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First Impression of Ethiopia

2009-02-28 00:37:00

First Impression of Ethiopia
I sat in the Ethiopia Airport for a few hours a year or two ago while in transit from Mali to Thailand and kept thinking,
“This place is modern, what a nice Airport, nothing third world about this.”

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Saturday, February 28, 2009
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The taxis at the airport were rough, shoddy and the drivers wished to suck cash from any White person, exactly what I expect or even a little better in quality. Now the road from the airport to the Bole area off Addis Ababa was truly nice, a boulevard, wide and spacious and truly nice.

(This place must be perfect for the blood sucking NGO - ONG or United Nations folks who want to live in five star comfort and pretend to change the world.)

However, the funny first impression that prompted me to write this Blog post was the Wedding Store across the street from the Wanza Hotel here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I arrived at about 4:00 am in the black of night, and this store was completely lit up and advertising white people manequins in wedding dresses. I thought to myself,
“Hmm, are there a bunch of white women in this country?”
The next thought was,
“What type of poor country has their store lights on all night, don’t they know they are supposed to be too cheap for that type of advertisement.”

I then saw a guard sleeping in front of the Wedding Dress shop and thought, now that is truly underdeveloped world style, it made me feel good, maybe I was going to have some fun. I truly do not want to live in Japan or the USA, I wanted to come to an underdeveloped nation and my first impressions of Ethiopia are nothing but this place is too nice, and too modern, and there are many glitzy high rise buildings in this area.

Addis Ababa reminds me of Bamako, Mali, this country is at the bottom of the rung on the Human Development Index, however also an extremely modern city.

Well, I was a little relieved, there are a few beggars on the path up to the internet café that so far has a truly horrible connection. I saw a blind one, a mother with a baby sucking on her breast and a few children, normally called street urchins.

Now, you may think this is strange, but I get awfully angry at the Television News people who are in partners with the NGO Non Governmental Organizations to proprogandize the planet to convince us whole countries live in poverty. I have a preconceived idea of all countries because of the television and about 99 percent of the time the preconceptions are wrong, unless I force myself to believe them as do the majority of traveler or tourist.

What can I say, the it is standard also standard operating procedure for Travel Journalgers to make places appear horrible so people buy into this “I-am-on-an-adventure-story-crap.”

Sometimes I think there would not even be wars if there were not cameras to make someone famous.

I know, I know, it is a lot more interesting to see photos of beggars and poor people, or at least people who look different then you… I will go for a walk, I spotted some donkeys carrying flour yesterday.

The problem with the mind of men on planet earth is their incredible failure to see the world on a continuum from poor to rich. There is no totally rich culture and there is no totally poor cultures, there is just some balance between the two. It is cold in Addis Ababa, this city is about 2500 meters above sea level. A person needs to travel down to the desert at sea level to find truly lazy people who lay around all day and have zero need or desire to work.

I have to admit, I like the warm tropical areas better, the people are more relaxed and peaceful, less of the I must be busy to be ok and more of the I am ok, it is not a problem to do nothing attitude.

Lying around doing nothing all day is a good thing in many ways, some people would be a better humans if they could learn to relax at this level.

So far I am not fond of Addis Ababa and for sure will take off soon, this place is too modern for me, I want to go to the small villages and roam around, meet a few people who do not have cell phones.

First Impression of Ethiopia