Monday, March 17, 2008

Yabelo to Konso, Into the Omo Valley, Ethiopia...Day 1


The road to Konso.

"You, you, you..." you actually mean me, me, me.

Konso market...

ethiopia's the burf place of coffee...

muy, muy, muy caliente... luis is purdy poplar wid da women...

you'd think this was a just random pic of some goats, eh. think again. after I took it, the supposed owner of the flock demanded money for the privilege... i said no and he grabbed a hold of my camera. A crowd formed around us. we started playing tug of war with my camera. this was not happening to me, i thought. last time i had to fight for my camera in this manner was in borneo when it was in the clutches of a pack of orangutans. well, i eventually ripped it out of his hands. he takes another lunge at the camera and his buddies hold him back. i started walking away. when i looked back, i saw him laughing. what an idiot.

Adi promptly showed up at 0900. First we went to the town market. Sparsely occupied, I presumed it wasn't market day in Yabelo. However, we were soon chased down by a horde of youngsters screaming, "you, you, you, you..." at us. That was the extent of their knowledge of English. Interesting at first but got such adulation got old really fast. From there we went to a cafe to wait for an Isuzu truck to Konso. Friendly folks at the cafe. The girls were all over the Spanish. The boys were hot, I guess. Everyone thinks they're Israelis. Unfortunately, none of them were interested in the Japanese guy. Pity.

The problem with the Omo is that there is very little public transportation. Adi had to negotiate for us. His first attempt went awry when the driver didn't have a permit. But he did find a proper driver albeit a little late in the day.

The truck ride was hellish for the first hour. The Kenyan-style road did a good job rattling my brain cage for the first couple of hours even though I was lucky enough to ride in the cab. The poor bastards, about 30 Ethiopians, Luis and Adi, were riding in the open box at the back. In the third hour, it was my turn to ride the steel. After 40 minutes my forearms were killing me because of the death grip I had on the railing behind me. The same railing that kept me from being thrown from the box and onto the dirt road.

As we approached the town of Konso (named for the local tribe), the hills showed signs of extensive terracing. The Konso people appear to have developed an agrarian society. Each time we passed a group of pedestrians along the road, people would chase us, waving their farming implements in the air...

Once in Konso, I was just covered in dust. I thought I'd splurge and check into a hotel room with a shower. Believe it or not that's a luxury. Having said that, the shower in my room failed to work. So, it was back to the dependable bucket shower.

Just outside the hotel gate I noticed an Ethiopian woman holding what appeared to be a white baby in her arms. She was the mother. I asked her wassup? The father, a German researcher, abandoned them and went back to Germany. What a bastard, eh?

Out of Canuckistan - A travel blog, Mar 17/07
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2 comments:

Steve H. said...

The world of romance is a tough one for old, Japanese dudes whose last shower was with a bucket...

bubba said...

steve h.,

oh, how sooooo correct you are o' wise one.