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 🙂

an experiment (gone horribly wrong)

Wake up in the morning and send a text to six of my siblings and friends -“the best day ever!”
Their replies: “why?”; “what’s new?”; “are you talking about yesterday or …?”
My replies: can’t remember; they are in the inboxes of the respective people. But they are to the effect of “just because”; “every new day is the best day ever’’; “she is sleeping right next to me, do you want to talk to her? ¡”
One of them even goes  as far as to insinuate “zare qenu des sil bilew endemitsfut aynet mehonu new? ¡”, belittling my little “original” idea.
My response: “Licho!!!!!!!!”
Another one suggests that I am on yeBahir Dar CHat

Then a plate full of my breakfast tumbles over the table. Ever mindful of hygiene, I eat that part of the food which has not touched the ground (microbes hanging on for dear life and shit)
I text the same people again “shit has went down; but it still is the best day ever!”
Them: “sorry, but it does not look that way!”; “dude, slow down!”
Next morning
My glasses get entangled in the straps  of my apron and I am left to rue why I did not take my glasses off before wearing the apron -like I usually do.
The same people are bombarded with a message of the same tone: “my glasses are broken. but it still is the best day ever!”
But my conviction is wavering by then; the letters of my texts are all wavy.
The people: “you on drugs?!”; condolences; taunts; suggestions of optometrists.
No, I am on life, baby!
Checked out the shops, writing this post wearing glasses smeared with Amir.

Spent the day recounting this tale, with special guest appearances from  anecdotes such as,  my unrequited first grade (in both senses of the word) crush on the ninth grader friend of my sister’s; and how it went on to  adversely affect  my love life for years to come; and how I ended up cooking scrambled eggs for myself  (I would like to believe that I am a feminist btw), my uniform breaking my glasses in the process; and how the name of my crush is Mestawot

I just hope that my ordeals have ended, at least for the time being. Assuming bad things (and good things) come in threes, that’s  three mishaps on the trot, counting the shoes on fire.


Sewyew? Word?!

I am going home people, and you done know how that goes – hopes and fears.

Can’t say too much about the past year except maybe for, if it had kept up the pace it began with, we could have been sitting pretty on Hidar 2003 by now. It kind of lost steam midway I guess. Anyway, for better or worse, in health and sickness, a new year is at the door and we should usher it in – it is not like we have  a choice.

One of the things that have been bugging me recently is the way some people refer to me as sewyew. In my head I have always been – and by God I will always be – liju and when I  come home to the occasional bolted door I reply “ezih bet yeminorew lij!” to their “manew?” (16 months and some members of the family still don’t know my name! North Korea ain’t got shit on me!). But I mean, whatever; everyone is entitled to their opinions. And I guess the years don’t go by for no reason.

The other thing is/was the way the condoms are kept in the guards’ booth at the gate. Who in their right mind would want to help themselves to condoms from a guards’ booth? Think about it: they may even ask you for ID and shit. The problem seems to be half-solved at the moment however – the camisinhas have been transferred to a minimum security spot.

Third thing that has been worrying me is the greetings -Ethiopian greetings. All the “selam neh/nesh” and the no “Egziabher yimesgen” and don’t get me started on the “tikesha magechachet” which I happen to hate so but just cannot stop doing, sometimes out of imagined obligation. A not-so-firm hand shake for the guys and a big wet one for the ladies would have sufficed. But no! We have to keep on rubbing onto each other like sheep with scrapie.

When I say “Egziabher yimesgen”, I am talking about the heartfelt one which I for one do not practice. I am talking about the one that has its origins in having understood that each day is a blessing and that heaven is a frame of mind that is precipitated (in a good way) by the simple things that we choose to ignore everyday in our never-ending pursuit of that thing. Okay, I will stop that right now because I have got no clue what I am talking about. No, really, I am not trying to be modest! I don’t know what the fuck I am talking about.

The fact remains that I would like egziabher yimesgen to make a comeback. Just say it, dammit! And mean it mofo! Don’t fake this one for Chrissake, the way you go about your life faking damn near everything else!

And lo! A new year’s resolution starts to take form in the background, ladies and gentlemen! I will try to be real in thought, speech, action and everything in between, so help me God! Of course, this is in addition to the perennial resolution of letting Jimmy see the beautiful light of night or else let it bask in the not-so-beautiful light of day a.k.a go stark raving mad.

It is a week away but still, Melkam Enqutatash!

One year down!

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