Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mercato...Ethiopian style

Note: Read or scroll to the photo is down there!!
Today ended up being fun after having gotten to work at Addis Admas, only to wait for 45 minutes and then, decide that I may as well go back to the hotel and do some work. Tefera, the Finance guy, could not find, or connect with anyone by phone to see if they were coming in. Poor guy was soooo upset and I wanted to just hug him and tell him I knew it wasn't his fault. So, Tabotu and Shemelis took me shopping and I was very lucky to find some wonderful Christmas gifts.

The photo above is horrid but you can get a flavor for how jammed the market is...we were driving ahead, guys walking in front of us, trucks going both with and against us, kids and goats running in front and around us...a mess. I couldn't get out of our vehicle nor could I hang my camera outside...not a safe area for that so apologies on these photos. I was telling Tabotu that there is NO way to explain the chaos, the smells, the colors, the noises without your being there.

On the way to the market, the Orthodox church had just let out and this was the group on the street...thousands of people walking. These are not Muslims...this is traditional and the country is mostly Christian. It was the Feast of St. Michael today and on feast days, most every day, there are huge services which the women mostly attend.

And we are again in Mercato, where one can buy everything from shoes made out of tires, to the most wonderful smelling peppers and spices to rusted metal. This was a typical load seen in the market.
Here, we are on the outskirts of Mercato, which is where the average Addis Ethiopian shops. There are malls and upscale shops here...just wasn't interested in seeing those. So, like in many other countries, one sees the requisite donkeys, pack mules and more. By the way, in Rwanda, I saw many women carrying huge loads. Have not seen one woman carrying packages on her head, her back or shoulders. I was told that is a man's job...very civil.

Typical shop in Mercato...these are belts hung with plastic bags over the "metal" hooks so they don't rust.
Most everything was wrapped in plastic. It rains here a lot. I heard this morning that Addis Ababa, is the fifth highest elevation capital after Bogota, Katmandu and not sure of the others. So, it gets very chilly here...wishing I had shoes other than sandals. Today at lunch, I asked for a pool towel to wrap around me. It was sunny and nice out when I went down to the pool area to eat, but very chilly fifteen minutes later and in another fifteen, torrential downpours.
Keep scrolling good friend, Ed McGraw frequently feels a creative spurt and sends these delightful pieces of art. Love them.

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