My second lazy day today as I felt a little under the weather as I’m still recovering from the stomach problems of the last week and the boat trip on the rough waters didn’t help at all yesterday. As I still needed to confirm my flight back to the UK, I’ve never figured out why you need to do this, I’ve come out here, of course I want to go back home! I headed out into town for a little while to find an airline office. Typically and maybe expectedly given the experience on my first day here the Ethiopian Airlines people said that I had to phone Addis Ababa head office myself to confirm which is quite frankly ridiculous. So I had to head off to the local telecom office to do this. So I could make this phone call I had to leave my day pack at the hotel as security at the telecom office wouldn’t let me take it in. Security is paramount it appears, unless you’re someone’s mate coming in for a chat with a mass of shopping bags! When I eventually got in all there was were three teller windows and eight cubicles each with a white washed phone covered in grubby black fingerprint marks. After spending ages waiting and trying to figure out what I had to do and getting nowhere with the staff, I decided to walk back to the hotel and ask whether or not they could do it for me instead. Amazingly the new staff on the desk not only understood me but they said yes and did it there and then, cool. I just wondered why I hadn’t thought of asking before I headed out.
I did discover one of the biggest reasons for the confusion with booking things here though and now understand some of the problems I’ve had wih domestic and international flights. They have a completely different calendar here. Although quite a few countries do, such as China which has a different year, but here every thing is different. They actually have 13 months in a year, 12 of these have 30 days and the 13th has 5 or 6 days depending on the leap year…. So today is 29/07/1996 and not 07/04/2004, the reception said that airline offices sometimes book the wrong month for tourists so I’m glad I’ve been lucky so far, although I do wish I was back in 1996, that was a good year!