Posts tagged ‘All in a day’s work’

Just curious!

Ever wondered what happened to the cat? The one that got slain by it’s own curiosity? I wonder what sort of cat it became after shaking off the dust of death from it’s back and returned to the land of the living for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or … 9th time. I wonder what it started doing when curious (old habits die hard). If it turns on the tv, grab it’s bag and go out window/shoe shopping, get stonned or spend all night partying. Or if it refuse to cave in, got curious and died another death.

Don’t you think, perhaps, that a cat who isn’t curious would resemble this generation? A generation so unmotivated, so bored that it would go to great length for a bit of excitement? To perverse or self destructive lengths, most of the time?!

That’s what i feel whenever I see my little brother (14) going in and out of the house, “as if there is a pin on his behind”, whenever a film he’s seen before or a talk-show he doesn’t like comes on tv. A curiously uncurious generation scared to be left alone with it’s thought!

I’m not saying, although decades older, I am any better. I have none of the wide eyed interest and the feverish excitement of my teens when hearing about something I’m not familiar with. No more reading everything that fall in my lap. Or trying to hook up with a follower of every strange religion I heard about. No Bob Marley, no UB40, No Don Williams! But I get curious from time to time. Like yesterday evening, for example. I got curious about boxing. If it’s a sport, or a bad day? Why the word “the ancient Greeks started it” seems to encourage things that should be condemned. And if curiosity killed the cat, lack of curiosity won’t kill us all dead?

March 20, 2008 at 6:33 am 3 comments

It’s all in the “kuul” babe

My uncle, not my deserving uncle, the other one; used to be a chess-game addict in high school (it’s a wonder where he got the time to play, what with everything he was into: vollyeball, women, etc). And he used to tell us how, when walking on the street, he’s always trying to figure out which person he should “move” to “win” which person; assingning a piece to each according to their manner of appearance (I imagine ;-)).

 

To my mathematics teacher of 7th grade, a car constitutes of only one part: a plate number [that is] he can add & subtract from on the way to & from school. To my ex-painter “nutcase” colleague in the communication department, life is all about paintings! All the projects she ever came up with, all the children competitions she prepares, all the brochures she makes & pictures she takes are painting-related. It’s as if she feels all it takes to solve Ethiopia’s children’s problem is, you know, painting it out. Sort of like that princess, what was her name? The one that asked why the French farmer won’t eat “cake” if he is so hungry? The bible has a word for this tendency of mortals: “wherever your treasure is, there your heart would be”.

 

My treasure, as my many lame attempts on a number of blogs prove, has always been with writing. Even when I couldn’t come up with a decent line, i lie on my back and feverishly dream of the day in which I would give interviews about the kind of childhood I had that resulted in… such.. a work of art [Starting with those I’m “grateful to”, ofcourse :-)].

Now, after taking my inspiration from Arefe (of http://arefe.wordpress.com/) who goes ahead and posts what he read on the internet if not inspired to write his own, and led by a request from a friend to post articles about Addis if I wanted his following; I’ve started looking out into the world through the “writer’s” eye. Always trying to figure out what sort of posts I can come up with from a given situation (like that incident on 1st floor earlier, for example, one that had to do with a boy & a pail of water .. No kidding!! .. that inspired a five line story entitled: “Yederejaw lay Tebel” – The Holywater from the stairs) and the sorts of words that could best describe it.

 

Oh well, I guess there was something to that Ethiopian proverb about eyes after all: how your vision (peception/whathaveu) is only as good as the eye-liner you put in it!!

March 18, 2008 at 11:14 am 1 comment

The power of “paper and ink”

Sunday morning: at my home listening to Tracey Chapman’s “Money’s only paper, only ink” (a valentine day’s gift from my husband which arrived 4 days previously).

 Now, I’ve always been a Tracey Chapman fan. Mostly because I’ve a feeling she looks a little like me, or I her, to everybody’s indignant cry! (God knows why. Hey.. that rhymes :-)) and because she strikes me as an individual, the kind of person I fancy myself to be. I have always loved her songs, and on our first night in Awassa I’ve even tried singing one of my favorites (‘Last night I heard’) to my husband-to-be from the toilet. (Been always a shy girl, especially when it comes to making the vocals work. Something somebody advised me at an early age should be limited to the privacy of the shower room).

But none of her others songs (even “Fast Car”) has hit me to the core more than this song did. You see, lack of this particular brand of ‘paper and ink’ was what kept me from going to my parent’s home, to eating what the heart desires while watching “The Morning After the Night Before: A Barbara Walters Oscars Special”, and more importantly to keeping my littler brother company who looked so heart-broken that he told her not to come back when his older (13 years my junior) sister left to have a study-night with her friends at the university. (He didn’t mean it!)

It’s not that I don’t have any money in the world. However, being one of those handful Ethiopians who use money to give them the ‘power of buying’ instead of the power to keeping it at home and looking at it as if it’s a long lost cousin, the green I thought would pull me through the weekend and bring me back to the office on Monday has run out. So here I am, broke and bored, yawning every other minute at an ETV special ‘Live from Tigray’.

Now, I don’t know how that would strike God, ‘who created the sun, and owns the sea’ as Tracey said; the fact that having no money to well functioning adults means being as good as paralyzed. But it makes me reminisce bitterly over the evils of the “paper and ink” genie. Bothered by the one and important question: how could humanity let this happen?!.

That contrary to it’s created purpose, how money has become a slave who enslaved its master, the only power the free man in the free world bows for, a genie able to order the lamp owner about instead of running around eager to do his bidding!

If the creation of money wasn’t a sin all humanity is responsible for, the man responsible for coming up with it would have been turning in his grave for all eternity. Knowing full well that the demon he unleashed on the children of Adam and eve is responsible for most of the world’s ill, innocent animals and nature included. What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be an end to its tyranny and, perhaps, “we ain’t seen nothing yet”.

February 25, 2008 at 11:38 am 1 comment

I finally said “No!”

If there is a rough side to me, it’s my husband & family who know about it. For I’ve always been an agreeable type of person to strangers. Because they scare me: I have a very low self esteem! And because I have no way of knowing what they’d say behind my back. So I walk by them cautiously, trying not to do anything to upset them; smile at their jokes (even if 99% of the time I think they were corny); and I make sure their dresses aren’t out hanging if they felt like going in before me!

But yesterday evening, I said “no”, literally!. The funny thing about the incident was, my adversaries were 4 people altogether (3 men and a girl) the sight of whom would normally make me bound “like an Adajio Dancer”, as Bertie Wooster would say! And I didn’t even need the seat that bad. But I not only protested firmly, but screamed “I don’t give a shit!” (literally! just like that!) when they asked me if I could take the next taxi because they were “together” (and the taxi only holds four people + driver).

I still don’t understand how that happened. It wasn’t that dark, there weren’t too many people around, and I wasn’t even mad. I thought that funny: my swearing at a bunch of guys (and a girl) infront of a driver I’ve probably came across a hundred times and taxi assistants who have thus far seen me as a quite person in whose mouth ‘butter won’t melt’ (as the saying goes)! After patting my shoulder with “I didn’t know you had it in you” and giggling nervously, I tried to figure out why I snapped the way I did. The answer can only be one of two things: The cuteness of the couple who later sat next to me (out of whom the male part of the duo apologized after so much whimpering, while his little girlfriend gave me a nasty look) reminding me how pretty people have always made me feel like I didn’t belong here the same way they do (Ethiopians refer to themselves as the “prettiest” people in the world and I’ve been told otherwise, or atleast made to feel) OR I was just tired of having folks walk all over me by intimidating me in their big numbers. Something like what Roza Parks must have felt that fateful morning, when she said “no” to giving up her seat resulting in the biggest Bus Boycott in American history. “No” to intimidation, ”no” to being considered something less just because you aren’t *like* everybody else (stunted, in this case), yassir NO to segregation!! Or so I’d like to think ;-).

Only time would tell if i can keep it up!

February 18, 2008 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

A note of thanks!

I’m not what you call “ambitious”. “I’m happy with the little I have”, I have been heard saying hundredth of times, “So long as I’m left [alone] to enjoy it”.

Among my many fellow college graduates, I’m the only one who stayed in an organization I hated, and in relationship that took it out of me, for more than 4 years! When I finally left both, against my own free will, that is, I was on the verge of a breakdown.

I used to think that was because I was humble. I even took pride in it. Paul has taught us to say “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”, has he not? And, anyway, not expecting anything saved one from disappointments! For somebody used to having the ground underneath her move, sitting tight was more important than all earthly goods put together.

I ofcourse learned later that I was neither humble, nor as modest and immaterialist as I fancied myself to be. That what I was is scared: of failure, of people, of the kind of discipline every ambition requires! That I was and am lazy. And that may have been why I’ve always wanted to be a writer. A job Zadie Smith called “a non profession”: of sitting at home & reading and complaining. A place where one doesn’t need to move a muscle to “discover the world” and failure to write is a creative glitch that goes by the fancy name “writer’s block”.

I admire people like Birhane Negussie (of Seifu Fantahun & Co.) who can raise from “the dust” (with wings of an “eagle”), and with not much to go upon, can get to a place where they can have their opinions heard. Never mind the value of that opinion or if one can call it that! “Ordinary people”, Dostoyvskei called them, common & unimaginative. Law makers, law keepers and prophet-killers. Who are only there to make sure humanity continues. Etcetra. [But what does Dostoyvski know? He was a writer!!]

Nay! They are the inventors, the liberators! The shakers and the movers! The bold and the beautiful children of nature who neither compromised, nor made excuses, but held life by the throat until it gave them what they demanded! They are, in short, the Oliver Twists of the world: the boy who asked for more. And got more. Humanity should be grateful to them. Because, if it wasn’t for them.. I can’t imagine which stage of evolution we would still have been in :-).

So.. Salut!

January 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm 1 comment


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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"

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