Friday, December 29, 2006

Today is 20-4-1999

Ethiopia is on a different calendar; they did not switch to the Gregorian calendar with most of the Christian world in 1582. Today is April 20, 1999. Ethiopia will usher in the "new" millenium later this year, during the "European" month of September.

Time is also measured differently -- with the clock starting not at 00:00 but at 6:00. It's similar to Swahili time in that sense, and that's the easy part (add 6 hours to "European"-based time). It becomes complicated when trying to name the part-hours, and I won't even try to explain as I don't myself comprehend!

Add this to the different language and different culture and one feels mass confusion! Of course I mean that in the best sense!

Now, I'm in Addis Ababa. The Italian influence (a comparatively brief 5 years of colonialism) seems to be in the food. There's good Italian food to be found here, even in Ethiopian restaurants, and Italian food is enormously popular among Addis Ababians. You might wonder why I would eat Italian food here in Ethiopia, but most Ethiopian (non-fasting) food is very meaty and sometimes a change is in order.

Tomorrow I will try to go to Lalibela (try is the operative word, because without a guidebook (ahem!) I'm having much difficulty, and I haven't seen many other travelers and it will only get worse when I head out of Addis.) Wish me luck!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am impressed by what you wrote. It's one of wishes to visit these countries.
Keep it up.

9:32 AM  

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