Out of Africa, back to Germany

Addis Ababa airport. As for a farewell, Africa has given me a treat of what the negative stereotypes about her hold in store: cancelled flights, bad service delivery, lack of water, and now quite some chaos at the airport. I feel obliged to add: obstacles like this amassed, that’s new to me here. My Africa year up to here, the last few days, has been mostly smooth, so much so that I can wholeheartedly dismiss the negative stereotypes as prejudices. That, however, doesn’t mean negatives don’t occur. They are just not as “typical” as the prejudices would have them. So here I go, through a row of obstacles on my way out.

the music corner in my flat

back with Ibs and my drumming group

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Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa and I may have started off on the wrong foot, but let me exercise some control over my thinking, and not be too negative. My experience is tainted through the one and only really negative encounter I’ve had on this journey with a local person. Unfortunately, Addis does not seem to have the charm that comes with age-old historical sites (it’s a rather young creation in this very old country) or such architectural attractions that could have made up for my frustration. Having said that, Addis Ababa’s orthodox churches and their communities of worshippers are something else, and truly stunning, and the spirit of one of the oldest Christian communities on earth makes itself felt. The churches, although rather new, are impressive enough, yet much of the town’s architecture reminded me of rather bleak socialist housing projects. Indeed, I recalled how back in my school days we collected money for socialist Ethiopia, under Mengistu it must have been. Except for some encounters with kids and some drunkards, people didn’t really compensate the absence of charm and joy which I had experienced elsewhere, notably in Dar es-Salaam. It actually started with a rather unfriendly immigration procedure (well, that’s not unheard of elsewhere), and then there was this guy …

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