for a very dear friend. every little helps.



አካብዴ tendencies 2

My cover has been blown.

My sis and bro have always maintained to the rest of the fam: “አሁን እሱ ነው የዋህ, ምንም የማያውቅ?! እንዲህ ሲቅለሰለስ ሰው መስሏችኋል? የሱን ጉድ ‘ምናውቀው እኛ ነን!” Of course, sometimes they make it sound like I am Keyser Söze or something. But I will have to admit: I’m not that innocent. ኦ ቤይበን ቤይበን

It’s only been a little over a year since I’ve embarked upon an open door policy-like Deng Xiaoping-in school; have become more outgoing. And I owe that in part to time and to the new crop of people coming in. Still, መቅለስለስ had remained the modus operandi in the presence of the boss. I have observed how relaxed relationships between PIs and students here could get, and let me go out on a limb and say that it would make people slightly uncomfortable if I were to do something like this:


And yet, I have tried to do my best impression of የጨዋ ተማሪ (although I presume he would rather I were a ምርታማ ተማሪ) and to avoid getting too chummy.

Then in a single week he walks in on me horsing around: doing a b-boy stance, a bad British accent, whistling to a song and singing along to Wakeup Call. What will he think of me? Will he think that I am starting to get more chill and complacent because of that paper? Ours is a life where, more often than not, the promise and the happiness is that of paper, after all. Not to be confused with that other kind of paper. Will he think that I need a wakeup call, since it’s just only the beginning? ወዘተ ወዘተ…

Or maybe he didn’t even notice anything (or if he did, he just didn’t care) and I am stressing over nothing, as is my wont.

Exhibit B

Another day, another place. During a presentation on lab safety, they show us a picture of a gas cylinder and ask what was missing. Someone answers “a chain”, to keep it from falling on some poor grad student’s feet, that is. I comment to the person who was sitting next to me “just like a rapper”. Cuz what’s a rapper without no chain, right? I am not sure if the person got the reference.

Then I go home, and in the middle of shower I start going over the events of the day and overanalyzing. A couple of people from my committee were sitting in front of us during the presentation. What if they had overheard my comments, heard “wrapper” in stead of  “rapper” (what with the exotic accent), and they thought that I was anthropophallomorphizing the cylinder (not even an apt simile) and I was insinuating that it was missing a condom (I won’t even try to explain), what will they think of me, ወዘተ ወዘተ…

እግዜር ይርዳኝ



defeating the purpose

Screenshot_2018-01-10-21-45-14Calls to one’s mind-and I’m sure some other people’s minds too- a Sisyphean task. Even those people who may not be familiar with the myth could guess that this, in all likelihood, is not going to end well. And a phyiscs-inclined millenial would probably go: “Hello! Pulleys!! And what is dude trying to prove, pushing that rock up the mountain? Like, is that a challenge or smtg?…”

I guess what I’m trying to say is, why not go back to the basics, aka, carrying one’s cross? Too graphic?


Degmo watched “The Big Sick”; really liked it. I just ‘dropped in’ after I had finished the post just to say this 😀


ዘገባ ስላዲሳባ

Now that I’ve come back to white people and white surroundings, said “what’s been poppin’ ?!” to the microwave, remarked on how wack my morning coffee tasted, threw out the packaging the exports came in, unpacked the imports (pat on the back for having run out only of ጭኮ from the previous batch), vacuumed  (shoutout to the generous roommate), regarded the five pounds that I’ve gained with a mix of consternation and a sense of accomplishment, the powerful emotions of the transition have been replaced by inertia, now that I am trying to readjust (again) to this place I am starting to have an affinity for, …, before the dark abyss I’m gon’ hit you wit dis. Okay Okay. I know I may have went a little overboard with that last one. But you know how I feel about The Roots 🙂

… now that I am trying to readjust (again) to this place I am starting to have an affinity for, it’s only right that I try to share my observations with whomever, inasmuch as the muse of blogging would allow:

  • አራት ኪሎ ጋ የመጬ ተቆፋፍሯል::
  • Used to be that you just needed to buy a SIM card to get connected. But now, what with the phone registration thingie and it’s purported benefits, it’s become a lengthy and annoying process.
  • Service at Commercial Bank branches used to be kind of smooth with the queue management system. It was diappointing to see that things had went back to the same ol unorganized mess. I just hope the system was down on that particular day.
  • The ambulances seem to be louder than usual, like they got assertive all of a sudden.
  • The live band in my neighborhood that used to go all night long closed up shop. ተመስገን!
  • ሴቶቹ ላይ የተለየ ፋሽን አላየንም::
  • Ethiopian Airlines: almost always tardy, subpar food, announcements are usually low volume, the safety video features an iPod and a dumb phone! … Still, it’s nice to see ያገር ልጆች doing big thangs. But, please improve your acts. ደግሞ the ‘quality’ of the actors on the airport security video at Bole was reminiscent of that old saying ከንጨት መርጦ ለታቦት ከሰው መርጦ ለማስታወቂያ. Almost made me feel unworthy of air travel: “I’m not cut out for this”.
  • ፍተሻ ያመቱ ነበረ መሰለኝ had my bag searched two more times, in addition to the two other times it passed through the x-ray machine. I half expected there to be another search at the door of the airplane. The መለሎ from last blog post was also a victim of the ፍተሻ; that’s what got the short convo started. They were even going through the photo album of one passenger. Weird, because who, in this day and age, ማሳጠብ ፎቶ? Take a bunch of pics and videos with your whatever device, while at the same time missing out on what you’re trying to capture, then share, then free up space –that’s the rule.
  • የጠዋቱ ብርድ was nothing to fuck with. ሆኖም እኔ ደራርቤ ስንቀሳቅስ ብዙዎቹ ያካባቢው ነዋሪዎች በሸሚዝ ሲንቀሳቀሱ ይስተዋሉ ነበር::
  • መሻሻል ያለባቸው ግላዊ ተግዳሮቶች: መዘብዝብ, መጀዘብ, መወዛገብ እና procrastination 😀
  • Had people talking smack about the IA. ዘፋኙ እንዳለው “አያውቁንም!” Somebody please tell them ቅቤ ጠባሽ አራዳዎች እንደሆንን::
  • The populace got so much drama in their lives, also to mean that they keep up with a lot of TV drama. I counted at least five. ምንም ውስጡን ለቄስ ቢሆንም the dramas seem to have succeeded in painting a pimped out picture of Addis Abeba with drone shots and other fancy camera techniques. Other stuff gleaned from dramas: ጨምላቂት = cake; a literal translation of “from the horse’s mouth”; I am not exactly blaming them for not having Purell handy, but still, Aw naw! He didn’t just put his hands on her?!
  • There was this PSA that was on heavy rotation. ቆሻሻን በተገቢው መልኩ ስለማስወገድ:: I was walking down the street one day, and was wondering if said PSA had any discernible effect. Checking for littering. So far so good. Then I hear ጩርርርርር የሚል ነገር:: I lift up my gaze and direct it to where the sound was coming from. የሆነ ሰውዬ ከመኪናው አጠገብ እየሸና ነበር::
  • Trekked through Menagesha Suba forest, with the promise of a waterfall at the end. We had been warned: there won’t be a lot of water, it being the dry season. Even TLC tried to tell us: don’t go chasing waterfalls. We didn’t listen. What we found was the most laid back waterfall ever. መሬት ይዞ የሚፈስ:: Granted, other people have seen it looking like this. A pathetic excuse for a waterfall regardless. That does not diminish my love for the park though. ዛፎቹ, ፀጥታው, ወዘተ
  • “አግባ! አግቡ!” That was the gist of almost every other conversation with the fam. Hope it’s an idle threat but next time I go back, there just might be a bride waiting at the airport, ready to መተዋወቅ. The world is a crazy place.
  • ካነበብነው:

Rich People Problems (even billionaires recognize)

rich people problems

The Golden House 

the golden house 1the golden house 2

Atlas Obscura

atlas obscura

  • This song used to play every night from the bar which I hope would soon share the same fate as the live band place.



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