Archive for February, 2008

“Il Grillo parlante”

“Il Grillo parlante” – The Talking Cricket, is the name given to the cricket Pinocchio (the protagonist of “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi) kills after it tries to give him some advice. “The cricket comes back as a ghost to continue advising the marionette. In the 1940 Walt Disney adaptation of the book, this cricket is renamed “Jiminy”, and is appointed by the Blue Fairy to serve as the official conscience for Pinocchio.” (Wikipedia)

Reading that made me think “How Fitting”. I mean here is an annoying cricket, killed by a “wooden” Marionette he’s appointed to play the conscience of until the later can pull his shit together enough to “become a real boy”! Isn’t that awfully familiar? The fact that prophets have been killed, and will probably continue to be killed [not necessarily literally], by wooden headed men of power and the society they are/were trying to change?

By that, i’m not simply referring to the infamous “Dergue” regime (and the “Beaalu Girma”s of this world). No, this killing of prophets is as old as the world itself. There is even a legend about an ethiopian king that I love re-reading while waiting for my turn at Filwuha by Sebhat Gebregziabher. The story of a certain crow that spent the night screaming “he who ate my head would become a king”. It ofcourse took the cook no time to administer a knife to the Crow’s head. However….

But that’s beyond the interest of this post.

February 28, 2008 at 5:37 am Leave a comment

The power of “paper and ink”

Sunday morning: at my home listening to Tracey Chapman’s “Money’s only paper, only ink” (a valentine day’s gift from my husband which arrived 4 days previously).

 Now, I’ve always been a Tracey Chapman fan. Mostly because I’ve a feeling she looks a little like me, or I her, to everybody’s indignant cry! (God knows why. Hey.. that rhymes :-)) and because she strikes me as an individual, the kind of person I fancy myself to be. I have always loved her songs, and on our first night in Awassa I’ve even tried singing one of my favorites (‘Last night I heard’) to my husband-to-be from the toilet. (Been always a shy girl, especially when it comes to making the vocals work. Something somebody advised me at an early age should be limited to the privacy of the shower room).

But none of her others songs (even “Fast Car”) has hit me to the core more than this song did. You see, lack of this particular brand of ‘paper and ink’ was what kept me from going to my parent’s home, to eating what the heart desires while watching “The Morning After the Night Before: A Barbara Walters Oscars Special”, and more importantly to keeping my littler brother company who looked so heart-broken that he told her not to come back when his older (13 years my junior) sister left to have a study-night with her friends at the university. (He didn’t mean it!)

It’s not that I don’t have any money in the world. However, being one of those handful Ethiopians who use money to give them the ‘power of buying’ instead of the power to keeping it at home and looking at it as if it’s a long lost cousin, the green I thought would pull me through the weekend and bring me back to the office on Monday has run out. So here I am, broke and bored, yawning every other minute at an ETV special ‘Live from Tigray’.

Now, I don’t know how that would strike God, ‘who created the sun, and owns the sea’ as Tracey said; the fact that having no money to well functioning adults means being as good as paralyzed. But it makes me reminisce bitterly over the evils of the “paper and ink” genie. Bothered by the one and important question: how could humanity let this happen?!.

That contrary to it’s created purpose, how money has become a slave who enslaved its master, the only power the free man in the free world bows for, a genie able to order the lamp owner about instead of running around eager to do his bidding!

If the creation of money wasn’t a sin all humanity is responsible for, the man responsible for coming up with it would have been turning in his grave for all eternity. Knowing full well that the demon he unleashed on the children of Adam and eve is responsible for most of the world’s ill, innocent animals and nature included. What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be an end to its tyranny and, perhaps, “we ain’t seen nothing yet”.

February 25, 2008 at 11:38 am 1 comment

“Kentiba” (Mayor) Barack Obama?

By the way folks were behaving in taxis and offices here in Addis, you’d think Barack Obama was running for Mayor of Region 14 on the upcoming by-election, instead of becoming a presidential nominee for the land of the free & country of the obese (not my word). People have been threatening to put a sad end to my existence for saying I would rather have Clinton as a president. Because, I explained, I’ve read somewhere that most blacks weren’t taken-in by him and even if he was elected president, he’s sure to be assiacinated. Their response: typical Ethiopian! (which commits all types of fallacies in the book and totally ignores there ever was a reason given). I.e. that i was ashamed of my race and gender! And the muttered threats i mentioned above.

Infact, if the 26th African Cup of Nations hasn’t put water to the ‘Obama-fever’, I doubt yours truly would have been alive and typing even as we speak. But it did! And nobody seems to mention the ole feller anymore. I ofcourse didn’t dare ask what became of the broza, for obvious reasons!! (I like my neck the way it is, good & unbroken). But I guess I should be thankful to our nation’s indiscriminant football “fever” for once. (Have always hated football, long before I lost some of my good “solid” friends to it. Back when I was but a young girl always going to bed crying because somebody at ETV decided to cancel “Talaq Film” in favor of it). There must be some grain of truth to what they say. That even a broken clock is right twice a day!

February 19, 2008 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

I finally said “No!”

If there is a rough side to me, it’s my husband & family who know about it. For I’ve always been an agreeable type of person to strangers. Because they scare me: I have a very low self esteem! And because I have no way of knowing what they’d say behind my back. So I walk by them cautiously, trying not to do anything to upset them; smile at their jokes (even if 99% of the time I think they were corny); and I make sure their dresses aren’t out hanging if they felt like going in before me!

But yesterday evening, I said “no”, literally!. The funny thing about the incident was, my adversaries were 4 people altogether (3 men and a girl) the sight of whom would normally make me bound “like an Adajio Dancer”, as Bertie Wooster would say! And I didn’t even need the seat that bad. But I not only protested firmly, but screamed “I don’t give a shit!” (literally! just like that!) when they asked me if I could take the next taxi because they were “together” (and the taxi only holds four people + driver).

I still don’t understand how that happened. It wasn’t that dark, there weren’t too many people around, and I wasn’t even mad. I thought that funny: my swearing at a bunch of guys (and a girl) infront of a driver I’ve probably came across a hundred times and taxi assistants who have thus far seen me as a quite person in whose mouth ‘butter won’t melt’ (as the saying goes)! After patting my shoulder with “I didn’t know you had it in you” and giggling nervously, I tried to figure out why I snapped the way I did. The answer can only be one of two things: The cuteness of the couple who later sat next to me (out of whom the male part of the duo apologized after so much whimpering, while his little girlfriend gave me a nasty look) reminding me how pretty people have always made me feel like I didn’t belong here the same way they do (Ethiopians refer to themselves as the “prettiest” people in the world and I’ve been told otherwise, or atleast made to feel) OR I was just tired of having folks walk all over me by intimidating me in their big numbers. Something like what Roza Parks must have felt that fateful morning, when she said “no” to giving up her seat resulting in the biggest Bus Boycott in American history. “No” to intimidation, ”no” to being considered something less just because you aren’t *like* everybody else (stunted, in this case), yassir NO to segregation!! Or so I’d like to think ;-).

Only time would tell if i can keep it up!

February 18, 2008 at 11:40 am Leave a comment


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The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

Life quote:

"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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