It’s been a week since I last posted.
I haven’t actually done very much!
I’ve been relaxing in a gorgeous apartment opposite Lamberet Bus Station, applying for jobs back home and eating surprisingly authentic Spaghetti Carbonara in the café on the floor below.
Today I head back over to Kera for my last two nights.
Atelfugne, where my journey began about a century ago and where it will end.
I could quite easily turn this into a long running blog of UK employment timewasters (I’ve had three this week alone) but I won’t. I have landed an assessment day at McDonalds Headquarters in September though which I’m looking forward to.
I definitely have mixed feelings about leaving Addis Ababa.
While it definitely isn’t the easiest place to live (I’m writing this offline as the electricity has gone down again, no breakfast carbonara for me) it has ‘something’
A strangely stoic gritty charm.
I can’t think of many countries other than Ethiopia where I’ve simultaneously wanted to bludgeon the entire population into the bodywork of what’s left of their little blue Ladas yet have their babies.
Ethiopians (and Addis Ababans in particular) are a total contradiction.
Waitresses will stand and watch for 45 minutes as you patiently wait for a menu yet will then insist on spooning sugar into your coffee.
People on the street will glare suspiciously until the ice is broken and then instantly become a friend for life.
Taxi drivers will refuse to move for less than ten times the local price and then give you 100 birr back at the end of the journey.
Addis itself is as grubby as any other major city in Sub Saharan Africa yet at the same time the citizens go out of their way to be neat and tidy.
When I think back to my first morning, arriving at Bole Airport following a long overnight flight and driving through the slums, my first reaction was “What the hell am I getting into?!”
My cabbie warned me about Kera as we dodged beggars in the road hidden under hoods and he gave me an early Amharic lesson.
Now 100 years on I more or less recreated the journey but from Lemberet. It was a long ride through the craziest of African urban traffic. My driver tapped what was left of his car and sang along to Teddy Afro. I gave him directions in Amharic, obviously an impossibility on my arrival.
Arriving back at Atelefugne I was greeted by name and shoulder bumped.
My stomach is feeling a bit delicate so it was nearly a case of projectile vomit shoulder bumping.
I know what it was. I stupidly ordered the eggs after a particularly lengthy power-cut.
I’m not going to let a potentially deadly stomach infection stop me though.
Today’s plan is a return to Sishu Burger/Embwa Creamery followed tomorrow by a sunset photo trip to the old train station in Legahar.
If only I could get rid of the omnipresent scent of rotten eggs in my wake.