Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's like a jungle sometimes....until you leave: Back to Addis

Up at 6am to catch a ride to the busyard!
Well, my time in Kololo came to an end two days before St. Patty's day. Cien and I decided to head back to Addis Ababa for some R&R, as well as to attend a big ole St. Patty's Day Gala at the Sheraton Addis. It was sure to be a treat, with premium steaks, and an open bar stocked with Johnny Walker and Guinness. As we are two birds who like to shake a tailfeather, we were quite happy to trade in our work gloves and muddy boots for some dancing and libations!

We packed up and hopped on the "chicken buses" home. After a "nice" 12 hour ride, including a run-in with Samuel Jackson....or his hilariously ridiculous look-alike who haunts the bus yards of Hosanna in a cut off t-shirt and a Pulp Fiction-esque Jheri Curl....we arrived back in Addis just in time to grab some burgers and enjoy some good conversation.

The next morning we headed to Sichu, the local foringe hangout with superb food and a fabled double bacon cheeseburger. Well the stories were all on-point: the burger was in attendance...and it was DELICIOUS! We also had a fantastic tomato toast appetizer and a nice tart for dessert. I was very happy with my 24 hour period since our return to Addis. That is, until I got food poisoning later that night. Bah! Of course I went 3 weeks in the jungle, but can't survive 2 days in the city! Well, as Senor Cien put it, "Suck it up fool! We gots dancing to do! The Captain (Morgan) is waiting!" I sucked it up, ironed my shirt and slacks and went a-strutting out to the Ball du Jour, where I met many new friends who would eventually become some of my closest friends in Addis.

We spent the night sitting and laughing mostly. The band was a traditional Irish band, and when I heard their unfortunate rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" I felt I'd had enough and wanted to call it a night. Their horrible singing even sent Senor Cien out of the ballroom to refresh his cup a few more times than we planned. Well, I told him I was ready to go and to meet me out in the lobby. I sat there for about ten minutes, until Cien said something I will never forget. He walked up smiling, put his hand on my shoulder pulling me back toward the ballroom and said with a slightly slurred speech, "Dude, they're playing Fergie! Lets go dance!" Ha! Well, I can't refuse such an invitation. Sure enough the music changed and we were a-dancin' till 4am. Apparently they haven't seen two guys cut a rug like us, and honestly, I haven't had that much fun out dancing and just gallivanting about in a long time.

This pose was in honor of our favorite youngster out in Kololo, Gazan.
We dragged our heels home around 4am, laughed at several cabbies who tried to charge us 200 birr to get to our house (which was only about 1km away, and shouldn't have cost more than 60 birr), and called it a night. Various events happened over the course of the next hour, including Cien's restored faith in the Ethiopian people, us both running down a dark alleyway in our undershirts, two lost cell phones, Cien's epic loss to a rock that was sitting on the ground, and our realization that Ethiopian pay phones never work. Thats a story for a cold night and a good glass of wine, so feel free to ask about that later :) I was happy to be back in Addis. Now the city-boy's adventures begin!

The Partaaaaaay before the Party! At the house :)

And Score!

We shoot.....