Year the 2nd: Part une

April 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm 13 comments

As it turned out, America [among other things]* is not a place where you come to make your marriage work. So I will be single in exactly 22 + the liQimQami days it would take the apartment owners to issue us an Eviction Notice. Single and homeless. Single, homeless, talentless, education-less, no, not-jobless but, then again, that has been as much a comfort as “having your health” would be when you are broke and feel there was nobody to love you. [Yes, it was a mutual decision. Napkins?!]

Alas, the news isn’t all bad. I have received my 10 year I-551 form, otherwise known as “permanent green card”. Got 2,500 dollars saved (2009’s tax-return, a gift from soon-ex-husband-to-be). And got nothing to tie my clipped-wings down to the city in California that doesn’t have a Walmart [or a school I can afford to go to – not that I have actively looked – or a taxi chain, a Chinese food delivery service, an Ethiopian restaurant, or Ethiopians for that matter. It’s a rare-bird of a town; quite, “yegeter Qebele” kind of town, full of amedam immigrants. The kind of town that doesn’t make the news until a  pedophile removes his GPS tracking device, crosses it’s rocky hills, rapes and kills two teenage kids, and buries them in a shallow grave. It’s “hidden” and spanish as it’s name.

Still, the apartments are as intact from earth-shaking them to pieces as only an american building contractor can; the waitresses at Ihop are as smiling as other waitresses at other Ihops around the country and the streets are as safe as Addis Ababa’s can never be, at the rate of about 2 people meeting their Creator through car accident every six months. And the ceremony, the two dozens or so police cars that block the street and surround your body when found dead in the street; the integrity of the human soul, the solemn look and the gracefullness of the “officers of the law”.. that definitely stands in stark-contrast to Addis where a body stays ill-clad, neglected and unseemly, until a kind old woman on her way to “gebeya” drops her [probably only] “netela” on it. In the day time, it’s streets are filled with an almost non-existent traffic, and a warm .. lazy.. air that seems unable to make up it’s mind whether to be as hot as Arizona’s or borrow a “cool” page from it’s coastal neighbor, Oceanside. At night, half naked adolescent black girls from cities far and wide walk it’s streets advertising, as well as looking, for men to shack up with. Middle-aged white guys with too much teen-porn under their belt to keep them sane and legal as well as undocumented-aliens with whom, Chris would emphatically assure you, no self-respecting girl would shack up with [makes you wonder where all these adorable little Hispanic kids come from, then, at the rate of 6 child per mother].

So the age old question of those untied by “something tugging, some responsibility, some memory, a pull of a child’s hand or a heartstring, which induces them to make the long journey back to their other half”; the question of where to go, what to do and who to be … has made me trace my way back to you, my ex-readers, fellow immigrants, (hopefully) well-wishers, for advice!

First, earlier recommendations:
1. Enat [newly married cousin, 31, Protestant Christian]:
Has decided that I should toughen it out. Stay in the city in California with no Walmart until the 3 year residence period is up and I can apply for my citizenship, through my citizen husband.

Less hassle for future life.

Neither husband nor wife in the mood to wait it out. Also afraid signing on false-to-be documents would make me lose my chance of becoming a citizen when the 5 year period is over. Also, California isn’t exactly a place where a single gal, used to luxury in her former life as a married woman, can afford to live in.

2. Chris [spouse of 5 years, good friend for the last 7 months, man who still believes in soon-ex-wife-to-be’s writing ability]:
Has suggested that I move to Hollywood and try to see what it can afford to give me. “It is the place for you” he kept saying, “my sister will find you a job. And you can go to school. And you write a script. And find a director. They would love you.. you have so much to say”.

By the time I vacate California for lesser glamorous destinations, I’d know I’ve given “this writing thing” a try. And now/then that it didn’t work, I can devote my time [by which I mean the few pre-menopausal years I’m left with] by doing something more sensible…. something worthwhile like study [the ominous] nursing, find a willing and able man to have kids with so I could petition my parents to come visit me on my welad alga, in my little apartment, paid for by my nursing job. Also, the likelihood of having a chance to sneak a peek at Johnny Depp’s lovable face, too tempting.

Everything about the idea of moving to Hollywood to make it work. As “If Hollywood don’t need you” by Don Williams, “That Kind” by Neil Diamond [who would have thought I had known a Niel Diamond song that wasn’t part of the movie “Saving Silverman” before I even came here?!] and all the songs on this site would bear witness.

3. Me [maniacally insecure, also a self-professed mini-hoarder, 30 something female with a head-full of scary Hollywood movies where single females living alone come to no good in America]:
Been thinking about going to Virginia beach. The only relative I have in America, a 2nd cousin on my dad’s side willing to actually put up with my godana-tedadari-as-of-June-1st-behind, living there. Also it’s close to Ethiopian communities, who I feel would be my only.. remaining.. source of inspiration to pick up the pen, as they say. Not to mention how it has the kind of weather I like. Cold and gloomy, I heard. Which always reminds one of toes warming under blankets. Passionate love-making. Dying orange-brown leaves lining the side streets in the morning. Autumn in California, how much do I love thee. Lemme count the ways. I love thee to the extent that I forget my heart-ache when I see you. I wipe the raindrop from my noses, shake off the snowflakes from my lashes, suck in that cold air and breath it out with many a thank-you-Gods. You, dear autum leaves, remind me that nature can indeed be unnecessarily beautiful. More dreamy than practical. Like a drunk artist with a brush, or a spiteful painter with a pail of paint, or Charlie Sheen on facebook, that you are something that somebody went nuts on: in a marvelous way [Sheen is the exception. But enough has been said about that —- by Jimmy Fallon — my favorite impersonator of all times].

Mentioned above. Plus, unlike any other place in America, I would have somebody who knows where I am incase something happens. I.E. Incase somebody decided to cut me up and stuff me down the drain. Fear of your parents not getting your body shipped to them for the anjet-qorach final sinibit. Isn’t that the ultimate immigrant nightmare? Or.. as Zadie smith eloquently put it: “But it makes an immigrant laugh to hear the fears of the nationalist, scared of infection, penetration, miscegenation, when this is small fry, peanuts, compared to what the immigrant fears – dissolution, disappearance. “

* Having a “zemed” put up with my still-stubborn still-wanting-to-remain-self-reliant self.
* No clue what it is like to live in a state that isn’t the melting-pot-California is. [Ode to California: to thy stiff upper lip on employers, provisions for minimum-wage earners, $8.50 per hour—s. Thy beautiful people, skinny/tanned under your merciless sun, most of them mexi-can; O, thy riches, thy beauty, thy close proximity [to Las Vegas? Where I won 19 bucks… last Christmas .. and lost about 40–dollars?!]. Is, infact, rumored to be racist.
*No idea how I can get a job there (if there is a job to be got).
*Plus what I would do with my life, my wannabe-writer-no-good-for-anything-else-self now that neither Hollywood nor Chicago are anywhere in the horizon.

Now: yuour turn!

Spare me a minute, I beg of you, and tell me where you think I should go, what kind of job I am likely to get and what my chances of going to school and making a [decent] living for me are. Based upon the data you provided, and the force of it’s conviction, abesheet [holder of the arguable and otherwise redundent title of “first Ethiopian blogger to blog from Ethiopia” she doned on herself; the same sassy female whose posts make you laugh and hot under the collar, sometimes at the same time; YeZih tsihuf aQrabi enew erase :-)] MAY come to a place near you. To walk in the streets you are walking. To shop in the same Ross [Dress for Less] store you are hoping to get a good “Sales” bargain in. And to steal the jobs you are unlikely to apply for [Janitorial, Cashiering, Security Officer].

Until then.

*whose streets are paved with gold
*where people know everything about Ethiopia: the flag (most think our green/yellow is an emblem to Jamaica); the fact that we are/were the only country that was never colonized; that we beat Italy’s invading forces with “tor ena gasha”
*and Ethiopians: how “legebo kehone leQum neger gudai, gorebet wedad, engida teQebai” we are; how we consider ourselves to be the most beautiful, most sought-after; Atse Tewodros


Entry filed under: Latest Posts.

Of pearls & swines: The “American” dream Year II: Part deux

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dinku_Abesha  |  April 9, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Hi Abesheet

    let me start by saying that i have been following your blog since your Addis days and enjoy them a lot, especially your sense of humor and styile of writing.

    i am sorry to hear that your marriage did not work out . Like yourself i am married to a “ferenji” , if one can call a south indian a ferenji !! haha. we have been married for 14 years and been together for more than16. Marriage is not an easy proposition and contrary to popular belief “love” by itself is not enough to sustain a marraiage . There is more that goes in to it.
    I have been living in the better part of cali (Nor-Cal !! ha ha) for the last 13 years and i say you should move out here.

    you will find all the abesha you can handle and the weather is better than where you are now 🙂 …

    good luck … contact me if you need more info

  • 2. holy moly  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    now, how can i apply for the vacant position?

  • 3. abesheet  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks dinku_abesha, for being the first to comment, and a faithful reader. As Abiye rightly put it once before, my writing has a long way to go before it started feeling like it did back in Addis [where I could afford to give it all my attention, and a four day’s worth of frantic editing]. However…. I’m glad you are hanging in there. Hope I will not disappoint you. Much longer :-).

    With regards to your suggestion that I give Nor-Cal a try, I am still thinking about it. And would get back to you if in need of the said info. Eskezia… atitfa.

    Lol, holy moly:
    You don’t waste your time, do ya? Is that for my empty ex-bed or for my hands in erotic relationship? [NOT, i hope, for my ex job? And my soon-to-be ex-apartment! Those are actually available]

  • 4. Scooby  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Nice to see you have you back. `I wonder if you would consider europe.

  • 5. Girum  |  April 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    It has been my thinking that your eshoe-box could no more be an issue box. Now, I am proven wrong, you are back!! And you are back with a little bit of a different tone, a tone to like more.

    I am sorry to hear what happened, and hey I sensed no hard feelings between you two. Civilized you are as always.

    I recommend a place with more habeshas. Atleast, you will have some people to vent on. Personally, I want my relatives to be a bit far from me, though I like having or getting a visit more often. Living with my only relative is not really the option that I would take, because I don’t want to lose him/her.
    Schooling may be one option that you may take as a transition.

  • 6. Daniel  |  April 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I don’t have any info other than about Phoenix, which i presume u wouldn’t prefer to live in with its soon-to-be plus 110 degrees { i might be wrong here} but when i think about it ur rightful place to live is Vienna, Austria. Definitely not for ‘immediate use’ but mark my words when u happen to visit Europe in the future.

    Melkam fasika.

  • 7. sistu  |  April 27, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Abesheet, I just read your post and I am very sorry to hear about you and Chris. But you sound at peace with it, so good for you. I think you have now decided about where to move to? Best of luck. I guess you can’t plan everything ahead but I hope you will have a good place to settle in.

    (holy moly is so funny, afe kurit yibelilish)

  • 8. Shiro Feet  |  May 2, 2011 at 12:18 am

    welcome back! we missed you!so happy see you back in stride again!. About the other thing..what can i say but offer the Ethiopian pain killer Mts and the anti inflammatory Ayzosh? Alem Kebede siad it best in her song..title of which escapes me..
    IYEWAL IYADER LEKAS FIKIR YALKAL IGZER AYTTAL INJEE SEW BE SEW YITEKAL. Abesheet, please know youre gonna find a bigger and better love! ! I am shirofeet! . .

  • 9. Mazzi  |  May 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Abesheet, Esti ke-Tej betish atiTfi, as it has been great having you back. I hope you have landed on your feet by now, and on your way to your new life adventures. You will be fine no doubt and thrive in a different context. And we, your usual Tej-bet awdeldayochina denbegNoch, are behind you in support of your new adventures, and we look forward to reading your entries when you feel like sharing or contemplating about life issues :-). Welcome back to your own Tej-bet, as you have been missed :-).

  • 10. Mazzi  |  May 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    @Shiro Feet: Amused by your ‘online name’ and also your last sentence in your above comment which is a play-on your name :-). And Alem Kebede’s song you were appropriately quoting from in your comment is entitled “Ateremamesew” and it is for sure one of the most amusing Amharic songs out there with the most amusing and fun filled lyrics to boot! Thanks for the reminder :-).

  • 11. abesheet  |  May 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Sistu… Mazzi… and all…

    Thank you for your visits, support and advices. And marriage proposals [you know who you are] :-). It’s brought a smile to my face. The latter, the beating of the heart at the rate of 17838483833/second.

    As to where I reside: I am, indeed, on terra firma. Looking for a studio apartment, and a job in a Washingtonian city inhabited by Somalis and Ethiopians. And drivers that curse at eachother every inch of the road, where waiteresses aren’t as smiling as the ones in California and the weather is more gloomy than the weathers of London. Alas, I am in one piece. And hope to come visit the Tej Bett more often than I have done in the last year.

    Eskezia.. and in the words of one Seifu Fantahun: Ewedachuwalehu.

  • 12. Mazzi  |  May 18, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Ayi Abesheet :-). Compared to Southern Californian sunny and warm weather (land of sun-tanned, and nipped and tucked bikini ready beach bodies), any other region’s weather is going to feel gloomy! But life is what you make of it, so you shall make friends with the local weather and even make the best out of it ;). And you thought you did not see enough Abeshas in your neck of the woods back in CA, ahun endih litiTegbiyachew (followed by litiselechiyachew, lol) in WA. Best of luck dear, and we look forward to seeing you more in your Tej-bet.

  • 13. Mamo Kilo  |  May 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    No matter where you go, you would always be a poet. Enwedishalen.

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

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