Wednesday July 14, 2010
As my time in Ethiopia comes to a close all my lingering questions, concerns and discomfort subside and I realize, in the face of leaving how much I have fallen in love with this country. But with any great love you have to embrace the good with the bad, so here is the official list, the likes and dislikes of Ethiopia:
1)The people, so friendly, joyous. They will go way out of their way to help you. They love saying hello.
2)Coffee, Coffee, Coffee…best I’ve had anywhere in the world!
3)Taxis- it’s an experience every time. Whether I am sitting next to a bag of onions, livestock, a person just eager to demonstrate his English, or some seriously faux fur.
4)The greeting. You start by shaking hands then lean in and bump right shoulders. It’s catchy!
5)The technology is from about 1995, at first I thought this would be frustrating, but it’s actually nice to be disconnected most of the time.
6)The bread. No matter what time a day it feels like it just came from the oven. It is everything a piece of bread should be, crisp and flakey on the outside smooth and fluffy on the inside, with that insatiable smell.
7)The cultural food in general. Yup, I’m shocked too, but it’s really growing on me to the point of genuine enjoyment.
8)That is totally acceptable for 2 or more men to walk down the street hand in hand.
1.Carcasses- you would be surprised at the discarded bones and goat skulls lying in the street being consumed by bugs. Actually you may not be as surprised as disguised; I gag a little every time.
2.Being called at “Hey You” about every 20 feet of everywhere I go. Clearly I can’t blend in so people are constantly trying to get my attention.
3.The openness of bodily functions. No tissue, pick your nose. Can’t reach, hack and fling. Need a bathroom? That row of (insert anything here) looks good.
4.Tossing trash wherever it pleases. Don’t litter, Save the Earth!
5.The snapping. I know it’s totally culturally acceptable to snap your fingers to get the attention of waiters or in a person’s face to elicit a response, but I can’t get over it. It’s culturally ingrained in me that snapping is rude. Maybe it’s the fact that I was a waitress for far too long.
6.99% of the time I am terrified of the moving vehicle I am in (I guess rightfully so).