“Baaro Qen Wetalish!”
I’ve been a “chaat”, or “khat” as it’s being referred to these days, fan for as long as i can remember. True, my aunt, whom we pestered to give it to us (mostly for the sugar or Mirinda she took it with) used to turn funny every time she missed a chaat-chewing-session! A state she was revived from after my mom and her other sisters called God’s name over her and begged someone or other to forgive this act of defiance behind closed doors. But I’ve considered it the least harmful drug anybody can get addicted to. A conviction, I have a feeling, his Premiership agrees with. That doesn’t mean I trust it with my metabolism. Two days i’ve gone without sleep that first time i actually chewed it (had to produce a one page review of Tagel Seifu’s “Lewatan”, a copy of which i found the very eve of my presentation). Not to mention the numbing fear of getting off the taxi I felt upon arriving destionaton’s end that night. No amount of coffee or banana would break the spell for the next two days. When i finally dragged my over-exhausted and insomanic booty to sleep, I’ve sworn off chaat forever. There has been moments of weakness, no doubt. But chewing “chaat” isn’t a practice i recommend unless under the above circumstances or the kind of depression that makes a man reach for a gun. Which is why i couldn’t decide what I felt when i read Ethiopian Postal Service was planning to print stamps in it’s honor (there is no such thing as “bad publicity”, as tobacco companies would tell you) on Addis Admass’ Tuesday issue.
For the English version, go here.
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