Ethiopia journal: Quick observations

Misc curiosities that are unrelated to other notes:

Things at the Seattle Airport: Starbucks, Bathrooms, Starbucks, 3D Security Scaners, Starbucks, Information Counters, Starbucks, terminals.

Things at the Amsterdam airport: Gucci bags, 50-year-old Scotch, French perfume, toilets, automated kiosks, terminals.

Things at the Addis Ababa airport: A terminal.

Guesthouse amenities:

Shampoo – no.

Towels – no.

Condoms – Yes!

(Not kidding. Perhaps they were from a previous guest. I was able to get plenty of towels and other things just by asking the staff.)

Want to remember your wedding day? Hire a guy with a video camera on the back of a pickup truck to film you and your new bride driving around town.

100 Birr is about 6 dollars. A nice meal in a restaurant is about 60 Birr, around 4 dollars. A cup of coffee is 8 Birr – 50 cents.

The cresent that is cut out of the moon comes from underneath here instead of from the side. I didn’t realize that it looked like that near the equator! Shows you how much I know.

The weather here is dry, slightly windy, and bug-free, just like the pacific northwest. Africa made me think of jungles and dry hot deserts, but not high deserts. It feels much like home.

Hundreds and hundreds of shops line the street. Busiest is the internet cafe.

Visited Kidist Selassie, also called Holy Trinity Cathedral this morning. You have to get up real early in the morning to get in the church. Most of the people are crowded around the court and garden listening to the priests chant over the loudspeaker. Wish I could go to “Church of our Lady Mary of Zion” in Axum, in the far north. It was built in the 4th century. Hecka old. And the real Ark of the Covenant is supposed to be there.

Ge’ez is the ancient language of the country. Same character set as Amharic, but mostly different meanings. The priests still read it some during the Ethiopian Orthodox liturgy.

The guys standing around everywhere are guards and parking attendants, not loiterers. If only American cities were so safe and friendly.

Old wheelchair African man is kicking his feet up in the vacant row on the plane before we get to Sudan. Can’t blame him!

How do you move ~15 large garbage bags full of empty plastic water bottles? Lash them with twine to a big old rusty satelite dish, then rope this to the top of a taxi. Duh.