Oh, Addis! Your hot boxes of smoky, tiny, twinkle-lit, dark bars! Blaring old-school Ethiopian jazz, reggae, & soul, everyone dancing with a St. George's in hand, bumping, swaying, grinding, forgetting all about the wet, rainy, dark night beyond the heavy beat.
Went to visit the Red Terror Martyr's Museum on a rainy, overcast day. And then I sought refuge in 1,000 machiato's. Such is life in Addis. This museum was haunting -- bones of student revolutionaries exhumed and on display in glass boxes. The madness of Mengistu. The darkest years in Ethiopian history. The terror of ideology set on fire in the mind. It's terrifying to believe you have enemies. The things you'll do to protect yourself. http://rtmmm.org/
These are the songs you hear in Addis: Teddy Afro's tribute Bob Marley in Shashaemene. http://www.diretube.com/teddy-afro/bob-marley-video_6d178461c.html.
Rosh Hashana happened while I was here. Ralized that there IS one synagogue in Addis, near Shoa Bakery in Piazza. A day too late for the ancient cry of the shofar. So imagined myself there among all the Jews who found themselves there in prayer today. Let me inscribe myself into the book of forgiveness, next year in Jerusalem. I can't explain it exactly, but there's a Jewish energy here in Ethiopia. Tigriniya is almost exactly the same as Hebrew. The Jews met in Gondar for Rosh Hashana dinner, but I was also a day late to buy a ticket by bus or plane. I lingered near the edges of my Judaism, but couldn't find an entrance this time.
Last 24 hours in Addis! Cheers on the streets from throngs of viewers watching the match between CAR and ETH. A visit to Andenet Amare - Betegna's studio & lunch with her brilliant friends. Shopping in and between the earth dug up all crazy everywhere to make way for Addis train system. Horns honking. On the search for greens. Thinking about a leather bag. Thinking of home. Making that mind-walk across oceans, now. Loving it all.
These last moments in Addis: endless layered fruit juice, machiato, bundles of wondo-chat, shoe-shines, skinny jeans, poof-top hair-do's, Nyala smokes, broke-down cinemas, jazz blaring on the streets, fresh injera dipped in berebere sauce, tiny twinkling bars, cheering football fans, haunting religious beats, the madmen chasing, jeering, pushing, the worshipers wrapped in white scarves early morning, girls in huddles singing new years songs and beating drums, the village ladies with babies on their backs lost in some dream-nightmare of what Addis could be, those old blue Peugeot taxis, checkered this and hot pink that, will soon be stored in this poet's overstuffed storage room of image & feeling. Chaw, Addis. Hello, Chicago! Can't forget those Addis fonts -- socialist, art-deco, official, Parisian. And those tiny Addis bookstalls selling old newspapers and pamphlets with King HS portraits on the covers, mixed with self-help & chemistry text books, and Marx and Lenin works. Also, Swahili-Amharic dictionaries.
Last night was insane -- was here for this amazing moment in Ethiopian football history -- http://addisrumble.com/?p=2618
Was here on the streets of Addis for this madness celebration of ecstatic joy! Streets overflowing with love, shirtless, face-painted boys jumping in huddles of grunting cheer, the Habesha flag waving and quivering with pride. Ethiopia wins! An amazing moment.