Merry Christmas from Ethiopia

Ok, first of all you are probably wondering why I am getting on the internet so much after leaving the comforts of home for new and exciting things. Well, they make it too damn easy. A lot of backpacking hotels have an internet shop right next to them or below them so it doesn’t take much to jump on here and update.

And yea, today is Christmas Day for Ethiopians. They are still on the coptic/gregorian calandar so their days are slightly off from ours. If I remember correctly it is 12 months plus an additional 13th month added on at the end of only 4-5 days. It is interesting to see the mix of traditional and modern Christmas. I even caught a few men walking around in Santa Claus costumes.

I mentioned yesterday that I would be heading north to the town of Bahir Dar but my driver never showed up this morning. I was told I could have my money back or just try again tomorrow. I guess that is one thing about the African way of life… time is NOT everything.

I took a walk this morning and snapped a few photos. I haven’t worked up the nerve to start asking locals if I can photograph them and I’m not really comfortable with the idea. I saw some great opportunities too but rather then show the picture I can just detail it. The strange thing about Addis Ababa is that you really can’t tell where the tourist path ends and where you have wondered into a neighborhood. I found myself away from the shop signs and hotels this morning in what seemed like a residential area. I could tell because I got more stares here than anywhere else. There were 2 separate groups if kids playing foosball in the street. I almost wanted to jump in and play but then I remembered I’m terrible at it. Then you had your usual soccer matches, women and children bringing water from their homes down to the drainage, homeless laying in the street, groups of men chatting about whatever it is they chat about. I expected to see a more modern city and I’m sure the business district is like that but where I am is mostly markets and residential. There is a lot of contrast here though. Nothing like seeing a man in a suit next to another man with a goat draped over his shoulders.

Another first observation about Ethiopia is that the people are very friendly and very good looking. I even got a few smiles out of some women. I hope they weren’t prostitutes.

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