{03/11/2012}   Off on Ethiopian adventures

At the risk of sounding a bit smug, believe it or not, I am heading to Ethiopia this evening.  I foresee adventures, and on waking up this morning I had a sudden burst of excitement at such a prospect.  It’s been far too long since I went somewhere a bit out of the ordinary and I realise how much I miss having adventures (I’m in danger of rose-tinting my passport-filled 20s!).  I’m trying to ignore the fact this is actually a work trip and in reality, assuming the flight is on time and we don’t have immigration issues (not as unlikely as I’m happy about due to the equipment I’m carrying), we only have tomorrow (after an overnight flight on which I know I won’t sleep) to explore.

It is great to feel this excited about a trip, though I reiterate there is a chance we could pretty much just see the inside of the Radisson Blu hotel (staying and working there).  Now I have read up a bit about Addis Ababa and have been in touch with a friend’s Ethiopian sister-in-law, I feel a bit more prepared than I did before I’d read anything.  I guess I am kind of picturing Accra as Ghana is the only non-Northern African country I’ve visited.  That was really exciting and just so different to anywhere I’d been before.  We are hoping to go to merkato, possibly Africa’s largest market.  This fills me with enormous excitement because markets to me are the soul of certain countries and cultures and tells you so, so much about a country and its people.  Unfortunately, my idyll of walking through wildly busy food stalls, inhaling aromas of spices and fruit and all things lovely has been somewhat scuppered by reading one person’s account of his trip to merkato, which he said was more excrement and rotting food than delightful aromas.  Oh dear.  Something I’d like to see that I was oddly fascinated by in Accra was palm nuts, which are a glorious deep orangey red and I remember there being massive buckets of them with silvery shovels in the buckets and they looked so beautiful.  Oh, this is all very exciting.  I have, however, read about safety issues, which fortunately are mainly pickpockets rather than violent crime.  I am also led to believe that, being women, we may have “fuck you” said to us and that awful hissing, which tends to send me into a seething rage!

More than anything, I am just looking forward to a change of scene and new sights and smells (not the poo though).  I am also very excited about the prospect of pretty much 12 hours of daylight with the promise (pretty much) of blue sky and sun.  If all goes to plan, my friend and I will dump our stuff at the hotel (arriving too early for check-in, assuming we land and get through immigration ok, something I am clearly fretting about) and head out to a place recommended by my friend’s sister-in-law which is good for breakfast brunch and the coffee ceremony I will be really disappointed if I don’t get to experience.  We will so be in need of caffeine to keep us going for our one day of exploring.  Seriously, how many people day trip to Addis Ababa from the UK?!  Right, need to finish packing …

I am having a mini break from blogging so I will no doubt next blog about how things were in Addis Ababa!


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