Saturday, March 29, 2008

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Khartoum, here i come!!

siddist kilo...

not many african countries can say they weren't colonies at some point of in their histories. ethiopia can claim colony-free status. that doesn't mean some european country haven't had imperialistic eyes on it's territory though. back in the day (1880s to about 1916) there was the mad dash for establishing african colonies by the likes of England, France, Belgium, and Germany. Italy, the poor sister was stuck with 2 iddy biddy tracks of land, Eritrea and Somalia. they thought it would be a good idea to link the two by forcibly acquiring ethiopia. surprisingly, the plucky ethiopians beat back the kings of pasta at the battle of adwa in 1896. To this day, this victory is a source of great national pride for ethiopians. bloodied and still clearly rankled by it early defeat, the princes of pizza hit back and occupied the country from 1936 to 1941. the italians fought a brave and effective ethiopian insurgency. however, an attempt on the life of a italian viceroy failed miserably in 1937 resulting in a massacre of ethiopians at the hands of their occupiers. the obelisk in the centre of siddist kilo (opposite the university of addis ababa) serves as a memorial to those victims of the massacre. how about that for a history lesson, steve h.?

I got it!!! I got the Sudanese visa (sort of)!!! Overnight service!!! I don't know why they gave it so fast!!! I DON'T CARE!!! It took most of this morning. I got to the embassy early and lined up with 3 other farangi and a large group of Ethiopians nationals. It took me nearly 3 hours of waiting to see this guy, who shall be referred to as the "black" guy. He looked at the passport and the forms I filled in. His verdict? You are the luckiest bastard in the world and you're gonna see Khartoum, baby...! Ok, he didn't use those exact words. I asked for 2 weeks? Why? Well, I'm an overlander... No problem... This whole scene was getting better and better. Then he dropped a bomb.

"I'll give you two weeks to get to the border...", he said. Or, at least that's what I thought he said. I asked him to repeat. Same answer. Two weeks.

"But I've got all of Ethiopia to see yet", I responded.

He told me to pay the 61 USD fee now and come back when I'm finished looking around.

I kept the receipt and had the black man write down the particulars of my situation on the application. And, that was that... Now, I had to juggle the expiry/validation dates of 3 visas. Didn't matter. Just as long as I was assured of the Sudanese one.

I was so excited for the rest of the day. Nothing could wipe the grin off my face the entire bus ride home to the Piazza.

Tonight I went over to the Baro Hotel to visit with my buddy Tom, the border dodger. He was a little discouraged because he had his court date postponed. But, lo and behold, sitting on the deck was the Brittany, the American girl who has been following me (vice versa) since Uganda.

"Why are you here? Where are Claus and John (the Dane and Swede she's been travelling with)?

Apparently, the Sudanese have been screwing around with her visa application. They're prepared to give her only one week to clear Sudan. Now she was considering flying over the whole damn country. The Danish/Swedish expedition was now in Gondar. Way up north. Their Sudanese visas came through. So, they'll be driving...

check out this posting as well. click here.

Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, Mar 29/07
Buy Bubba a Beer Now!

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