wana wana zenawoch.313 days to go

  •  So my mother tells me – like in a scene taken right out of a Peter Russell comedy – that I am getting older and should be giving serious thought to the future and I am not doing that and am not serious about stuff till a point has been reached that it has become too difficult to tell whether I am joking or being real. It is safe to say that the entire family agrees on one thing: that I am a hopeless joker who needs some serious intervention if anything good is to become of him. So they want to hook me up with a certain “nice girl”. And how did I handle this situation?  I told my mother “you have carried me in your womb for nine months; fed me, bathed me and put up with my temper tantrums from the time I refused to be breastfed to when I shunned my studies and was given to sleep; so uncool, that time you whipped my brother and I bare-assed with the cord of the iron for not having kept an eye on our little sister when she went outside the house in the rain and got soaked – you can see for yourself the  fine stubborn girl she has turned out to be  and should realize that there was nothing we could have done at that time to deter her; etc etc. this is just an abstract of your immense contribution to my being; but never, under any condition, will I let you pimp me! Cuz that is my job!” The thing is, it was me all along who has been goading my moms and pops about the girl and now that they finally offer to help, I refuse it! But they were adamant that I should call her, and I had to come up with a plan in order to get out of doing so. I told them to give me a year and if there be no change by then, then intervene on! Note to self: wow dude! You are supposed to be a biologist of the modern ages yet you still believe in spontaneous generation?! Time, they used to believe time was all that was needed for maggots to appear from rotting meat. No putting in seeds, no efforts, only time and bam! A girl friend! Answer to self: You would be glad to know that, spurred on by the time frame I have imposed upon I and I, I have been able to ask a friend if she was “wooable” only to disastrous results, heartbreak, the works,  which have been chronicled in my e mails to the same people who are supposed to be reading this post, results which I will not be going into in detail in the interest of interest.
  • The sister I was telling you about, obdurate she may be, she is a genius! I remember she was the one who schooled me on how to tie my shoes. Bad student that I am, I have been recently-for the last ten years or so-having trouble with my laces, making pit stops here and there to retie them. It was seriously affecting my social interactions: I would be walking with friends and suddenly I would stop and “please don’t wait for me; I would only tie you up; sorry I cannot go chick-hunting with you fellas what with my problematic shoelaces and all”. It was getting unbearable and after all those years, I turned to my guru. The answer was simple – hating myself for not having told her about it much sooner. Now they stay tied like a blissful marriage.
  • I had to travel to Addis Abeba at night. The other passengers were rushing to take their places in the minibus while I, trying to be a gentleman, a gentleman who in his head was cursing the other people for their “sigibgibnet”, held back and watched them step all over each other. But when the dust finally cleared and I tried to find a spot in the minibus, a spot for which I have made a deposit, that spot was nowhere to be found. So I tell the guy who did the “reservation” that the thing was full and he answers me, a bit disappointed by my sluggishness, “bota yaz biyeh alneber?!” My mistake for thinking that seats were going to reserve themselves; same problem from a couple of paragraphs earlier. I was reminded of how many British passengers of the Titanic perished because instead of trying to save their lives, they were busy being courteous, letting the damned Americans scramble for the lifeboats. But people make wrong moves: some guy siyankelekilew left his place and got off to do some stuff and I pounced. When he got back to reclaim his spot, my neighbors and I greeted him with a look that said we did not know what the hell he was talking about. He had to resign himself to a kursi (or was it a jerry can?) for the duration of the five hundred something kilometers. Forgive me Lord! He got his revenge though! He was arguing that he had paid the fare while the redat did not seem to think so. The blood sucking opportunists! They demanded an extra 30 birr once we were in the car and all set to go. I have a sneaking suspicion – I don’t mean to question the integrity of the man from whom I stole a seat and condemned to a very uncomfortable night – that the man saved  from 130 birr upwards, and he deserved it. The Lord works in mysterious ways!


Tilish is like “Oh no! Not the countdown again!?”

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


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