Hello, Ethiopia!

     I bought a one-way ticket on Gulf Air to go Damascus-Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for $281. That’s quite a change of towns. I will slather my passport in a thick layer of hummus and eat it if I see anyone taking the same two flights.
     On the website I had the option of picking what kind of in-flight meal I wanted, the first choice being “bland meal”. What do you say to the stewardess after your bland meal? “It was tasteless. Give my compliments to the chef.”
     I already made my fake onward ticket in case anyone asks for it. I am “flying” to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines in a month. Hope it passes the smell test.
     What will happen to my vast, vast readership now that I am leaving the Middle East? Will the new people stay with me? Are people interested in Ethiopia? I know very little about Ethiopia. My friend Graydon biked through there and had to continually fight off kids who tried pelting him with stones and was dismayed at the handout mentality people had. The funny thing about that is that he highly recommends Ethiopia! If I had the same experiences, I would be less enthusiastic, and my only hope that it is a place to be enjoyed rather than endured. Looking forward to it. Let’s go!

Shoes have been repaired. I'm good to go.

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Comments

Hello, Ethiopia! — 4 Comments

  1. friends of mine visited the country in 4X4 and they absolutely loved the place!
    like you mentioned kids were a bit of a hassle (asking money all the time) but the country is a beauty (saw the pics myself), very very green! especially the northern territory.
    go and explore and please give us your impressions on you website, i absorbe it like a sponge :)
    take care and enjoy your next adventure!

  2. Enjoying vs. enduring… that’s a great way to put it. I don’t mind enduring certain elements of traveling itself, but I’m not the type of traveler who wants to endure unwelcoming and/or overbearing destinations… but I’d never tell anyone not to go somewhere. I don’t know much about Ethiopia and can’t think of anyone I know who has been there, but I did read a travel memoir where the author mentioned having very similar experiences to your friend. I’m curious to hear about your travels there.

    Funny how readership fluctuates based on what country you’re writing about. Even though it’s probably not on very many must-see lists, your readership might stay strong because not many people know much about Ethiopia!

  3. It seems to be a love it or hate it kind of place. The tales of hassle and begging dissuaded me from going, too soon after India to have any patience for that kind of thing. Red-heads especially are seen as witches and can be in serious danger in more rural areas. Not the time to dye your hair red, though I know you’ve been holding off that inevitability for a while now..
    The most interesting things I’ve heard about besides the stone churches are the Rastafarian’s homeland, the men who tame hyenas, and the rare mountain baboons with the red chests instead of red butts (a prettier arrangement all around!). Let us know how it goes!

    It seems to be a love it or hate it kind of place. The tales of hassle and begging dissuaded me from going, too soon after India to have any patience for that kind of thing. Red-heads especially are seen as witches and can be in serious danger in more rural areas. Not the time to dye your hair red, though I know you’ve been holding off that inevitability for a while now..
    The most interesting things I’ve heard about besides the stone churches are the Rastafarian’s homeland, the men who tame hyenas, and the rare mountain baboons with the red chests instead of red butts (a prettier arrangement all around!). Let us know how it goes!

  4. Hi Ekua,
    I’m still getting a feel for it here. It’s very welcoming so far and not overbearing mostly because the touts aren’t so persistent. In fact, I think it a subject I am going to write about next time.

    I was thinking the opposite about the number of readers: if few people have been here, few people will want to read about it! I would have the most interest if I went to Paris—and IF I had something interesting to say about it!
    We’ll see. After this week internet will probably be hard to come by for a while.
    -Kent

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