48 – Hooray for successful visa applications!
Wed 13th Jan, Itegue Taitu Hotel, Addis Ababa
I’m typing this as i go along in the Internet cafe. Slept in…. ahhhh…it is lovely to be able to sleep in and not wake up at 4am for buses. Then made my way to the long distance bus station to buy a ticket to Dire Dawa. The big Merkato market was there. So i walked around the market, holding on tightly to my pouch and valuables. The tout back at the Piazza was here! He started following me around, and i got really pissed. I get freaked out by people trailing me, so i turned around, and blasted him in the face: “Stop following me, i dont know what you want but leave me alone. If you dont Ill call the police. Get lost!” Which apparently worked. The hassling has always been there around the country, but here at the Piazza area especially, they are relentless and persistent.
I bought my kettle (a hefty 250 birr) but i figured in the long run it would be worth it. Along the market i also bought a bowl and a fork. I am fully self sufficient now. Later on at the supermarkets i stocked up on instant noodles, hibiscus tea and eggs.
I tore my shirt today when it got caught on a railing. So that’s three time i’ve sewn my pants, once my jacket and now i need to sew back my shirt. I think i’ll be back home with rags…and locally bought clothes.
In the afternoon i made my way to the embassies area again. My Djibouti visa got approved with no problems. I am elated. Two visas in two days. Then i met Chris, an English guy at the embassy. He also is doing the Djibouti Somaliland run, albeit in the other direction. I am now considering whether to travel together with him. I was walking back to the hotel, and we were talking about our travel routes (he did the same from Egypt) and i realised he was on the Egypt-Sudan boat the week before mine. We talked about how we meet people on the boat, and keep meeting them over and over again. I talked about Andy and Z who I met first at the ferry and later in Khartoum. He actually knew them, having traveled the Simien Mountains together!
We were still talking when suddenly the ultimate coincidence of coincidences happened. We saw both Andy and Z on the same uphill road headed towards the same hotel. All 4 of us were staying at the same place! Amazing right? Right? Haahaha.
Dinner together just now ( i had lovely pasta) and now im at the internet place. So all’s good. Now i just need to see if i want to go clockwise or anti-clockwise into Djibouti and Somaliland. I’ll join them to watch African Nations Cup football at the hotel lobby later. It has been a good day =)
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