Addis Ababa (Ethiopia So Far)

Climbing this wall is what it feels like trying to find reliable internet in Ethiopia

Finding good internet is pretty tough but I plan on uploading a more in depth post very soon. Until then, just know Ethiopia is great and I’m having a more unstructured time traveling around. I am currently in Lalibela celebrating Ethiopian Christmas. To whet your apetites for more in depth posts, here are 15 things I enjoyed about staying in Addis Ababa for a week. 

  1. Coffee! Bunna! Coffee!… Oh man, it’s so good and strong that I get my caffeine fix with one tiny cup. I’ve even started remembering some assignments I never turned in at Wheaton. 
  2. Kaldi’s Coffee is like the Ethiopian Starbucks but cheaper and better… Actually the best coffee in town is at Tomoca (Kaffa Coffee House). Also you can find coffee anywhere for cheap.
  3. Everyone knows you’re not from here. They can spot you from a mile away so trying to be incognito doesn’t work. (I usually tell hecklers I’m studying Aviation at Addis Ababa University)
  4. Having clean shoes/sneakers seems like a must. Tons of people are always getting their shoes polished/ “dry cleaned” all around.
  5. It’s great to see a culture so proud of their blackness and African identity. 
  6. Teff bread is hands down the best bread I’ve ever had. It’s so good that it makes baguettes taste like a questionable churro on an NYC subway platform.
  7. Vegetarian/ Fasting food here is actually full of flavor and very tasty. Taitu Hotel has an amazing vegetarian lunch buffet.
  8. Food in general is always amazing. While you’re enjoying it, remember you can buy a 40 cents (8birr) meal ticket to help others. 
  9. It is normal for people to start a conversation outta nowhere which is kinda cool but be careful of “that guy” who claims to be a tour guide/real estate broker/ or anything that sounds sketchy. 
  10. Being your own tour guide is pretty easy and saves you some Birr. 
  11. Amharic is a beautiful language and might not be as tough as it looks… Well not yet.
  12. Bargaining is actually fun but you must make sure you both agree on the price.
  13. Fashion boutiques are everywhere where!! Italian styles are the most popular.
  14. Taking the bus at dawn? You’re bound to meet the two ladies that sell the best mint chai tea in town. If you’re not ready for a sugar rush, you might wanna skip the sugar all together.
  15. Adding to the list of meanings for my name, “Nana” in Amharaic, means “mint” or “come in” (an invitation)
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