Just hangin out and livin
Sep 03, 2011
If you read my last blog entry you know I had a very eventful start here in Ethiopia. I took it as a great experience and learned a lot and have been able to share my experience with other travelers as a warning. I have had the pleasure of hanging out with some really interesting travelers the past week from all over the world. Most of them also have some sort of pickpocketing or scam story to talk about. As you all know this is an extremely poor country so we share our stories with laughter and gratitude for the fact it is only money we have lost. We still have our strong passion for traveling and dreams of seeing the world and no thief can take that away from us. Travelers and tourist are completely different from one another and I am sure most of you have never thought about this. Tourist are short timers. They are mostly abroad for 2 or 3 weeks maximum. They stay at nice hotels and are able to afford the luxury tours to the most attractive sites. They never really have time to get to know a place or it's culture before they return home to their jobs and normal life. Travelers on the other hand do our best to immerse ourselves in the culture for as little money as possible and still see all the same sites. I am staying at a budget hotel for about $8 USd a night. It's not a bad place at all. The first night I stayed here made me think I was really getting what I payed for when I flopped down on my bed and realized it was nothing but nicely covered springs which were suppose to keep me from hitting the slats of the bed. The next day I lucked out and caught the management putting new mattresses in some of the rooms and told them mine was way past due for a new one. I asked them while they were putting my new mattress in if there was any chance of getting a toilet seat put on the toilet in my bathroom and he said "oh because it's cold right?" haha being cold never crossed my mind seeing how the only warm one I have ever sat on had just been used by someone else. I still don't have a toilet seat but man this bed is awesome! This is the first time my neck has felt this good in about a year and a half so I think I will hang out here a little longer to see if I can get it back in perfect shape before hitting the rough African roads on a bus up north. Plus traveling through Europe was pretty expensive and kind of threw my budget off so now I am just taking it easy and only spending about $12 USd a day for room and board which is helping tremendously to get me back on track. Addis Ababa is a cool city to hang out in and the food is really good. Some Spanish girls introduced me to an Ethiopian juice shop which has the weirdest most delicious juice I have ever had. You wouldn't believe it but they consider avocados and bananas to be juices. We ordered the mixed juice which was layered from bottom to top with guayaba, papaya, banana and avocado. It is obviously very thick and not drinkable so you have to eat it with a spoon but it is delicious and you would be surprised at how good blended banana and blended avocado taste together with a little lime juice squeezed over the top of it all. Over all this is a very laid back city full of life and color. Almost everyone speaks English but I am also learning as much Amharic as I can. It is a tough language but I have a pretty talented tongue.