52 – Fact: Tourist offices are closed on weekends

Sun 17th Jan, National Hotel, Logiya
Now the Afar region we were in is decidedly Muslim, and the locals were dressed in sarongs. They would be able to pass off as dark skinned arabs easily, especially the older folk, if not for a couple of things. First, the young guys had their funky hair. The locals here grow their hair long, in neat afros, and the epitome of fashion here is to have a twig or a leaf sticking out of their hair. The women, on the other hand, had theirs delicately plaited. The other standout feature was their teeth. I tried hard not to stare, but i could not take my eyes off their sharpened teeth (incisors included). Not all of them had them, but those that did, looked fearsome indeed. Photographs of people were a rarity here, for the locals did not want some faranji coming along and making them some sort of exhibit.

It is Sunday so the tourist office was still closed. I spent the rest of the day reading. Chris lent me one of his many books, Shadow of the Sun, and anecdotal account of the author’s (Ryszard Kapuscinski) travels in Africa over 40 years. It was a good read, and i’d recommend it.

Meals in Logiya were a heartening affair. Possibly here in the far corners of Ethiopia, injeera was not the de facto dish. Over the past couple days, i have had spaghetti with local sauce (10 birr), their version of fuul (my favourite, possibly 8 birr), and a peculiar yoghurt-like cold dish which you eat with bread and chilli powder mixed into the yoghurt (?? – sometimes sugar in place of the chilli powder also works). For drinks, i had, besides the usual bottled coke, a malt like cold drink in a mug and fresh milk in a recycled bottle (goat, sheep or maybe camel). After each meal, i would be happy (since its not injeera based) and Chris would be happy (cos he ate a lot).

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