On Separation and Fluid Homeostasis

እንዴት ብዬ እንደምጀምር አላውቅም:: ቃላት ያጥሩኛል::

It all started with the visit to the embassy. The things that caught my attention were the lush greens outside the premises and the huge flag that could be seen እየተገማሸረ across the perimeter. Man! Why don’t our office buildings have flags that are as big? The flag we had at my institution was a sorry affair that was “put down” because it was hanging on for dear life, and when I saw it last, it was just a naked pole standing there.

Come to think of it, it didn’t all start with the visit to the embassy. It was preordained from the beginning of time that I should be feeling this way at this point in my life.

I want to take from my feelome (you feel-o-me? You know, a la genome, transcriptome, proteome, etc – the whole range of feelings that a person is experiencing at a given point in time) those feelings that define the me of recent weeks. And of course, there would be cameos from the impure thoughts of mine because, need I remind you that the feeling horny always stays in the background of a man’s feelings, like an engine idling, ready to come forth when bidden by “the stimuli?”

Separation ain’t nothing new.  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (1 Peter 5:  6-10)  Still, the fact that millions of people have experienced and are experiencing it every second all over the world does not make my case any less special. Here go an account of some of the events surrounding my ending up in a city the name of which is a mutant of the Amharic name for female parts. You have got to be in it to win it, right?

I used to think that my English was ok. I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t think it was. Well, tell that to all the people here which are having trouble hearing and understanding me.  Maybe it is just that I am soft spoken and they want me to speak louder. In that case, why don’t they listen quieter? Or maybe it is the accent. I have been told that it happens to everyone when they come here and to be patient. In the meantime, since they don’t “understand the words that are coming out of my fucking mouth”, what if I tried an experiment? What if I sidled up to a random chick on the streets and went, not like Tupac “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but your body is bangin’ , got me attracted in a strong way” but like Ariel Spears “Excuse me baby. I don’t want to bother you but you got a fat ass I’d like to take you home and fuck the shit out of you.”  Here comes the slap, the pepper spray, the Taser or a combination.  I would be standing there befucked, bothered and bewildered — ይሄ ይሄ ሲሆንማ ይገባሻል!

She does not even let me get to the part where I state that I may speak soft but carry a big stick.

Please bear with me because there is going to be a lot of name dropping and allusions to famous people in this post. It is almost like I was The Game.

In one of the taxis on the way to the embassy, out of all songs, I shit you not, ትዝ ትዝ አለኝ ጎራው ትዝ ትዝ አለኝ …. የናት ቤት ውለታ ያገሬ ትዝታ… ማን እንደናት ማን እንዳገር… starts playing on the radio. Last time I heard the song must have been back when ፀሀይ was still ፀሀዬ. Why now? I mean, if they wanted to play one of his songs, then why not አንድ ሁለት ሶስት አራት እስቲ ቁጥር ጥሩ…?  የምን ሆድ ማባባት ነው?  ሊያስለቅሰኝ ነው ይሄ ሰላቢ!

Now I am in another car. The family is returning from a trip. Thoughts run through my head of how I would kill for anyone of the people in the vehicle; my perfect-with-all-its-imperfections family.




One of the babies on board starts crying አውደኝ! አውደኝ! for አውርደኝ! ሂሳቡን መልስለትና አውርደው!  –I was feeling very clever and funny when I gave that reply to the baby’s request. The way one feels at the very first stages of being drunk, along with the great care that is taken to make sure that one’s voice does not get too loud.  In my defense, goodbyes were looming and I had a bottle of (Ethiopian) chardonnay to finish in a very short amount of time. The person that was supposed to help me was dilly dallying with their first and only glass. I don’t hit the bottle that much but when I drink, I drink responsibly. I am responsible for this bottle.  I have got to get to the bottom of this bottle, like I was up for an  X-Prize. I am the captain of my bottle, the master of my intoxication.

I gave it my best. What remained of the wine, I decided to have the bottle sealed with tape and autographed by the whole family to bring it with me in my travels. I would finish it when five years have elapsed and, I am done with my studies and move back home.  Another instance of the bright ideas sparked by ethanol in one’s system. It is now sitting behind me:


Don’t get it twisted though; I don’t worship at this altar.

It was also on that day two months ago that this post started to take form in my head. I am having double visions of cars in front of us just like the way receipts are made: ቀዩ ኮፒ ለሂሳብ ክፍል : ነጩ ኮፒ ለከፋይ… Some Omar Khayyam would have complemented the talk of wine. But here is a poem that tugs at my heartstrings from his fellow countryman:


Union is like this:

You feel cold

So I reach for a blanket to cover

Our shivering feet.

A hunger comes into your body

So I run to my garden

And start digging potatoes.

You ask for a few words of comfort and guidance,

I quickly kneel at your side offering you

This whole book-

As a gift.

You ache with loneliness one night

So much you weep

And I say,

Here’s a rope,

Tie it around me,


Will be your companion

For life.

ሀገሬን አልረሳም-ነዋይ  was playing on the radio. I fight back tears.

I have been drinking and crying ever since.  An over exaggeration maybe. But this is the hardest and the most frequent I have cried in my life. And the drinking, although I had tried to fight the sadness with a glass or more for five days straight including the eve of my departure, I am yet to take it up this side of the Atlantic. መጠጣትም መስከርም እኮ የሚያምር በሀገር ነው::

The day I said goodbye to the girl I was going out with, የቦሌው ጎዳና ሽርሽር ያልንበት-ጎሳዬ was coming from the speakers. The fact that she and I ran the streets from ብሔራዊ to ሜክሲኮ notwithstanding, you will have to agree that it was one too many ሆድ የሚያባባ ዘፈን ::

Now I am on the plane and discover that the girl I was checking out during check in was sitting right across the aisle from me. My response to this fortunate turn of events could be summed up in what ፀጋዬ kind of said:


ሴቶቹን ማናገር ፈራን

ፈጣሪ የለገሰንን

በጥበቡ በረቂቅ የከፈተልንን


አፕል ጁስ ጠጣንበት


አፈር ጠጣ! ዝጋታም!

I doubt if I would be able to remember all of this safety instructions if shit goes down.

When we touched down at Frankfurt, I was reading:

መንገድ አይኑ ይፍሰስ አይባልም ደርሶ

የወሰደውን ሰው ያመጣል መልሶ

yiwesdal menged yameTal menged

It’s the second of አዳም’s books that I have read. I don’t claim to understand his writing every time. But reading this chapter from ግራጫ ቃጭሎች was a near tears experience. I remember muttering over my breakfast, “እግዚአብሄር ይባርክህ!”gq igq ii gq iii

Let’s call it a post. ይቀጥላል::


Glad August is gone.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. getere
    Sep 01, 2014 @ 18:20:15

    Smashing! Blessed with two great posts!

    Did you get the opportunists when you got out of the embassy? ኧረ ፍሬንድ ልቀቂብና? I heard about them on Sheger. I didn’t meet them myself. My visa was rejected anyway so I may have replied with a nice slap. Occupational hazard. ደሞ – ለምለሚቷ አገሬን እየዘፈንን አድገን see how other countries are greener?

    You speak softer and Americans are louder. When you start speaking like them ስልኩ ቢንሸራተት ባይንሸራተት ለውጥ አይኖረውም።

    Simply insert 75 cents 😀


    • tibebe
      Sep 01, 2014 @ 18:53:14

      Me being a ጉ :), I kept a sad face when I came out with the yellow piece of paper telling me to pick up my visa when it’s ready. ለቪዛም ከፍለን ለፈላጩም ከፍለንማ እንዴት እንችላለን?

      What pisses me off is that before I speak I take great care in my head to arrange the right words in the right order and stuff, I try it out on myself, and when it comes out, nobody gets me.

      Don’t get me started on the greenness.


  2. tibebe
    Sep 01, 2014 @ 17:56:35

    Amesegnalehu, Abesheet. It’s an honor.


  3. abesheet
    Sep 01, 2014 @ 14:54:51

    Ah. Don’t we know it all!

    You write beautiful, kid. I regret not having spent more time on your blog. Berta. And ayzon.


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