the zahir

Ethiopia and Eritrea mentioned on the same song -you gotta love it!


well, this soaks!

11:something: My friends are signing off for the day and warn me of the advent of the rain. I decide to stick around the office.

Just like I thought -all that noise, the skies were bluffing. I go hang out at my distant relatives’.

3:something: I go home. The rains decide to let rip just I make it to the gates. I knock and knock and knock and knock … well you get the idea. Telatachichu endih yidebdeb. Then again, we are supposed to love and pray for our enemies. Seytan endih yidebdeb endalil degmo rain would be a most welcome respite for the devil after spending eons in and around the fire.


I call my landlord’s son -his phone is switched off (or as I would learn later, tebelashitual.). I call my landlord -he does not answer (or as I would learn later, his phone was in the jacket which he had taken off).

I am left there, knocking, getting soaked and contemplating figurative applications for my situation. It sure is sad is to make it to the gates, only to get hammered and sickled, in a bad way.

Well, not exactly in a bad way. For one thing, I don’t hate rain that much (though I could take comfort in avoiding it -should I desire to avoid it.) Second, I was feeling very sleepy on the evening stated, that it was like I was carrying my sleep home in a jug, careful not to spill it. But after the debacle, I end up taking a cold shower before bed. It sure beats taking one in the morning. My fascination with the figurative side of thing  continues into the bathroom. This is what it must be like to approach chicks -takes a lot of daring to feel the first few cold drops and then, you don’t want to get out.


Our dog joins me at the door. He is urging me to be more assertive in my knocking and get us out of the frigging rain,puh leeze! Next thing, he is suggesting the names of people whom I should be calling.

“Son of a bitch! Can’t you see me doing just that?”


The son whom I was telling you about, he makes me feel old. We are very cool in the house but if I happen on him when he is chilling with his chums, he gets visibly uncomfortable, the way we were made uncomfortable when meeting our parents or elders on our way back from school with friends.

That, right there, is  the kind of shit that makes one think if one is of a different generation from these kids;

That, right there, is the kind of shit to make one feel like a dinosaur;

The kind of shit that makes one think whether one should say sayonara to T-shirts and take to wearing  tweed jackets.

And most of them are taller than me -what’s up with that? You know I don’t like looking up to people.

And the kid doesn’t even like Tupac! I mean, isn’t digging Tupac an integral part of being hip? That is, unless Tupac has suddenly went out of style and has been supplanted by the likes of Eminem (and mind you, not the bangin’ Eminem of old, but Eminem who is not afraid or is fond of lying), Chris Brown and an assortment of dudes.

People, we have gotten old! A generational chasm has been created; a chasm so wide that, if you filled it up with the water I took in last night, could float ocean liners.

I gave the kid prominent songs of the big five, kind of hit him with the real heat: Hit‘em Up -Tupac; Notorious Thugs -Biggie and Bone Thugs  n Harmony; Ether -Nas; Renegade -Jay Z and Eminem. His response  -tepid at best.

Man, I remember when back in tenth grade, a certain Dagmawi (who used to wear the jersey of some famous basketball player) reported to the class that the Notorious Big has been shot in retaliation for killing Tupac Amaru Shakur. I had never heard before that moment of those two dead people (I think Dagmawi went on to add that, Tupac may actually be alive, somewhere, biding his time-apparently 7 years-to make his big come back) but it didn’t take me long to realize that they were important people and that our lives would never be the same again after their demise.

But try telling today’s kids about Tupac and Biggie and they will act like you are Alemayehu Eshete and you are raving about Elvis Presley and James Brown.

And you are left with shit else for option but to take up the expression “ay yezare lijoch!”

all is not lost

distant relatives

My friend’s family gave me the key to their front door:

My first impression was that of a cat’s: I must have been a very good person to them. Then came the impression of that most suspicious of animals whose name I do not know: maybe I tend to overstay my welcome and by giving me the key, they are using reverse psychology. Many a day I have taken a detour to their house when I could not handle the thought of cooking. At last came the dog: maybe they are just good people; and maybe this is the way I should think of everything good that comes my way. eña melkam silehonin sayhon esu silewededen …


My distant relatives have invited me for dinner because today is yesene TSom meyaZa. The funny thing is I don´t even fast. God bless them!

Speaking of Distant Relatives, I have listened to the songs and I think the shit is bangin! And the album art is simple and the colors and the spear are nice:

I was disappointed to read the 50k projections for its first week sales. So I am trying to do my bit in promoting it: what are you waiting for?! go out and get the album; you will love it!   Tilish, you have got to cop it; think of it as a souvenir from your travels.

And besides, some of the money is reportedly going towards building schools in the DRC.

Clear and present danger


oh shit! butterflies? not again!

Tomorrow I am supposed to start a new class for health officers. Actually, it would have been today if Gilgel Gibe II had not come through for me: there was no power and class had to be postponed.

I can’t help but get butterflies every time I am about to start a new class after some time – time in this case could mean a day- off. I am sure I am going to make a mess of it tomorrow.

But fuck it! Who the hell cares? As a matter of fact I do, very much. But I can’t seem to see in myself the improvements I want to see. I so want to be excellent at least at two things – one of them being teaching. As I have tried to point out somewhere somewhen in this blog, I already have two (not three, thank you) white hairs in my beard and my hairline is receding to the notice of everyone; and I have nothing to show for it.

So I am thinking, what would be the perfect song for the moment? Why, of course, this!

That’s some hot Darwinian shit right there!

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Nas, Sade, Miles Davies and Herbie Hancock. The first two,  I am starting to dig even more than I used to. And the last two, I hope the grey hairs could at least be interpreted as having come from a “knowledge of various types of music and artists” 😆


Pray for me sinners

The morning after

 I think things went well. Now calm descends and various degrees of calm are expected until I am right back at it next week.

You know, I tried to tell that worn out joke of biochemists, the one about death being in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics. I was not able to detect any smiles and I had to settle for a smirk of my own. Maybe they did not get it Or maybe death stops sounding funny after a certain age. I have already mentioned that I have gotten old. But the majority of the class is older than me.

So I get out of class right? And I am on my way to you. This student asks me if I am the civics teacher. I say “sorry, I am not” and get on my way.

How things you should have said and done come to you ten days after the moment has passed! My reply should have been “no I am not. But I know a civics teacher whom as a matter of fact I have been eyeballing a lot lately. Let me get her for you”.  I, then  should have gone to where I suspect where her office is, find her and tell her that … just a crazy thought.

Whatever happened to timihirt bet?


migb bet? (in a café and restaurant)

 Please read this from One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

… They were cousins. They had grown up together in the old village that both of their ancestors, with their work and their good habits, had transformed into one of the finest towns in the province. Although their marriage was predicted from the time they had come into the world, when they expressed their desire to be married their own relatives tried to stop it. They were afraid that those two healthy products of two races that had interbred over the centuries would suffer the shame of breeding iguanas. There had already been a horrible precedent. An aunt of Úrsula’s, married to an uncle of José Arcadio Buendía, had a son who went through life wearing loose, baggy trousers and who bled to death after having lived forty-two years in the purest state of virginity, for he had been born and had grown up with a cartilaginous tail in the shape of a corkscrew and with a small tuft of hair on the tip. A pig’s tail that was never allowed to be seen by any woman and that cost him his life when a butcher friend did him the favor of chopping it off with his cleaver. José Arcadio Buendía, with the whimsy of his nineteen years, resolved the problem with a single phrase: “I don’t care if I have piglets as long as they can talk.”

So they were married amidst a festival of fireworks and a brass band that went on for three days. They would have been happy from then on if Úrsula’s mother had not terrified her with all manner of sinister predictions about their offspring, even to the extreme of advising her to refuse to consummate the marriage. Fearing that her stout and willful husband would rape her while she slept, Úrsula, before going to bed, would put on a rudimentary kind of drawers that her mother had made out of sailcloth and had reinforced with a system of crisscrossed leather straps and that was closed in the front by a thick iron buckle. That was how they lived for several months. During the day he would take care of his fighting cocks and she would do frame embroidery with her mother. At night they would wrestle for several hours in an anguished violence that seemed to be a substitute for the act of love, until popular intuition got a whiff of something irregular and the rumor spread that Úrsula was still a virgin a year after her marriage because her husband was impotent. José Arcadio Buendía was the last one to hear the rumor.

“Look at what people are going around saying, Úrsula,” he told his wife very calmly.

“Let them talk,” she said. “We know that it’s not true.”

So the situation went on the same way for another six months until that tragic Sunday when José Arcadio Buendía won a cockfight from Prudencio Aguilar. Furious, aroused by the blood of his bird, the loser backed away from José Arcadio Buendía so that everyone in the cockpit could hear what he was going to tell him.

“Congratulations!” he shouted. “Maybe that rooster of yours can do your wife a favor.”

José Arcadio Buendía serenely picked up his rooster. “I’ll be right back,” he told everyone. And then to Prudencio Aguilar:

“You go home and get a weapon, because I’m going to kill you.”

Ten minutes later he returned with the notched spear that had belonged to his grandfather. At the door to the cockpit, where half the town had gathered, Prudencio Aguilar was waiting for him. There was no time to defend himself. José Arcadio Buendía’s spear, thrown with the strength of a bull and with the same good aim with which the first Aureliano Buendía had exterminated the jaguars in the region, pierced his throat.

That night, as they held a wake over the corpse in the cockpit, José Arcadio Buendía went into the bedroom as his wife was putting on her chastity pants. Pointing the spear at her he ordered: “Take them off.” Úrsula had no doubt about her husband’s decision. “You’ll be responsible for what happens,” she murmured. José Arcadio Buendía stuck the spear into the dirt floor.

“If you bear iguanas, we’ll raise iguanas,” he said. “But there’ll be no more killings in this town because of you.” …

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