worries. Get the fuck outta here ETV! How long are people going to go on demeaning my good fellow cholesterol and get away with it scot free? Feel free to Google the actual news.  This week I discovered Yeshi Demelash. Voice like Mikaya (which I don’t hate), and I’m getting sick of patriotic songs (Etyopia, Habesha, Arenguade BiCHa Qey, wené, Abay, andegna, wezete; why don’t they sing about the all the good contributions of cholesterol for a change) but a decent album all the same.  And to my surprise, she is the judge from idol! I don’t watch that much TV.

Although the video does not show it, she does a nice riff at the end. A riff, I hear that’s what it’s called.


random as damn

Now I see why I used to flunk Physucks. The books,  had they been as hot as they are now, then maybe, probably, in all likelihood, …


they say it is a beautiful day

sprawled on the asphalt

face down

why do you refuse to take in the beauty

all the movement

all the color around you?

it’s like nature is putting out

for me and you and you and you

look at the spectacle

the magnificence of life, of another day

and all that lies therein

instead of being the spectacle

writing with your own color

red on black

vanity of vanities; all is vanity

too late for you

too early for everyone else to read it

even if  the world had the chance to see it

would they see your face again tonight

a reflection of themselves in the mirror?

yeah, it’s  a beautiful day

with beginnings and ends

comings and goings

everyone’s load is the heaviest

everyone’s on top of the world

endless thoughts

until  suddenly? they are brought to an end

Inspired by the road accident victim whom I saw the last time I went to Haddis Tsige.

lofty thoughts. el manifesto.

One prays for strength in times of weakness and humility in those of strength. One hopes to wear his troubles well, like a big tree in heavy wind. In his big tree role, one would shield smaller, less graceful ones from being uprooted by said wind. One would never consider others to be of a lesser status than himself. One would never take it upon himself to defend his God. Rather, he would always defend other people whomever their God, because that’s what his God would want him to do. One would spend his life going after that spark of happiness –the one that comes out of nowhere, no rhyme or reason, warms his heart and is gone in a matter of seconds. Kind of reminds one of the time when him and his siblings would, in their bid to bring the ailing Nokia TV (yes, their first encounter with the brand came not in the form of a cell phone) to life, repeatedly put the plug in and out of the socket. Oh sweet spark! One would one day be able to see, really see; then he would know that he is surrounded by unfathomable beauty and beast; and he would grant that the things that make him want to show off and /or to hide his face in shame from the world pale in comparison with the big picture. One would embrace the newness in each day and he would walk, nay, glide through it with a knowing yet inviting (to God) smile on his face. One would neither talk about nor remember the good things that he did/does/will do lest he would run out of good things to do. One’s role in society would be best represented by multiplication and division –he would never seek to be on top. The serious nature of this post can be deduced from the fact that one has so commendably fought off the urge to expand on the sexual undertone of a couple of statements made thus far.  And now he has gone and done it. Society would remain the same in his presence or absence. Tempting as it may be, one would not want to be remembered in any way; one would make sure of that. One would be wary of the good will turned dictatorship. One would listen, really listen: to himself so that he would know exactly what he wants; to others so that he won’t just be waiting for them to finish. One’s life would not always be about what one wants. One would learn from everyone and would have everyone as his role model. One would see God in everyone. Truth would be the default mode of, the thing that comes most naturally to one; truth would permeate one’s whole being. One’s prayers would not be rote nor would they be a practice in waxing eloquent. Those times he is crushed by ignorant fear, grief and disappointment, times he can’t say his prayers properly (and this is often),  he would find it in his heart to say “Amesegnalehu” and “Yiqir Belegne;‘’ and let his silence do the rest. And if when death comes, one would be ready like a sleepless night before a big trip brought to an end by the morning and assured sleep in the bus: I have played my unique part (Sibhat G. : “I am the only one who could exist inside this skin) and now it’s up to Charon. From here on out, one’s life would not be akin to a sleepless night…

Those are the kinds of thoughts that float around one’s head twice a day: after a morning mug of coffee which lights up his mug (and makes world peace seem like a real possibility) and just before bedtime. The in between is filled with mindless drudgery and sleep, which proves tiresome on occasions. One would be the first to admit that one is weak. But one would not dare write one off viz. achieving his ideals. Why?  Well, one hopes to have, not as a grain of mustard seed, but a granary full of faith; Joules of work too.


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