Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa: Mullet Phase

Full morning doing errands with the kind help of Girma and Habtomi (taxi driver). Girma helped me buy an adapter for the plugs here. (When I met with Stephanie and Dawit, of English Alive Academy, later in the day, they said I might need a 2nd one with narrower pins for the rural areas.)

Beautiful, sunny day.

Girma, Habtomi, and I had coffee at Kaldi's this morning. The coffee was spectacular and the oatmeal  surprisingly good. I regret this was my only coffee of the day.

Photo from Tripadvisor

When we finished our errands, Girma and Habtomi and I went our separate ways. I walked down the rocky dirt road that the guest house is on, then took a left onto the main paved road, and stopped for lunch at a little cafe. Saw a man eating what looked like a good pasta and I said to the wait person, "That looks good. What is that"? She said it was pasta with meat and vegetables - and it was good.

Photo from Skybus website
When Girma and Habtomi and I were together, we'd gone to the Skybus ticket office at the Taitu Hotel in the Piazza. Based on where Skybus goes, I made the decision to go to Gorgora first (versus Bale Mts, Lalibela, or elsewhere). To do this, I needed to go first to Gonder, then take a minibus to Gorgora. So I'll spend one night in Gonder, then push on to Gorgora. Gorgora is a tiny town on legendary Lake Tana.

I pulled cash out of a bank ATM, but I could only take out a maximum of 2000 birr, which is about $125.

Whew, Habtomi the taxi driver - he's been sucking my money away with taxi rates and phone rental. But I've agreed to this hemorrhage, so I suppose I can't complain.

My bathroom at D's Guest House

My bedroom at D's Guest House

I sense I am still in the "mullet" phase of my trip - where one's brain is kind of mush, thinking slowly and somewhat stupidly, as a tourist "fresh off the boat" in a new country. It doesn't matter how sharp you are in your own territory, there's this transitional period as a tourist where you just aren't quite up to par. The term "mullet" comes from some tourist-industry folks I met from a big tourist destination in Missouri. Mullets are fish that are known in this area to be so stupid and slow you can catch them with your hands. Ethiopia is not a good place to be a mullet.

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