Year V: Ere endettttt…?

December 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm 14 comments

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?!]

BeSelam yagenagnen.

Entry filed under: Latest Posts.

Abesheet-American Weraj Ale: The Good, The Bad, The Addis

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Laila  |  December 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I hear it is not so great there but it is. Have fun Abesheet.

  • 2. andthree  |  December 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Your exodus to the US roughly coincided with the time Obama took office. You both came into an economy that was suffering and would take a long time to show signs of recovery. Let that be the excuse if you believe that you have not made it in America.

    Nice of you to do nice things for the family. ተባረኪ! በወጣበት ይተካ! Buy the lottery! Get another job! Degmo yeCHama qutir minamin satiTeyqi new yegezashiw ende? Gin degmo 39 sew hulu teTeyiqo endet yichalal? Damn! Are you by any chance related to Abraham?

    May the travelers and their stuff make it safe and sound! I don’t know if I have to tell you this but, while in Frankfurt, watch out for changing gates.

    Don’t let your fear of hamet and what not get in the way of your having a good time while you are in Ethiopia. Unsolicited advice on places to visit, things to do:
    • Just sit with your family members and chat over yejebena buna
    • Visit a siga bet.. Hida 26, the second story.
    • Hit Jazzamba on a Friday night.

    Gin minew degmo “bitter memories” bicha? And how come no one from the family checks out your blog?

    Gray cells Somali tera ataCHim 🙂

  • 3. Chuchu  |  December 12, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Esey esey.. abesheetye. Enkwan lezih abekash. I am very excited for you. I remember how I felt the first time I went home. I thought “ere yetabatu bikeris”. But after you went once, you can’t wait to get back. It gets especially easier after you get a family member over. Only an Ethiopian can understand the pressures of going back home.

    Speaking of Frankfurt airport, before you do anything, make sure your luggage would be waiting for you in Addis. If not, I will cancel my ticket and rebook my fight. That is one problem you don’t want to go through!! And ofcourse make sure you get to the luggage claim area soon as youc an. I have been hearing of many thefts, especially at Bole airport. Bey beselam adreso yimelesish.

  • 4. DaNegus  |  December 13, 2014 at 4:14 am

    A buddy of mine is heading to addis in Mid-January, too. You guys should get together and hang out. Drinks on him.

  • 5. Semhal  |  December 13, 2014 at 4:40 am

    As someone who was in addis at the beginning of summer, here are my two cents:

    Chuchu is right. Luggage theft has become a real problem not just at Bole but other places too. But you can do things to avoid that.

    1. Travel light.
    I know this is easier said than done when you are travelling for the first time. But from what I heard, people have started throwing parties after they arrived in Ethiopia instead of packing bags and bags of stuff their family can easily find at merkato for much cheaper. Consider that or the money option. 10 dollar goes a long way in birr than it would at Ross :-0), remember that.
    2. Buy a cheap-looking shanta.
    3. Put your name on it or a mark that would make it easy to recognize.
    4. Put your valuables in your carry on.

    When it comes to addis:
    Pack both cold and hot weather clothes.
    Have as much birr minzari in your hand as you can.
    Prepare for the abwara.

    Enjoy. :-0)

  • 6. Mitmita  |  December 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I love you abesheetye. But sometimes you maae me wanna hold you by the neck and shake you like a rat. Stop apologizing for who you have become in america. None of us are who we were back home, and if u are, you are either too stupid to change or very very lucky.

    Bon Voyage,

  • 7. Scooby  |  December 16, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Aye. My relatives used to tell me to bring them stuff I don’t buy for myself when I was fresh-totaw. Now I just laugh when they ask how come I haven’t brought them anything? Trust me, the more you give the more would be required of you. You very relatives become mercinaries trying to leech of you. So I suggest you stop carrying what people say. Bilt keleloch sitet yimaral endilu.

  • 8. Laila  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    oh the language mitmita.:) does it just comes through or learning it?
    Abesheet, is it possible to bring me a piece of what I think when I think of Ethiopia? Do not tell me it does not exist.

  • 9. Wello_dessie  |  December 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Melkam menged abesheet. I can’t wait to read your comment when you come back. Please take a lot of photos.

  • 10. abesheet  |  December 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    I will – on one condition, Laila. You got to promise to choose one nick-name and stick to it :-).

  • 11. Loots J  |  December 29, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Came late for th reading, but not too late I hope. If this were the good old days, I would have asked for a postcard to be mailed to my post office box. 🙂 Seeing it isn’t .. take some photos and keep in touch.

    Have a safe trip.

  • 12. Laila  |  January 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    yes I will go with Laila.
    I am very very very mad at me too— all this time.
    Anyways, thank you Abesheet.

  • 13. Bututu  |  February 16, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Indigenous People? Surely.. Addis Hasn’t Changed So Much That You Felt Like An Outsider In Your Own Country??

  • 14. laila  |  February 20, 2015 at 7:22 pm


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

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