Z piece of jewlery man is

November 11, 2008 at 6:11 am 7 comments

After taking a cold shower in my cold shower room yesterday evening, I felt hungry. So i locked the doors and went to the shop next to my condominium building to buy what makes a [married] single gal’s life a single gals’. Tomatoes, onions and “ruub Kilo” macaroni. The street was deserted. I was cold & shivering. The youngest sister of the owner who was supposed to wait on me was on her mobile with somebody who forgot to bring his hearing-aid to the phone. Any company would be welcome.

This came in the form of a guy few inches shorter than me and carrying a Deli Roma pizza box (right out of the oven too). I hail from that part of Addis which still confuses the word Pizza with “that place you get 10-Qutir Bus home” or, giffa bill, a “Qita” with a tomatoe topping. But I’ve ‘broadened’ my horizon, you see, and been busy gobbling enough pizza for the whole side of my town every chance I got.

Be that as it may, I haven’t seen many people carrying Pizza boxes around. Infact, I would have given up the idea of having pizza delivered to your door step if it weren’t for a share-company formation advertisement on ETV I saw a few days ago. Using the Yellow MacDonald’s’ sign for a logo, and going by the name “Mulu Messob Foods” something something, the brand promises to introduce not just MacDonald’s but Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut and all those chewable delights that makes life worth living (or atleast, some evenings more bearable than others). So I was surprised. Not just because I’d have mistaken the guy for somebody who isn’t past counting all the “Cake beWetet” he bought his girlfriend when she dumped him (quoting the Amharic version of “you give them your heart, they reach for your wallet”) or because.. I don’t know.. I judge books by the cover?!

The surprised look, ofcourse, draw attention from brotha man. But not the friendly kind you might expect of a man carrying a pizza box. (Do we have to exude the promise of tips to get a smile in this city?!). No! He looked at me, dismissed me as somebody inferior and proudly turned his face to the girl who was weighing part of my grocery. “Hulet coca cola!” he ordered and started going through his pockets. It was clear he considered himself too refined to wait with the public. So I dropped the bomb. “Give me a mobile phone card, will you please Kelemwa?” I said sweetly “I miss my husband. And all the internet cafes would be closed by now”

Sinking though I maybe, lower than I’ve ever sunk, I have figured out Pizza boy right. He stopped dead in his looking-for-changes track and stared at me. The inner struggle was made plain on his face. He was searching for a sign that gave me away as the million dollar babe, aka somebody worth a man abroad. If this was a stage he’d have cleared out of my way. If this was a soccer field, he’d have passed the ball to me and see me score. If it was a public rally, he’d have demanded for the baby elephants as well.

He uttered neither a consonant nor a vowel until I left.

What did I observe, next to the fact that I wasn’t past speaking in [my better than most Ethiopians] English to intimidate people who I feel aren’t giving me the respect I feel I deserve on sight? I noticed that “control-freak” wasn’t enough of a word to describe me. Not that I am a stranger to this tendency of mine. Ever since I was 11 and stayed away from my aunt’s house for more than 3 years because her husband screamed at me (He was mad at somebody! I said I don’t like being treated as a “yene Bitte” coming to beg for food); I have had occasions where I admonished myself with “what exactly is your problem?” in the past. But I’ve never seen it more clearly than I did last night. It wasn’t just a “yilugnta”, it was an obsession. An obsession of not letting people get away feeling they have scored a good one on me, a “likift” to have the final word before hiting the exit button. It never mattered whether these people presented an actual threat or a perceived fear. Or what role they played in my life, and whether they played any at all. A boyfriend showing signs of getting tired of me, a handsome fellow-traveller who said “Weraj ale” where I was supposed to drop, a colleague claiming she forgot the amount of money I lent her or she lent me; I make meaningless sacrifices (dump the boyfriend, tell the woyala I changed my mind and travel where I didn’t mean to, over-pay the colleague) just so I would know these people aren’t “thinking things” about and against me.

I know insecurity in general, and fear of the unknown/losing ground/making an ass of oneself, in particular runs in the [ethiopian] family. It indeed is the driving motive behind this and many similar actions of mine. And.. among those learned people who try and understand where psychosis comes from (under a discipline deservedly called “Psycho-logy”), I’m sure there is an even specific name for my kind of illness. I just wish I knew how to tackle it.

Or is that what I wanted you to think so you don’t point it out and tell me to seek help?

Who knows!?

Entry filed under: Latest Posts.

Couldn’t pass this up. Of heroes & traitors – The ballad of Legesse Wegi

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ras X  |  November 11, 2008 at 8:42 am

    We are who we are.
    Think about this. I mean this more of a therapy for myself to put it down on thoughts as opposed to trying to tell someone what to think.

    Everybody does this thing you’re talking about you do, in one way or another, whether it was just once in thier life, or if they do it every chance they get. I could say more to introduce my analysis, but I can’t wait. I mean, basically, if no one ever done this at all, this would be a totally different world. These types of insecurities have shaped the world as we know it more than we can imagine. I’d even be so bold as to say that the world is such an ugly place because of this out of control selling of ones soul. To narrow it down, that is what I think it is, because when you don’t give into it, you win a battle only you know you’ve won. In fact, when you do give into it, we are actually trying to get someone to acknowledge that you are a good person, when otherwise they would not have. All at our own expense. Which turns to result in the exact opposite of our original intention. What do we do then?

    Lets just go out on a limb, and say instead of embracing this need when it arises, to do the exact opposite.

    What is the exact opposite you say?

    Well not the exact opposite, the exact opposite would be to kill everyone.

    I’ll go out on another limb, that we do nothing and embrace the victory.

    To stay true to oneself. To not pretend you know more than you do.

    Socailly, this balance is what really makes one stands out.

    The problem arises when the need to feel accepted is so great, that one will pretend to know more about something, to get someone to have that feeling we all get when we come across one we think is smart.

    Lets put my analysis to the test.

    Some one buys a really luxurious thing they really can’t afford to impress their friends.

    I could test this theory all day, I do in fact.

  • 2. Spacefog  |  November 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Honestly speaking, I do not understand why you have to go trough all this to make a point. Personally , I really don’t care about what people think of me or what I do. There are some people I care about and whose opinions matter . I would try not to disspoint those people .Otherwise the rest is just a crowed I wouldn’t even care to look at twice.
    Now, If I met the pizza guy. First , I wouldn’t probably have noticed his reactions to me looking at him. I wouldn’t have thought that he cared either. Even if he did something to make a point (I doubt a pizza ,even if a Deli Roma, would make a point) I wouldn’t have gone the extra length to prove that I actually am not interested. I have learned a long time ago that people are full of BS and I should only worry about those who matter. The world is so full of important things that a pizza is the smallest thing a person should be proud about.
    Note that I am not trying to be judmental of what you did.

  • 3. abesheet  |  November 12, 2008 at 5:46 am

    If I was a bit more like you, Space, my life would have been so much easier. The truth being what it is, those things happen to matter to me. I should definitely go out more. Heaven knows I could use the fresh air.

  • 4. chuni  |  November 12, 2008 at 8:58 am

    People’s perceptions of me mattered when i was in hs. I would like to think it was because i was out of my element. I was new to the country, a muslim and to top it off I wore a hijab (head scarf). To me, it seemed like people saw my head scarf before they saw me and made conclusion about me. At the time, the media was big on how muslim women are oppressed, weak and submissive gelemele and I felt like that’s what people saw when they saw me. So I worked extra hard to prove my self. I run an extra lab during soccer practice, challenged the boys to a basketball shootout, or challenge to play the possition of the prepy girl who gave me a look when I was trying out for the volleyball team..lol. My senior yr it paid off. Like more hijabi girls I knew started to try out for sports and stuff and I felt like I did changed people’s views. After hs though, I stoped caring. If the person doesn’t have a big place in my life, what they think is irrelevant.

  • 5. Kermo Tija  |  November 12, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Many of us raised in Ethiopian culture will react the same way. I am amused though by people who say I don’t care what everyone else thinks. That is what we all want to say but no one is immune from the influence of others and all of us care about what others think of us. It is just a matter of degree.

    Many are gaga over Obama. I must say this is blown out of proportion. I fear the bar is raised high and expections are unreasonable.

  • 6. abesheet  |  November 13, 2008 at 5:35 am

    I so understand what you been going through, gurl. Trying to prove myself, that’s what i’ve been doing all my life – and still doing, i think. To even those kinds of people whose opinion I don’t normally give a rat’s ass to. Which perhaps makes 98% of the population πŸ™‚ . Still, you can see me tearing myself to pieces because of some thing they said, looked or i assumed felt.

    The terrorist thing, it would pass. Trust me. Just give it time and don’t let stupid people ruin your “melkam tsebai”. One day, we’d all look back at it and wonder what’s got into us. Such is life, i guess.

    Btw, chuni is my “yebet sim”. Makes me smile every time i see it here.

    Kermo (a pleasure to have you back):
    I see your point. And ofcourse I agree in toto (whatever toto means). I like to think there are those kinds of people too. I’ve known people who throw their head back and spit the word “Degmo leSew!” or “Degmo Labesha!” like it’s some kind of a bomb (which it is, people have always weighed on me that I’d have to be heavily sedated to see them that way) around. But .. it just doesn’t ring right. They just sound angry and in denial.

    Anywho, maybe these people are talking about what they want to see happen. You know, like I wish there comes a time in which women use men for sex and throw them away like a doll and don’t count off the guys they refused every time they heard Ephrem Tamiru’s “Huwala EndayQochish” (still trying to figure out how Setoch Gudai passed that song along and protested “yerasish gudai”)? Kindda like the lady warriors of the Amazon?

  • 7. gizaye  |  December 31, 2011 at 7:52 am

    hi abesheet… i just stumbled upon your blog and might i say i’m enjoying every word of it! I’m starting from the beginning and i’ve been doing it in chunks. I felt compelled to leave a reply on this blog post because your honesty was refreshing and shocking! After reading through it, my first thought was… Kelal defar nat! yemechat! lol… seriously. I was pretty bad when it came to “asayewalehu/asayatalehu mane endehonku, enene endezi atenagerenem/atayenem, etc…” I was and i’m kind of getting better at it because it just became exhausting honestly, actually more mind numbing from the blood rushing to my brain from all the blood my heart was pumping out of anger and whatever… Anyways, i love your honesty… thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


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"

Recent Posts

Previous Posts

Books by Ethiopian Writers


Favorite books

My Favorite Podcasts

αˆ™α‹šα‰ƒ [Ethiopian Music]

Some classic Some modernish And some Yirdaw... When I need a ringtone When I feel nostalgic When I need poetry

Free & Abridged Audiobooks


November 2008

Funny and brilliant tweets

Member of The Internet Defense League

%d bloggers like this: