እስኪሪፕቶ, ሶኬት, መዝሙር


Shout out to Fantahun T from elementary, wherever he might be, whose ballpoint game used to be on point, especially the green one. Matter of fact, everything about him used to be on point. The smartest kid in school, well dug by the girls, good at football…I used to go green with envy. One time I had to rewrite a semester’s worth of ሳይንስ ደብተር trying to copy his dope ass hand writing and drawing. የልብ ስዕሉ ይምጣብኝ! Auricles and ventricles never looked better. Another time, word went out that he had recited a full passage from the እንግሊዝኛ መጽሀፍ. Can’t say I didn’t feel the pressure to accomplish the same feat. There was a third time when he had pronounced “frightened” as “ፍሪግዜንድ”; I had half a mind to follow suit. But, hey! Even our English teacher used to say “ኔግሃቡር”, “ዳንጀሪዮስ”,… በወቅቱ ከርሱና ከሌላኛው ጓደኛችን ዘለግ እል ስለነበር used to feel a bit self-conscious and shortness had seemed appealing. Last time we met a bunch of years ago, he was taller than me, if memory serves. And I am left to rue my foolish childhood wishes, አሁን በሰው ሃገር የሰው ዛፍ እያየሁ እያንገበገበኝ::

It be that way that sometimes: one starts the morning with a መዝሙር on one’s lips, to come home in the wee hours of the morning to a verse from the same song, after a night of carousing:


An observation: corroborating the observation of a former roommate, English language proficiency shows a marked improvement upon consumption of ethanol.

Sometimes a look at a plug and a song suggests itself, somehow, someway.


The sober One’s English is kind of shaky. So one checks to see if “plug” is the right word here, and not “socket”. Then one goes on a tangent, thinking about how in some corners “the gender of connectors and fasteners” could be considered cheeky and politically incorrect.




Fancy እንግሊዝኛ

I get home every night with my English-o-meter pointing dangerously low, all beeping and shit. And it is not like I spend the day conversing with a lot of people using a whole lot of words. It seems I go out every morning slinging the same limited number of words into my backpack just like they were my lunch. Most of my statements start with “I think” (Okay okay, we get it. You think. No need to flaunt it now) and end with “so…” not because it is en vogue but out of necessity –I ain’t got the words baby. I can’t seem to replace “No problem” with “You are welcome”, with either one of the rather brash “Yup”, “Sure”, “Uh huh”, “You bet” or an annoyed “Grrrrrrrrrrrr”, DMX style:

When are “Shall I…” and “How’s it going?” going to retire?


Just kidding 🙂

So, when I am wanting for English, it is usually the old stalwarts of verses of songs or lines from movies that come through for me. Dare I say that’s where I got most of my English from? You can find me reciting verbatim half a bar from an Eminem song in the middle of…

I am chilling with my roommate by the dishwasher. We start discussing his wife’s pregnancy. I want to ask him ስንት ወር እንደሆናት but I am finding difficult to string the words together. Then bam! I spit the line from Stan: “You said your girlfriend is pregnant how far along is she?” I mean not the whole line, but only the latter part. “How far apart are the contractions” had also crossed my mind. But it took a simple down to earth “How many months is she…” from the a la carte menu of words to make my roommate understand.

Lest we miss the point, the point is that it has been three weeks since my roommate got back from a one month Christmas vacation in his home country. It was asinine bordering on the offensive for me to ask how far along his wife was. ሳሚ እንደሚለው “እኛም ኮሪያ ሄደን መጣን ሚስቶቻችንም አርግዘው ጠበቁን” In my eagerness to speak decent English, I had thrown propriety to the wind and forgotten that I shouldn’t  ዝም ብዬ አፌን መክፈት::

An Etyopian professor from another state is going to give a seminar this spring and I want to attend. Only problem is that the seminar series is not ours but of a related department. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. I have been known to attend cookie- and donutless seminars on far flung topics even during my Etyopia days. Being a Gemini I have the urge to acquire a knowledge that is a mile wide and an inch deep.

ግን ይሉኝታ ያዘኝ:: They would think that I am there just because a fellow countryman is presenting, which is right –I have attended only one of their seminars the whole of last semester. I want to be in the hall with flag and banner:  “እመቤቴ ትርዳህ!” a la the slogan that ቆምጬ አምባው purportedly had የወረዳው ነዋሪዎች saying by way of goodbyes to a visiting higher official “ጉዋድ እገሌን ጊዮርጊስ በሰላም ያግባ!!!ያግባ!!!”

It is always good to see ኢትዮጵያዊ/ት doing his/her thing. Whenever I attend one of the seminars here, it feels like I suddenly fell into a conversation that started ages ago. An Etyopian, setting the agenda for such a conversation, now that will be something.

The theme of my posts has been diverging from the usual የሴት ያለህ! to ወይኔ ትምህርት ከበደኝ!  እርግጥ ነው ትምህርት ከብዶኛል:: This one subject for example has got cool acronyms but is darn difficult. Acronyms like COSY, ROESY (makes me hark back to halcyon and turbulent days), SECSY, TOCSY and NOESY (damn straight, no easy!) Plus the teacher told us that the low hanging fruits have already been plucked and our future endeavors are bound to be far more difficult. And I said to myself, plenty of unplucked yet low hanging fruits where I come from. I intend to pluck the shit out of them.

Be that as it may, I am learning stuff. Who knew DNA was እንደዚህ ጨምላቃ?! Just lyse E Coli and you would see.

And change is good. I will stay on the new theme and have my sperm put into the -80 freezer in the meantime. While on the topic of change, I think When he was talking about change on the pilot episode of Breaking Bad, Walter White may have been referring to his metamorphosis from a humble teacher to a ruthless criminal.


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