Feast on Scraps

People who complain about 30-hour legs of travel clearly aren’t followers of the Church of Lohan. A couple glasses of red wine and a Gravol or two and you can’t practically check me down below with the tranquilized dogs and snowboards. Thanks Lindsay, you really are a leader of the next generation.

First impressions.

Emma: “I get cankles when I fly.”

Ben: “Don’t worry. I’m only going downhill from here.”

Now I want a Romantic Blaxploitation Comedy.

Movies redubbed to be less offensive are hilarious. I didn’t notice at first but after a half hour or so, I found it really strange that Drew Barrymore would use the words ‘punk’ and ‘fool’ considering she is neither Mr. T nor a big-busted vigilante named Sugarpie in a Blaxploitation movie. Hats off to you, conservative plane ride to Ethiopia.

Second impressions.

Emma: “I get drunk off like one drink.”

Ben: “Ohhhhh we’re going to have some fun.”

Hotel party foul.

If you can hear me rustle papers or yawn in the next room over, people in 206, it’s safe to say that no matter how quiet you try to be, I’m going to hear intimate details of your sexual experience at four in the morning, especially if your girl learned how to be sexy from porn. Sexy in this case just meaning a screamer. And if you really insist on going for it anyway? Maybe stop after the first time, or at the very least lay off whatever was making the wrapper and pumping noises. There are some things you just can’t unheard.

Manners, people. Manners.

Guy on Street: “Sister! Sister! Phone card! One birr!”

Emma: “No thank you.”

Guy on Street: “Yes thank you!”

Emma: “No see – that’s not exactly how that works.”

But what will you eat?!

Want to know how many times I was told that I was basically going to shit my pants and eat ground goat meat before I got here? Enough to start believing it. Totally false. Ethiopian cuisine and I are good friends. They basically just serve twenty different kinds of ‘stew’s made with lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, and other delicious stuff that you maul with pancakes and shovel into your face. Carby meals that leave you looking like you just performed open-heart surgery while competing in a BBQ wing-eating contest? Ben says yes please.

She scares them and they love it.

Linda: “How much to get to the restaurant?”

Cab Driver: “I take you for 80 birr.”

Linda: “Oh you’re cute. It’s five minutes from here.”

Cab Driver: “But petrol is getting higher every day.”

Linda: “Which is why I’ll be nice and give you 60.”

Cab Driver: “But we spend so much time sitting here and waiting and we can’t wait and it costs money and Petrol and Petrol is high and we have to wait and that costs money and waiting and time and that’s why it’s 80.”

Linda: “I have no idea what that just meant. So 60 then?”

Cab Driver: “Ha. Okay let’s go.”

Suddenly very nervous.

All the churches in Lalibela have different religious symbolism. One had a two-foot-wide ramp in between two twenty-foot caverns that represents the ascension into heaven. If you make it all the way up, you’re in. If you fall? Well, aside from being dead, you’re also going to hell. Emma, the fragile, wounded gazelle of our group, asked: “Well what if you’re just clumsy but a good person?” and our guide, while laughing, said: “Nope. Definitely going to hell.”

As the bags are hurled onto the roof of our mountain shuttle…

Emma: “Oh no! My crystals!”

Driver: *horrified look*

Emma: “Just kidding.”

And they told ME that ‘just gay enough’ is not quite so in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian shows of affection are so lovely. Men and women, women and women, and men and men all walk down the street holding hands, playing with each other’s fingers, holding their arms around each other, and generally just being really, really touchy. You basically spend most of your time watching people who are more attractive than you touching other people who are more attractive than you and dreading having to go home and see North Americans make out in between bites of Big Macs.

Wait. Are you even a cab?

Guy with Car: “Yes, I work as taxi but use my own car.”

Linda: “But how do we know that you won’t drive us off somewhere and kill us?”

Guy with Car: “I won’t. I promise. I like you.”

Linda: “Hmmm” *gets in the car* “Oh look! A picture of Jesus! This guy’s totally fine.”

Emma: “Ooh! And finally a car with seatbelts!”

Ben: “But seriously, please don’t kill us.”

I would have dated any one of them. Even the women. ESPECIALLY the women.

No seriously, Ethiopian dancers at dinner. You already have the genetics and we already get that you’re sexy. Unless your dance is Fat Girl At Prom Side-Clap or the White Guy Pretending He Can Do The Robot, you’re really just being cruel. Cool it with the shimmies, but shakes, and pelvic thrusts. It’s obnoxious, unnecessary and confusing.

Hotel Party Foul x2.

Front Desk Receptionist: “Welcome back, sir.”

Ben: “Thank you! It feels like home now.”

Front Desk Receptionist: “Here’s your key. Room 206.”