gone gena

Going home for Gena armed with a to-do-list having 41 things on it. Well, first on the list was “make a to-do-list”, which I managed to cross out without delay, and with an immense sense of self-satisfaction. The stuff in there is diverse; some I have to do before I leave, and the others, while in Addis Abeba: taking the mobile charger home, drinking filter Tela in exhibition center, buying return tickets before they are sold out, lidet, leqso, herbals from Ariti, coffee from Robera, leaving keys with people, find a quote that has to do with gout, wezete wezete.

The beauty of to-do-lists lies not only in their service as useful reminders (of sometimes useless stuff) but also in the ease with which one can compose them. A piece of paper and a pen in one’s pocket is all what it takes.

I’ll tell you what is difficult to compose –“a done-list”. Lives are spent making an endless list of wishes, needs, desires, … , all the while paying little or no attention to the things that have been achieved, to the things that really matter, to Providence.

I know that instead of counting my blessings, kicking back and enjoying the holiday, my mind and body will be running hither and thither, trying to cross out an additional thing from the list. However, trite as it may seem, the fact that I am going back home to a family that, to borrow an expression from Arrow of God, is “quiet” , is top of my done-list, and by miles too.


And oh, asina bel asina genaye 🙂

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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