Archive for May, 2008

Still high on SATC

It used to be a sitcom. A six-season sitcom my husband carried all the way from the states after I got a glimpse of it at the end of another sitcom (F.R.I.E.N.D.S., which got boring and forced after Monica and Chandler got married; although I’m still Matthew Perry’s biggest fan). A sitcome an online friend of mine referred to being about “ugly Jew broads” & features “that horsy-faced Sarah Jessica Parker”. And one I always felt pressured to explain why and what I liked about in gentle company. To the extent of defending my self, sometimes!

You get to hear about blow-jobs, eating-in and up-the-butt over Sunday brunch. You see the kind of fabulous people who makes you wonder if this is the world you’d like to belong to. And lines after lines of Manolo Blahnik strappy sandals you know you’ll probably never get to wear. You witness Carrie and friends go “ick” when hearing a love poem (save the kind you see on Cosmo, regarding dresses); see them dumping a guy for a “short-coming” (not literal) he has no control over or failed to give them the “zsa zsa zsu” when they first look at him! You hear them explain how giving & receiving head can be an enjoyable experience ‘with the right guy’, never to knock it before trying it and all that stuff that made critiques comment they were acting, I heard, “like gay men”. Their biggest worries, next to where their next orgasm is coming from, probably is “a little substance abuse in the form of expensive footware”. A glimpse, in short, that tempts you to dismiss them & it (if you haven’t already) as shallow, offensive and down right dirty the first time around.

Imagine, therefore, (more…)

May 30, 2008 at 2:27 pm 6 comments

Finally..a good news!

I am aware I have been doing a bit of complaining against the government lately, abesheet loves her neck, so I’m proud to be the bearer of good tidings for a change. As it is written, “How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness..” etcetra on Isaiah 52:7. Ok, I’m so happy I’ve started tripping. So……..herebelow is an evidence to the truth in our Premier’s reply to one of those Pre-Ginbot 20 “hiZbawi” questions that are being aired on ETV and Radio.

The question was: do you feel you have achieved your promise to have Ethiopians eat three times a day of about 10 years ago?. The premier has answered how, although much progress has been made towards achieving the goal, the result hasn’t exactly been 100%. How the country has shown a constant 5% economic growth in the last so & so years and the farming sector (which comprises about 85% of the population) has been it’s leading beneficiary. And how, with the exeption of some areas that keep being hit by draught & a couple of “Arbto Ader” akababiwoch, the farmer has not only started eating 3 times a day, but has created opportunities for others to eat three times a day!

Now, I’m not sure how precisly true this statement is. Statistically, at least! It’s all about statistics, folks!! That’s what you discover about politics and death-tolls. But WorQe, a family member with roots in the countryside, has confirmed there has indeed been a change to the lives of the farmers in her old neighborhood. They are earning, she said, thousands of birr a month these days. And not just from the sale of their plots of land to investors! No! They have learned how to take their goods to the market, how to deal without the needs of middle men, and how to keep their goods home until such time they could get more for less. They are buying mobile phones, building houses and/or “maTering” their “gibi” with expensive ornaments (sometimes to the neighbour’s ridicule). The real change, however, is with where these farmers are spending their days and evenings. “AreQe bet!”, she said bitterly, “getting drunk”!! But not with Areqe, mind you, but with Beer & sometimes even whisky!!

Yep!! Their kids may not have gotten the kind of education they need. Their wives may not see a new dress, or have a straw of their burden lifted, until they fled to their parent’s and an “amalaj” (or “Jarssa”) is sent to entreat them back. But get drunk they do, these farmers, more than three times a day! She’s gone so far as joking farmers have become the new teachers. To whom “Areke bets” belonged in time past.

Now, I don’t know if that’s the reality for all the 14 regions of the country and 85% of the population. But such seems to be the case in WorQe’s old neighbourhood atleast. More work needs to be done, ofcourse, in the way of extending these priviledges to the “Arbto Ader” Kebeles and the few areas that are usually hit by draught. Still… leWt aynaQim. Aydel? 😉

May 30, 2008 at 6:32 am 5 comments

Motherhood, the truth (or my truth)?

After reading atim’s comment on my comment about motherhood, and going to the website he recommended, I thought I might as well do a post regarding this “blissful” state of being.

Motherhood, then! A “kaba” every woman should wear comfortablly, or crave to wear comfortablly, until she gets it. Especially when she is an Ethiopian woman where God, marriage & kids – and lately Kinjit or atleast EPRDF-bashing, are things that come with a price tag that has an almost blackmailing quality. You want/believe/follow them, and you are normal (or atleast one of “egna”, “yeHizb lij”, etcetra)! You don’t and you are abnormal, weird, “yeTigray tewelaj” or a sell out!. A “Kaba” a woman should wear comfortablly, or crave to wear comfortablly simply because it is expected of her!! That’s what “should” does. It makes things an obligation instead of a choice, having them a duty instead of a joy, and not having them an act of rebellion or a curse! And motherhood is a duty as real and threatening to every Ethiopian woman as death. No wonder most women lose their desire to live when they find out they are unable to bear children! And you hear them asking heart-breakingly what they did to God to deserve this.

What you won’t find them asking is if motherhood was for them, or if it is what it’s cracked up to be. For we have all seen mothers who fall short of the title. Mothers we wondered over and associated allegorical characters to the behavior of. Mothers who would tell you, if you dare ask them to bear their souls without pretentions or illusions of living upto the “Ethiopian mother’s” image, how they got into it “bridled as a horse”, helpless & voiceless against the tide (that we are). How it has fallen short of it’s promise and their expectations of it! And you would have realized how although we need mothers to make sure life continued, if life must continue, motherhood isn’t for every woman. Like every other career, there are those who are good at it & those who aren’t. I personally believe if motherhood (like marriage, teaching and movie making) was done by only those who knew how to, there wouldn’t have been so many screwed up kids (students and soaps) in the world. Not to mention the welcome decrease in the actual number!

Take my cousin Netsanet for example. (more…)

May 29, 2008 at 9:45 am 16 comments


You’ve heard it before. So have I! The saying: If you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask for it!

But I made the fatal mistake of asking for it, begging for it, over the weekend and have yet to ‘maGegem’ from the hard kick on the butt “the truth” (in the “chimBil” of a caring friend) gave me.

This is how it happened: (more…)

May 26, 2008 at 2:08 pm 24 comments

A Eulogy for “Sholan Geremew”

They say the owner was a Lawyer, or “negere fej” as was called back then. A hard up business man who resumed the construction when he got money and didn’t when he didn’t. It took him more than 10 years to finish building! A fact which kept, legend has it, all of “Shola” (residents between “Qebena” and “Megenagna”), who no doubt were strangers to big buildings at that time (more than 45 years ago) in wonder. “Sholan Geremew”, the building was later dubbed. But that’s not the only reason why “Shola” was kept in wonder by the towering edifice in it’s midst. Not only did the owner die soon after, but nobody dared rent it for a long time to come. So, there it stood, looking high and mighty at the forested neighborhood beneath it, as cold & lonely as the high and mighty are always said to end up :-).

After Dergue took it, however, the top two buildings were taken by successful bachelors and the ground floor was rented out to, lemme see, a Cleaners (or laundry), a video shop which later adopted the name “Take Fun” and whose logo was drawn by my cousin Silesh who never impressed me as an artist, another Cleaners, a pastry slash café and a Kidus Gabriel clinic. Infront of which I once saw an old man crossing himself and bowing. On the bright side, he was literate! Edme LeMeserete Timhirt!

We grew up calling it “Bichaw foQ” while the adults, who witnessed its progress all their school life, kept referring to it by it’s original name. It was the coolest spot in my neighborhood when I grew up! It was the location you gave for your first “Qetero”, the place where cars dropped you off so nobody from your neighborhood would see you and where kisses were stolen before hitting ground.

And now.. there is none!

Well, almost! Herebelow is what’s left of it, front and side. No doubt about it, it’s the end of an era! Of a glorious era filled with childhood memories (both good & bad) that “will never return”, as we say in Amharic!

Which is why we fare thee well, oh your building-ness, with love and fond memories. And a promise that you’ll always remain in our hearts – just the way you were!

YeShola Lijoch

The Remains of an Era!

P.S. For those of you who vaguely remember a tall “mamma” infront of British Embassy with “I love you hotel” subscribed on it’s side in a glaring paint, that ain’t it! This one was located infront of the Russian Embassy & Gene Bank.

P.S.2. Jofe Amoraw’s tribute to Sholan Geremew.

May 23, 2008 at 7:47 am 13 comments

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"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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