Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ethiopia: By the Lake: Awassa, Day 7, Sunday

I am feeling so comfortable in Awassa, I am reluctant to leave.

I have no desire to spend any time in Addis (more expensive, congested, polluted, and less to see and do of interest to me), and the only two things left in my travel agenda are Harar and a revisit to Nazret (Adama).

Went to what is now my usual breakfast-reading-writing spot, the old Lewi Hotel Restaurant for my fresh juice, toast and butter and jam, and coffee.

Returned to my hotel room to read a little bit, then went to the piazza to log in the last bit about my Bale Mountain trek. Uh, oh. Electricity problem and no connection.

Boats by Lake Awassa. Photo Credit: "Abnet" at skyscrapercity

Walked down to the lake to check out the hippo boats. A whole new little section of Awassa - charming! Colorful boats. A shaded footpath alongside the lake that is covered by a framework of leafy branches and dotted with tables and chairs and friendly little kiosks. Some storks on the ground seeking out fish detritus left by fish-eating tourists. Loved it and can't wait to go back tomorrow.
Lakeside path. Photo credit: "Abet" on skyscrapercity

But for now, I returned to my hotel, read some more - very relaxing day. Checked the internet situation again; still not a go.

Stepped into a hotel restaurant for a cold Ambo (sparking water) and was joined by a young guy with a cowboy hat who, after the usual preliminaries, proceeded to market himself to me as a good investment for his schooling. I get weary of these guys, especially after I've passed younger boys pushing heavy loads of stone or wood or something else in handmade wooden wheelcarts, working their asses off for peanuts. I wasn't buying anything that the cowboy had to sell and eventually encouraged him to finish high school and told him I wanted to be myself, thanks. This required several repetitions.

Fortunately, by the time I finished my drink and walked over to the internet cafe, it was back in business.

Returned home after dark via bajaj, then walked down to my new little favorite place to get dinner - two samosas (lentil-filled fried pocket sort of in the shape of a crab rangoon) and a very cold bottle of water - to take to my room.

Oh, earlier in the day I did finish my book on Groucho Marx's last three years. Kind of a bore. I took the book by a cart stall I'd scoured the other day. A man was there perusing the selection with his young son. To the two young vendors, I offered to sell my book for one birr (that I'd bought for 25 birr) so they could then re-sell it. The two boys demurred, but the man said to them, yes, she'll (me) sell it to you for one birr and I'll buy it from you for 5 birr. Still the boys hesitated; I think they were nonplussed.

The man said, OK, the time is running out for this offer! Finally, the boys gave me one birr, I gave them the book, and they sold it to the man for 5 birr. Win-win-win! It was fun.

Rained this evening, cooling things down. It had been very hot today.

And then the electricity went out.

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