Year V: Ere endettttt…?
January 1st at 02:45 hrs. That is when flight LH491 would depart Seattle, WA and head [with a 9 hour lay-over at Frankfurt] to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia carrying yours truly and a couple of other passengers who hope to make it to their destination in one piece and paid good money for it.
Yes, 5 years, 9 months and 17 days later – I will be leaving my adopted home and set foot on the land my “etibt” was buried at and all bitter memories made. I did not come to America with 8 bucks in my pocket so it’s only proper that I won’t return home a rich woman. When I left home in March 2009, I left with two thousand of the crispiest… most “tire” American dollars Bank of Ethiopia was willing to sell me after giving my cousin Enu, my mother and my little sister 15,000 birr each for a rainy day [those NGOs aren’t every college graduate’s wet-dream for nothing!].
When I go back three week henceforth, I will go back a woman in debt: owing this bank 48 hundred dollars in credit card debt; that bank 4 thousand in Line of credit, a hefty personal loan of 5,000 from Wells Fargo and a couple of almost-maxed out store cards with February’s phone bill and rent still to come out of my 17 day paid-vacation cheque.
But would I let my Zemedoch know that? Hell no! I will go with my hands full and my luggage shaken and pressed down. Wearing brand name clothes that are understated and overpriced [“kenesu ansesh atitayi”, was the repeated warning of my Virginia Beach cousin], I will walk towards my flesh and blood frenemies with two “shanta”s [and a carry on] full of all the stuff 3,000 US Dollar could buy. Stuff I will distribute among them, all the 39 of them, with a smile I can barely afford on my face. Polos and DG sandals for the men; dresses, perfumes and scarfs for the women; clothes and toys for the children and t-shirts and gadgets for the teenagers.
And while doing this – or preparing for that – is it all the money I got to pay off upon return [the late feels, calls from creditors, the tarnished credit score] that worries/wouldworry me? Nope. It’s the fear that the shoes might not fit. That the dresses might fail to impress. That the perfumes maybe far too many to pass duty free regulations. And the gadgets would be pried out of hand and taken by men at “gumRuk”. That they would say things about me the minute they walked out the door. That that would make my parents bow down their heads on the inside. That all these crap I throw at their faces won’t blind them from seeing that I am, and always will be, a woman who made it to America but failed to make it in America. [Not even as the blogger she was back home, right?. Too bad they don’t have a Sale on the gray-cells at Best Buy].
They say it gets easier with time. [I say isn’t this what we were trying to get away from to begin with?!]
Entry filed under: Latest Posts.