Today is my first day in Addis Ababa. My flight landed 1 AM in the morning, and after unboarding the first welcome was – queues after queues. Ebola screening #1 and #2, visa, money exchange, custom and immigration. Ethiopians and European travelers alike also seemed to forget altogether there’s a thing called wait in lines. Everybody decided the most effective way to pass is amassing a dense crowd in front of every window. Oh how I miss the developing world!
A driver helped me with luggages. At 3 in the morning the road was almost empty. Almost, that is, no one except dead dogs and metal fence suddenly appeared in the middle of the poorly lit road without warning. It enforced my judgement that I should not attempt to drive here.
In the morning the city came alive. I embarked on an one hour journey in search of bottled water. The streets were Brownian, completely random – people, cars, donkeys and goats all share the same space masterfully. The Merkato (market) was deemed too crowded to enter. Hustler tried to sell cell phone SIM card for 300 Birr, when the price should be 30 (1 USD=20 Birr). And stares and whistles came my way. Why?
Still, I begin to like this city. The disordered chaos makes me feel right at home. I have a feeling that we are going to get along well.
Here are some random pictures.