Friday, September 16, 2005

With the locals

Agordat colour 8

So, after the six hour hike (not sure if we mentioned
that), we have had two seven hour bus rides from
Asmara to Barentu and back again, both leaving at
break of day, about 5.00 am. The reason we came
straight back is that the bus which took us there was
due to go back today. Otherwise, we faced the prospect
of being stranded there for a few days, so few are the
buses which run currently.

This is due to the current 'situation'. It is not
entirely clear what this situation is, but it is
partly the high oil prices and partly the fact that
the UN is still sorting out the boundary dispute
between Eritrea and Imperialist Ethiopia.

Anyway, being with the locals meant amongst other
things sitting in front of a lady who smelled like
the worst of smells you ever find on a dirty street
market, sitting aside a man who kept telling us to
close the window, watching the goat on top of the bus
fall off and almost strangle himself, watching African
toiletry habits - how they pee into the wind (no tree
or bush or building) and even squat to pee (and during
the two days we saw any people sqatting), eating dry
bread and sweet tea for breakfast, being hauled out of
the bus every now and then for control by the military
authorities who wanted to check our permits and so on.
But is also meant making friends with fellow
passengers and watching the beautiful landscape fold
out before us, endless green vistas, one after the

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