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SEARCH AFRICA:

ON THIS PAGE:
o Ethiopia: drinks, food and people
o Accommodation in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
o Words in Amharic language (Ethiopia)
o Calendar in Ethiopia
o Time confusion in Ethiopia and Tanzania
Ethiopia: drinks, food and people


Water and other drinks

Bottled water is readily available just about everywhere even at the remote stops -- the African travelers drink it as well. However, after around 2 months I was drinking water -- with no intestinal ramifications. India is far worse. Carry some iodine with you and an empty water bottle, or even better a light weight filter , and eat lots of yogurt before you go. In Ethiopia, they have Ambo -- which is a huge bottle of sparkling mineral water just about everywhere. Also be sure to drink lots of spris -- fruit juice served in layers -- more like pulp that you eat with a spoon. The avocado is excellent!


Food

Food in Ethiopia is injera -- the flat pancake made from teff with shiro (chickpeas), salad and other concoctions. There are local restaurants in most towns and most restaurants serve it as well. The dish is meant for two -- and your table neighbor might stuff food in your mouth -- this is considered a great show of hospitality. I had no problems eating anything in Ethiopia or anywhere in Africa. The food is always very fresh -- they only kill/cook what they need. The nastiest food is generally in the big hotels or restaurants catering to westerners. That being said, there is some very good eating around the Piazza in Addis. Pizzas, etc.. Depending on where your are -- the muslim areas will serve lots of goat (delicious) and beef in the Amharic areas -- raw is the preferred method, but you can always ask for it to be cooked. Don't be shy about asking to go back into the kitchen to look at the dishes and pick. If you hate injera -- you will be eating spaghetti with tomato sauce. Addis has some good western groceries stores -- so stock up if you want any treats. I, of course, bought peanut butter, and a few cans of sardines both turned out to be a very worthwhile investment. If you are in an area with lakes (Arba Minch), make sure you eat the fish. Very very good.

People

Watch out for the "Farangi prices" left over from the Dirge. On the historical route -- it's common for Faranjis to be charged double for even a bottle of water. Be polite but find out the local prices and always carry lots of small change. Give them the local price and walk away. If there is an arguement, offer to get the police and a priest. It also helps to learn a few words of Amharic so you can pass yourself off as a resident AID worker or teacher. The word for Thank-you, amasiganalo (phonetically), is very rarely used, but the Ethiopians are delighted if you do say thank you in their own language, and you wind up making friends as well.

Never, never, ever, use your finger to point at anything. Very bad manners, and of course use only your right hand to eat.

The children and the "you , you , you:" This gets very annoying, but realize that it's direct translation from the Amarhic, and is a polite form of address. I would usually say "you, you, you " back, or engage the children in a conversation -- they learn in English and love to practice their few phrases, "where you go", "how are you", "how old are you", and "are you married." I would also sometimes stop and explain that it's much better to say "hello, and goodbye." You will get lots of requests for biros, or pens. There is a big debate about whether or not it's a good idea to give children pens, but school supplies are extremely short, so I brought a few extras to hand out. Never would give out sweets though, and of course, don't give any children money.

by Jen, www.freejen.org, created: 14/05/2004 [ethiopia]
Accommodation in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
In Addis I stayed at the Taitu after trying out the Baro, Wutma, and National hotel (the brothel not the nice one). The Taitu is by far the best. Very inexpensive rooms in the back set in a beautiful garden. It's the oldest hotel in Ethiopia and popular with some very interesting traveler types. The other places are ok, but in my mind over-priced, with the exception of the National, which is a full-out brothel and very cheap. In fact most hotels are brothels. The prostitues are very entertaining, have more freedoms then most Ethiopian women, but very hard tragic lives.
by Jen, www.freejen.org, created: 14/05/2004 [ethiopia]
Words in Amharic language (Ethiopia)
My name is John Sime John neaw
What is your name? Simih maan neaw
Where are you going? yet neaw yemitihedew
Are you going to Addis? Wede Addis neaw yemitihedew? or Wede Addis Tihedaleh?
Are you going to eat? Litibela neaw?
Are you going to sleep? Lititegan neaw?
Are you going towards Addis? wede Addis eyehedk neaw?
I am going to eat Libela neaw
I am going to sleep Litegena neaw
I am going to die Limote neaw
No money Genzeb yelem
Gas station benzin madeya
Traveler (hitchhiker, backpacker) teguazge
Where to go Yete lemehed
Where to get off Yete liwrede
Where is the city center Mehal ketema wedet neaw?
OK, fine etc. Eeeshi ("Ok" also works in cities)
I am tired Dekmognal
Go away! Tifa kezih (the most apropriate)
Stop the car! Mekinawin akum!
I do not know Alawkim
Toilet sheent bet
So you would say Sheent Bet Alle? Just remember shit alley and you'll be fine ;)
"bet" = house, "alle" = where OR you go there
Entrance megbia
Exit mewtchia
City ketema
Country agere
Yes awo
No aye
And eena
Thank you ameseginalehu
The word for Thank-you, amasiganalo (phonetically), is very rarely used, but the Ethiopians are delighted if you do say thank you in their own language, and you wind up making friends as well.
by oumer, updated: 14/05/2004, created: 02/05/2004 [ethiopia]
Calendar in Ethiopia

Ethiopian year is composed of 13 months. 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days that becomes 6 days during leap years. Currently it is 1996 in Ethiopia (2004) and if you didn't have a blast at the turn of the millenium, you can still have one after 3.5 years in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopians celebrate New Year, when in Europe we have September 11. It means, in 11/09/2004, in Ethiopia they will celebrate the first day of year 1997.

More about Ethiopian Calendar:
http://www.ethio.com/calendar.html
http://www.ethiopic.com/calendar/ethiopic.htm

by oumer, augustas, updated: 12/05/2004, created: 06/05/2004 [ethiopia]
Time confusion in Ethiopia and Tanzania
It is worth to know, that some countries are measuring the time in a slightly different way.

When it is 6:00 am according to "normal" Time Zones, it is 0:00 in Ethiopia and Tanzania. In other words, the logic is, only when you wake up (at 6am), you start counting hours of the day. And you do that from 0:00.

For example, if they say, that the bus leaves at 11:00 in a day time, they actually mean 17:00.
by augustas, created: 06/05/2004 [ethiopia, tanzania]
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