To be honest, the first thing that came into my mind was: cry!
I had circled the airport about 2-3 times, in search of what? I don’t know, perhaps waiting for a being to tell me, ‘wake up, this is all a dream’. But it simply wasn’t happening, and in this dream, I couldn’t even find a stable connection to publicize my feelings upon arriving in Addis Abeba.
At least everyone thought I was Ethiopian, and trust me, looking Ethiopian inside Ethiopia is a different story. It finally hit me that all this time, all such people mistaking me for one of their own has always been a compliment.
It’s not just because they are beautiful, but also the manner in which they carry the abundance of the African continent in their accents, or pride you feel each time she would wave her unashamed and spacious hair, or the friendliness that almost makes you believe in the legitimacy of uBuntu.. I don’t know, it must have been the scent in the air.
No, really. It does genuinely smell like coffee, and listening to some folk-sounding music gets you high on some sort of unending nostalgia. You enter a perpetual state of ‘missing something’, but your feet tell you you have just found it. Let’s call is the Addis Ambuguity.
I was also kind of hungry, so I went into this store that sold traditional Ethiopian wear. I’m not sure what I was looking for entirely — I think I was still searching for Wi-Fi.
I never found it, but at least about 10 people spoke Amharic to me.
And when I had finally made myself at home, the man called up “Nairobi! Last call!”, and out of Ethiopia I went…