Metema - Last day in Ethiopia
May 30, 2005
Metema is the furthest I've been off the beaten path since the lower Omo valley. The town is built up of only mud-huts, but like almost any border town there is a fair-sized market. I check into one of the two $1/night hotels and am shocked to find that among the mud huts there is a satellite dish, a TV, and a generator powering it all. Mud huts and satellite dishes - what a crazy world we live in?
Lunch at my hotel that day was one of the least pleasant eating experiences that I ever had. Before bringing my plate of injeera, the waiter broke off a piece of a leafy branch and handed it to me. "What the hell is this?", I wondered. Through hand motions they tried to explain it to me, but when the food arrived the need for the branch became all too clear.
A huge swarm of flies attacked my food. With the branch in my left hand, I desperately try to swat away the flies, while I'm shoveling the food into my mouth with my right hand. It was disgusting.
In the morning, I step out of my room in search of the shower. The woman from the hotel motions for me to follow her. Somehow I assumed that the hotel would have a shower. But she leads me out of the hotel, and to the main street, then through the market. During this walk, I'm half-naked wearing nothing but a sarong. What do you do in a situation like that? Turning around seemed more humiliating than continuing forward, so I kept going, trying to keep my chin up I pretended that I knew what I was doing. It felt like a very long walk, but 200 yards down the main road we come to a communal pay-to-use shower place. I watch what the locals pay, and manage to get a shower for only the local price. The shower-manager wasn't happy with a foreigner paying the local price, but I managed to get away with it. Then I walked back to the hotel, clean, but still half-naked.
My visa expires the following day. It's time for me to leave, and so I start packing my bags.
After 5 months, that's it for Ethiopia.
Leave a comment! I'm much more inspired to write when I know people are reading.
I had that same type of fly situation happen in Laos; it destroyed my appetite having to shovel the food into my mouth. I wasn't THAT hungry!
joy - May 28, 2007
hi adam! my friend stephen recommended your site, and i have to say--what you're doing is inspiring me in many ways. i will continue to read about your travels eagerly, and will do my best to give feedback. rock on, man.