Thursday, January 04, 2007

mmmm... Shampagne

After almost one week in Lalibela with no internet, ridiculously expensive land line (which I did not use), water shortages and the occasional power outage, I am back in Addis Ababa. Tomorrow I am on my way to Egypt. Yes, this is fast, I know.

I rang in the New Year with fellow travelers, including one German-Italian, one Italian (-German), two Japanese gals, and others. We went to the fanciest hotel/restaurant in town. It was quite festive! We dined, partook of an Ethiopian coffee ceremony with a traditional song and dance performance, enjoyed pannetone (Italian holiday sweet bread) as proffered by our dining neighbors, a tour group from Italy (it was so good, obviously they brought it from Italy!) Later, we drank "Shampagne," sang songs and debated life as an expat in Africa (theoretical for some of us, a new life for others). We even tried to knock back some tej (Ethiopian "honey wine" -- one of our celebration mates aptly described it (this particular batch) as "(the noun) sick" -- as in sour, rancid, former-food mixed with stomach acid and regurgitated.)

Our punishment was, taxis were not to be had after midnight! By the time we left the hotel, those of us staying on the other side of town had a long walk uphill! We walked back with a little kickin'-dance to make the time pass.

I wanted to stay in Lalibela for Gena, Ethiopian Christmas, but having seen the essential historical sites and admitedly being fed up with the hassle I receive as a female independent traveler, I decided it is time to depart.

Besides, I am not fresh for the adventure, I am homesick and I miss my family something terrible.

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