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ETHIOPIA
10/06/2004

Addis Ababa - beggars, prices, etc

 

In 1-2 days I am going to leave Addis Ababa.
During the last 4 days the main business I did was applying and getting visas of Tanzania, Zambia, and most probably Kenya.

To tell the truth Addis looks extreemly poor. Millions of beggars everywhere. I even classified them:

- CHILDREN
These are small girl and boys which start following you and begging for money. Sometimes the adults say to them something, and after that the kid leaves me alone.

- CHILDREN-SINGERS
These beggars are similar to the previous ones, just they sing you a song. Usually the voices of these kids are wonderful...

- CHILDREN "TISSUE 1 BR"
Again, ordinary shildren, but instead of direct begging, they asks you to buy from them a package of 10 one-time use paper tissues for 1 bir (that is 0.10 EUR).

- TIGRAY PEOPLE
The Tigray region is in the North of Ethiopia, near the border of Eritrea. When the season for farming is bad, the Tigray farmers come to Addis to begg money. They usually wear white sheat around them and have a long long stick. If the farmer does not come to Addis himself, then he sends his wife and the children to get some money from the capital.

- HANDICAPS
These people most probably have partly paralized leg, or even miss some part of it. Since they cannot be very quick, they approach only if notice you in very advance.

- CRAWLERS
Variuos handicaps with fully paralized legs or even without them. They crawl using their hands. The nales of such become became like the dog ones. Terrible to watch into what transformed the hands of these people...

- NON-HUMANS

Actualy they are humans, but the face, legs or hands usually changed their normal form and it is disgusting to see them, unfortunately.

- BLIND PEOPLE
They fish for money everywhere: in the bars, shops, places where people are getting on and off the minibuses (most popular mean of transportation in the city).


WAYS TO MAKE BEGGARS LEAVE YOU ALONE
o
Use the phrase "egziabeer jestelin". That means something like "Let the God to help you". This phrase is brilliant, because beggars do not have arguments against it and leaves you alone.
o
In some cases the strict face and more strict saying "AMBI" can be very efficient. "AMBI" means a string and strict "NO".
o
The way I sometimes do is to increase the speed of walk, whenever the beggar approches. Possible that the beggar will be lazy to follow use by running along the street.
o
For the Childrens with 1 br tissues, you might want to have a spare package of tissues in your pocket, and show it for the "tissue 1 bir" beggars.
o
Of course, do not forget to give money for beggars time to time! Maybe one day you will need the help and will start begging...
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INTERNET
The broadband internet is available only in the officies of international organizations, which have their own satelite dishes. Normaly internet cafes offer 56 kb modem connection, and it costs around 0.025-0.035 EUR per minute, i.e., 1.5-2 EUR per hour.
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PRICES IN ADDIS ABABA
Beer in the bar 0.33 l - 0.3-0.5 EUR
Yogurt (natural) 0.5 l - 0.35 EUR
10 eggs - 0.6 EUR
Cup of tea (100-150 ml) in the bar - 0.10-0.25 EUR
Cleaning the shoes on the street - 0.05 EUR
Petrol 1 l - 0.50 EUR
Postcard - 0.25 EUR
Stamps for postcard to Europe - 0.25 EUR
A big glas of natural juice of fruits - 0.30 EUR
Ticket for the city bus - 0.025 EUR
Mini-bus (depends on the distance- 0.05-0.12 EUR
Coca cola, etc. 0.33 l in the bar - 0.20 EUR
Intercity bus around 250 km - 2 EUR
Marlboro (20 cig) - 1 EUR
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THE TEA
Ethiopians drink very verrrry sweet tea. Into 150ml cup they pour 2-3 full spoons of sugar.
Once you get the tea you have ordered - on the bottom of the cup (the cup is usualy transparent) you see a solid layer of sugar...
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SAFETY
In general I feel quite safe in Addis. I have never seen any aggression or hard arguing among the people. Once some swedish guy who spent two weeks in Ethiopia, said "You are safe, but you do not feel it...", and I can onlyh agree with this statement.
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THE EMBASSIES AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Addis is full of embassies of countries from all over the world. Even Botswana, which has representatives only in several countries in the world, has the embassy here.
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FURTHER PLANS
I expect to depart from Addis on the morning of the 11th of June, Friday. Either at 7am, or 10am. The Road from Addis to Moyale (Eth-Kenyan border) and from there direction Nairobi (Kenya) I consider the most difficult, because of thestories about banditism in Nothern Kenya. Once in Kenya, my first destination will be Mombasa (on the coast). From Addis to Mombasa will require 6-7 days of travelling.


Augustas
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia