Saturday, October 08, 2005

Awassa to Addis

Donkey and cart, Awassa
Originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Awassa was a very diferent place to the wet, muddy, dirty place we had arrived to the day before, this beig a typical scene on the backroads, driving a donkey and cart standing up!

We ahd a very good, but quite slow drive up to Addis, again with many students, a couople f whom we spoke to quite a klot on the way up, including a girl from Jigjiga and a chap (Abdi) from Dire Dawa, both on Ramadan fast. Our Vradt guidebook is popular wioth fekloow passengers, although we are not sure about the cover, which shows a tribal girl with a baby clutching her bare breast... doesn't give Ethiopians a very good idea of why tourists come here. we also have a 1969 textbook of Ethiopian history, published when Ethiopia was still an Empire and had an Emperor and which which has photos of 'desert beauties' and 'warriors' and refers to the Oromo people as Galla (a name used by their old enemies). The world seems a lot more 'correct' nowadays, but a lot more complicated.

We had the traditional 'customs' stops, though this time not to stop contraband but to check we were not bringing in weapons to the opposition here in Addis. The governmet here is very paranoid, very rightly so, as they cheated on the elections in May, have still not announced the result, caused civil disturbances and blamed it on the opposition, and claimed the European observers were biased im their reports. Mugabe would not get away with it, and meanwhile Zanawi gets invited to wine and dine with the G8 greats.. hmmmm....

As day turned to dusk and we climbed the highlands to Addis, the clouds cleared to give us a view of the Moon and Venus together, reminding us of all the good things in life out there.

We got into Addis in the dark, had a long drive to the bus station and then a long drive back to the hotel in a taxi (well we didn't know before we had made the trips). There was room in the hotel, but the receptionist did not want to give it to us, two men, as it contained a double bed. she only gave it to us (against the rules, she said) if we promised to move to a twin bedded room the next day.

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