Monday, March 21, 2005

blog numro uno : tsegasaurus and riders of the ringroad

We are 9 days shy for a solid four month, since the mighty tsegasaurus became extinct in Canada. Sure a lot has happened in the past four month but I would have to do some serious remembering to write it all down in one sitting. So I figure, I start by writing about my weekend and in my subsequent blogs I will sneak in what have been the highlights of my stay.

What a green weekend it has been, ironically it was also St. Paddy’s. Green because, after constant scorching sun, we got a weekend full of rain with an occasional sun shine sneaking behind dark cloud. If there was some way to listen to the plants, you would here them letting out an orgasmic moan.

Green because, on Saturday we chewed khat - a leafy narcotic enjoyed in many parts of Ethiopia, those of you who lived in the crack house recall the semi-preserved portion I managed to smuggle on my return from my summer vacation. (link)

khat makes you feel like the great hulk minus the anger and destruction, the effect of shrooms with out the freaky visuals. however, the amount of chewing evolved to reach that state would compare you to a giraffe (giraffe: a lanky herbivore that dwells in the African savanna). it’s also very sour but very distinct taste, after all how many of us go around munching on strange plants. To sweeten the deal, most people chew chat with peanuts and sugar, the later being responsible for the dental problems in frequent chewers.

Back to Saturday’s session; it took four hours of constant chewing to feel the effects followed by almost an entire night of talking. It was fun but it wasn’t real, after a few hours of sleep, I got up late Sunday morning sober but with a sore jaw to remind me of my Saturday night. eating breakfast wasn’t an option considering the amount of pain involved to chew. so I skipped breakfast and took pain killers. Reality sucks. Lesson is; I won’t be chewing khat often considering I like to get my kicks fast –wham bam thank you mam style and I don’t want any villain part in a James bond movie (the return of jaws).

after an ibuprofen laden breakfast, I decided to ditch my ride (Make: Skoda Model: Felica : Description: an automobile made by a check company that use to manufacture generator and tank parts to the Nazis. the car is still made like a tank and feels like a tank) at home and took a long walk to check out a place that was for rent. The rain had stopped by then but had washed all the mud on to the sidewalks so, by the time I got to my destination I had gained an inch in height.

Won’t get in to describing the place I looked at because there will be an entire post on the chronicles of finding a place in addis. My early afternoon trip however had a section (the muddy section) where i had to walk on the side of the new ringroad (an Ethiopian equivalent to the QEW), which deserves a brief rant.

I drive on the ring road almost on a daily basis but this was my first time to walk by it. Although the speed limit is theoretically 80km/h, realistically it’s comparable to a race track for hares and tortoises. To make things even hellish, like something out of an Atari game, you have constant zipping of humans from one side to another, which actually requires them to jump over two metal fences and a concrete barricade. if you are not extra careful when driving, it’s game over for them. The city’s policy is ‘if you get hit illegally crossing the ring road, consider your self a road kill’.

On the way back from looking at the place, I wasn’t willing to gain another inch on my already inch tall mudcake and my friend who I managed to drag out of his warm abode didn’t want to get his polished timboots dirty. Our only option to avoid me breaking my neck by falling of my mud platforms and him dirtying his boots, was to walk on the otherside of the ring road, which involves….you guessed it…illegally crossing the ring road. DAN DAN DAN! gladly it was Sunday and there weren’t many automobiles, we waited for the best opportunity and bolted across the ring road by perfectly clearing the obstacles. Ironically, the Ethiopian running squad won the world cross country championship that same day while I and my mate won our lives and clean shoe.

My jaw felt better after the trip, most probably by the adrenalin rush. I had bite to eat and enjoyed the rest of my Sunday.

why do we blog?

In my five years stay in Canada, friendships were made and acquaintances were met; lasting connections were made out of those. Time being a silly thing, after the good and bad, we are now separated by an ocean and almost an entire continent.

Due to the constraints put by the current state of technology (i.e. the absence of a teleportation device) I can’t be there with you as often as I would like to be. so… For the time being, that is till that divine day of my first post migration visit, I give you all a portal in to my expiriences through my blogs, which are going to be made up of writings, photos, cartoons and last but not least music, Plus occasional silence.

It can’t get any more personal than this, if you wanted more personal communication then you should have married me to keep me in your country, even the boys don’t have an excuse for this, after we all know what Canada offers in the marriage department.

So, let the new breed of communications commence. keep up to date, pass the word and most of all get involved.

bloggingly yours

because we can!