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

They just won’t let you be a saint

If ever there was such a thing as a personal Zeitgeist, mine would be “get out of this conversation and quick”. I am tired of feigning interest; of false smiles; of condescension; of kissing necessary + unnecessary ass = unnecessary ass; of trying to impress; of pretending to listen; of not trying to understand; of talking in the auto-pilot mode. I try to avoid those kinds of situations but they seem to have a knack for finding me.

I try to avoid people and long for them at the same time .

But most of all, I long for someone to really make me laugh – laugh my diapers off. How I need that!

The morning of Timqet I went to the office just to get away from the house and the “holiday atmosphere”. In the afternoon, there was no escaping the family of my friend, who by the way happen to be real nice people.  I was there until 3 in the evening and when I got home, I was sure that there would be no question of an invitation after this late. I could have really made sure of that had I went to sleep directly. But no! I had to watch the lovers’ guide (you dig :wink:). And then it came: we should have supper together; they were waiting for other guests to leave. A bit later, the soldier joins us (where is your wife? I have been meaning to ask you for the last I do not know how many months). I be sipping on Mirinda and them Pepsi and wine. The air was so tense that, if one had stroked at it, one would have heard an invisible guitar.

And right at that moment…

You can never go wrong with football talk. I ask: “ahun CHewata yelem ende?”  I second it with: “yeAafrica budnoch bezih aquamachew lealem wanCHa liyawaridun new aydel?” later to confess that I had hardly watched a game since the tournament started. The wine is working now; even I have loosened up now. A lot of male bonding I tell you. We hold lively discussions on such varied topics as the speedy growth of today’s children, the true sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant, how the Somali people enjoy singing, deforestation… and should you feel that the conversation is slackening, you can always bring in the strife within the synod.

I went to my room around midnight but I did not go to sleep immediately. Had to finish the lovers’ guide, man!

Speaking of today’s children, my oldest niece – she is 12 – was telling me about how this boy has been trying to hit on her, giving her gifts of earrings and shit (“that was supposed to be a secret you asshole!” “Don’t worry; nobody reads this blog). Amazed, I listened to her talk, and all the while I was cursing myself: “afer bila! zifzif! yesint gize tananashochih…” . Afer bila zifzif, by the way, is the choice curse phrase of Ba Darians.

Today’s children are fast. They got their grind and hustle on. They be making moves. If only they could share with me some of their wisdom …

I asked my nieces: “what do you think is wrong with your uncle ? :sad:”

Kuku: “you don’t want girls to like you. Hmm, you want girls to like you but you are just silly”

Hany: “Oh my God you are a clown. You are not even a human. You are a clown”

And Hapy, she talks; calls her father “dude” and stuff. Once, she wanted to tell Hany something and did not want me to hear so she went “he don’t speak English…”

I hope they are as good in other subjects as they are in English. And I think they are. Knowing English should not be an end by itself but a way of gaining knowledge. I hate it when they hate having to speak Amharic, as if it was a sign of ignorance, and they refer to their teacher as Mr. and Ms.  Whatever happened to Ato and Weizerit?

And on top of that, they call you dude!

This is what I have been trying to tell my partners in backwardness a.k.a. my brother and my sister: if ever it was decided that I should have a child, she/he won’t be going to no “academy”. I will be sure to send them to a school with a real Etyopian name like Dejach Geneme, ATSe Naod, Weldo MeTaya or Bichegir. I don’t care if they grow up to not know an A from a Z.

I saw a solar eclipse while in Addis Abeba. I was also lucky to see the previous one (at Arat Kilo) four years ago. But in terms of rarity, an eclipse would not hold a candle to this:

My parents and siblings keep on insisting that I should change my dress code. They say – in so many words – going to class in T shirts shows a lack of respect for my students and that I am unfit to be a role model. I say that is the least of my worries now as far as the example I am setting for my students is concerned. They win. I go to buy sleeveless shirts. I had a sweater on when I left the house. This sweater, my mother hates it. She says its color has faded, is too old and I should no longer be wearing it. As a principle, members of my family are seldom crazy about my choice of attire.

It was a sunny day. On my way home, I had the sweater in the festal along with the new shirts. I hear a person calling me from behind. He says he has come from Dire Dawa for one reason or another and endetechegere … I was not ready to hear him out on an empty stomach. And so took the easy way out, gave him one birr. He says he does not want money but he would like it if he could get some cloth. I search through the festal and give him the sweater.

I have always wondered what it would be like giving what you have on to someone else who needs it more than you do. Examples such as my oldest brother and Chachi were in my head at the moment. If I do this, I would have gone at least some part of the way.

My guy wonders if I have got used clothes – instead of giving him new ones, that is. I tell him it is an old cloth. He goes on to ask me, with the sweater dangling on his hand (okay. maybe it was not exactly “dangling”. maybe he had held on to it firmly. but that it should dangle is very important for my story), if I have something yemiyamoK. I take back the sweater and head on home.

I love that sweater, man!


yogurt and coke – you should try it. i insist!

sexy bus

a traffic jam in abay bereha

the joy of traveling in Tir

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