January 19, 2015

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I woke up after 08:00, showered (the water in the hotel was turned off the first two days I was here and I finally now got around to taking a nice hot shower), dressed, and got ready to see Mount Entoto . . . the only problem was that in Ethiopia, as with most of the rest of the world, the taxi drivers are all fucking scumbags; they were all trying to overcharge me just because I’m a foreigner; none came close to a reasonable price (I was told 300 birr for one way from the hotel manager and that is also what I found on the internet); since I will not give in to taxi drivers and their extortionate rates, I ended up not going. Let me state this one more time: Fuck taxi drivers! I cannot wait to get to Europe, where meters are used and most people are treated fairly and equally (mostly thanks to meters, regulations, and laws that are actually upheld) . . . wait, no . . . fuck taxi drivers! I’ll just use metros, trains, streetcars, buses, and Uber when I get to Europe! Also, while I’m venting, I might as well make the following statement: Ethiopia is the most racist country I have been to yet; it is unbelievable how many of the locals react to white people in the streets, shouting out “farangī” (meaning “European”), “white”, and other offensive statements that have no place in the twenty-first century (of course not all Ethiopians are racist and I’ve met quite a few friendly people (surprisingly in some of the poorest parts, whereas most of the racists are in the touristy areas and along major streets), and it is possible that citizens from other countries hide it better (as in not shouting it out in the streets), but based on my experiences, Ethiopia is the most blatantly racist country I have been to thus far in my life). Oh, well. So, since my trip to Mount Entoto was scrapped (maybe it is just as well, since it was a cloudy day), I walked to the Hilton Hotel for lunch; I passed the naked guy bathing in the stream again, the National Palace, and then, near the Hilton, a guy started following me either to rob me (probably unlikely given all the soldiers with AK-47s around the palace area; then again, most soldiers do not have high ethical standards . . .) or try to scam me, but today was not his day and I walked right in to the Hilton while he stood on the sidewalk looking dumbfounded. I then entered the bar as the lunch buffet was being set up and I had a beer and then a French-press coffee. When lunch was ready, I had a whole lot of food (Ethiopian key wat, injera, pork chunks, beef medallions (cooked just right with a reddish-pink center), boiled vegetables, boiled potatoes, olives, cheese, and a wide assortment of desserts); I stuffed myself full of more food than I had had the previous three days. After lunch, I walked out of the Hilton and, defeated by unscrupulous taxi drivers, I walked back to my hotel to relax for the rest of the day, as well as to type journal entries. I also worked on some college applications while in my room. Eventually, I went to sleep, ready to wake up at 04:00 tomorrow morning.

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An open journal or an exercise in narcissism.