Monday, 24 August 2009

Young Doctors

Even I'm getting tired of this now. One more I think - perhaps a Vinegar Tits reference is called for before I drop this ludicrous pretension - but for now, let's press on.


ADDIS ABABA - 5/8/09 - 9am.

The power stayed off until about 7 o'clock, and so my afternoon was spent reading Moab is My Washpot, drinking St George and watching the phenomenal thunderstorms which - I am finding out - are a regular feature of the city at this time of year. I even took a picture of one of the hailstones which pounded the earth and the stippling of the hotel structure yesterday, beating a short-lived - but raucous - threnody on the corrugated roofs of the neighbouring shacks.

Then it was all into the Lada for a trip to Bambis, (and it's worth reading just a little of the link there, I promise you) where homesick Westerners can stock up on their Wall's sausages and their Kellogg's cornflakes. Stung for 188 Birr for a bottle of South African shiraz (wine is not one of Ethiopia's strengths, let me warn you) but at least the kids got their Pringles.

Here's something.

Nobody - with the exception of the Spaniards at the hotel (of which more later) appears to smoke. I have seen only one Ethiopian with a cigarette since I have been here. He lay full length on the floor in the middle of a busy thoroughfare, leisurely lugging on a tab as if he hadn't a care in the world, staring into the middle distance in that smoker's way.

ADDIS ABABA - 5/8/09 - 5pm

Lunch of pasta in the compound, attended to by the serving girl while the washer woman bided her time till the water supply returned. The washer woman was a traditional Ethiopian, and when she shook hands, she bowed her body down till it almost brushed the ground, eyes always averted from your own gaze. There was a very relaxed, convivial, atmosphere as families lazed around, braiding hair, chopping vegetables or just shooting the breeze until the man with the water came around. It was a pleasant way to pass the time - eating, chatting, sipping beer and downing the usual 3 shots of mega-strong coffee with 5 spoons of sugar. The servant girl giggled in her 15 year-old way and looked down coquettishly when the video camera was turned on her.

African moment
Tonight, we dine at Blue Tops.

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