Ethiopian girl, Arkwasiye, Ethiopia - April 19, 2007
After leaving Debark, I was exhausted but the time I got to Gondor. It was already 1630. Buses aren't allowed to travel in the dark of night or would I want to. I was forced to find alternate accommodation when the nice, clean Salam Hotel was fully booked. Instead I made another stupid decision by booking into a dump for 80 birr (combination of being really tired and not giving a hoot). Tried to talk the reception down on the rate but she insisted on the farangi price. I had 3 minutes to take a "hot" shower before the hot water ran out. 3 minutes to scrape off what felt like half of Ethiopia caked on my body. 80 birr also got me a TV. Every TV in the hotel was hooked up to the same satellite dish. So, I was stuck with watching soccer. That was OK, until someone in reception changed the channel to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ". Kind of a sad movie... I guess Christians, even those in Ethiopia, really get a kick out of that movie. There never seemed to be a dull moment that night. First, a street brawl erupted in front of the hotel and then the loud moans of men and women resonating through the hallways and amplified by my room door. Dang. I booked into another ho house.
Well, I'm back in Bahar Dir. Shite. I bolted outta here over a week ago. For I good reason, I thought. I just don't think it's a pleasant place. Tourism has really screwed it up. Case in point, I was lucky enough to check into the cheap but pleasant Tana Hotel. I struck up a conversation with a guy who I thought was the "receptionist". He had me spilling my guts pretty fast. I needed a minibus for Addis I said. Sure, the hotel was running a service... How convenient I thought. All he needed was a deposit. Long story short, I gave him some money to reserve a seat and that's the last I saw him. I got the deposit back. Not from the scumbag fake receptionist but from the nice owner of the hotel. He had a good idea of who the culprit was (a disgruntled ex-employee). I guess there was justice in Ethiopia afterall. The owner also got me a 120 birr minibus ticket for tomorrow @ 3 AM as well. Wahoo! Why does it take this much effort just to take a minibus to Addis? I better hit the hay or I'll miss the bus...
[Ed. notes: re: the fake receptionist. My bad.]
Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, Apr 24/07
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