Year VIII: Seattle smells of ‘አሪቲ’ in the Spring

And that remind me of Addis Amet, Addis “Aba”, and this paragraph I read in Metasebia Seifu’s “If I could only draw and knew how to paint” a few months back.

መልካም የዓቢይ ፆም – ለጿሚዎች!

While [he] was narrating his missed opportunity for love, I was remembering how 13 or so years ago, I have failed to “cease” my carpe diem. I have seen a young man “coming up from the wilderness like clouds of smoke” and turned willingly away from what might have, could have, should have been. In a wilderness known as “Merkato” [which, in the guidebooks, is listed as “the biggest open-air market in Africa” – which was made even bigger that afternoon by the fact that there were thousands, if not millions, of people trudging its muddy grounds doing their last minute shopping] I have looked potential in the eye and let it pass me by.

It was a little after 5 o’clock, when work and school lets out and men women bustled about to procure whatever material good they looked forward to receive the New Year with. It has rained a few days before – for our New Year is the official end of the three-month Winter break for teachers and students – and although the sun was brightly shinning, there was chill in the air and a lot of mud on the ground; mud made elastic and cushiony by the remnants of the smelly grass that was brought to town by farmers to cover carpet-less houses for holidays. Half a dozen of the yellow and black flower that carpets the countryside, as if to announce the end of winter and the beginning of summer, were stuck in between the bundle of grasses standing for sale, decorating the green of the grass like the black hair of a pretty maiden in some British novel.

I was sited in a minivan, listening to the ‘Woyala’ [the guy who summons patrons and collects the fair on behalf of the driver] calling out destinations in no particular order; skipping A to get to B before going to D and then coming back to C. There was a song playing on the radio, one of those new releases that become earworm very quickly, due to being played everywhere one went.

In an attempt to avoid the entrance [through which humans, sheep and chickens would be bustled in with the ‘Woyala’ asking for all to “make room, make room, be more neighborly; it was a holiday after all”, while trying to stuff every inch of the vehicle with as many people, domestic animals, and goods he can manage], I have chosen a chair by the window. And I was, just then, enjoying the ever familiar holiday hub-hub [day dreaming of nothing in particular, warmed by the coziness of the chair, the happiness whatever item I have on my lap would bring my family, and the melodiousness or catchy tune of the song] when I was startled by a tall and exceptionally well dressed young man slamming against my head – or at least the side of the minivan I have been supporting my head on.

The area being a place where cabs lined up to pick up and drop clientele, there was a considerable amount of foot-traffic near the 9-16 capacity ‘bus’ I was sitting in. Cab shortage, lack of infrastructure, population boom make for a rough ride in Addis any time of the year. But on this particular afternoon, it was made even harder by the wet ground and so many carrying so much that hindered their progress.

When his side crushed to the side of the cab and I felt a small jolt, I looked up. (more…)

March 23, 2017 at 1:20 am Leave a comment

Yegna Sett BeAmerika

As courtesy to my friend andthree and a gesture of solidarity to his friend, I ask you [reader/follower/accidental visitor] to check out Metasebia Seifu’s “If I could only draw, and knew how to paint (an old-school love story with lots ot sex)” and tell her what you think. It is available on both Kindle and Nook devices and sells for only 0.99 USD.
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November 4, 2016 at 11:07 pm 2 comments

Before the end of civilization as we know it…

I thought I might take a cue from my various Facebook followers [who made me hate the idea of Facebook and following; did I already say “አበሻን ‘አድ’ ማድረግ ድንቁርናን ማስፋፋት ነው”?!] and share with you – my [hopefully] more sensible readers – stuff I have been reading, watching and listening to. [And no, Layla, you don’t need to comment on this one sweetness :)].

  • is “A conversation about life’s unseen patterns” Podcast hosted by Shankar Vedantam, who is NPR’s social science correspondent and my favorite East-Indian of all times. Unless Anil Kapoor is still alive, in which case Vedantam would have to step off to 2nd place. [Here below are two of his pieces that I found especially interesting; being a woman in a winning-men’s world afraid to try new things because she is fucking scared of failing – in full-view of her own damn self!: How Does Gender Affect One’s Willingness To Compete? and Women Held To Higher Ethical Standard Than Men, Study Shows]

Enjoy, y’all.

August 6, 2016 at 1:49 am 7 comments

The problem with Kenenisa

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(more…)

June 13, 2016 at 5:56 am 8 comments

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