Day 16: Slit your Throat like a Chicken or a Goat

After all the 5am starts on the trip my body still hasn’t got used to it so I just laid in bed this morning but was eventually rudely awaken by the maid trying to get into the room. I saw this as the morning alarm call and decided to take a walk up to the museum and university district. To my amazement the boy from last night was waiting for me outside but I sternly told him to leave me alone and he did! Maybe I hadn’t been stern enough with people before? At first the walk was quite pleasant however, I soon remembered why I’d hated Addis Ababa the first time I was here. Every other second I seemed to be called for by a shoe-shine boy, a taxi driver, somebody wanting money, somebody wanting Birr, somebody wanting food, people shouting farenji and laughing…..

I know I leave tomorrow, but today I found a shop in this district that actually sold chocolate bars, I had to buy one. Oh it tasted good. But within seconds somebody, dressed quite smartly I may add, came up to me and asked me if they could have a piece! Arrrg. I think he might have been a university professor, he was dressed smartly but had sandals on! And then when I wanted to take photos of things people would come over and ask me for money as they said that they were in the photo I’d taken, probably students, so I had to just stop taking photos. This was really annoying and majorly irritating. So I took refuge in the National Museum, possibly the smallest museum I’ve ever been in. However I did see Lucy! One of the alleged missing links in human Evolution. I feel I should write more about that, but it is just a few bones bones and most of them are replicas in the case anyway it turns out.

As I was heading back and walking quite close to the Sheraton hotel I was approached by a man who was behaving very strangely. I could smell alcohol on his breath. I was being very untalkative as I knew he would go on about wanting money at some point. He started to talk about how hard life was etc. He then said that I could take him for a meal and a drink, and then he went on to talk about how I should give him money and that if I didn’t give him any money, food or drink “maybe I should slit your throat like a chicken or a goat”. If this didn’t get my attention, while saying this he produced a knife at the same time, which most definitely did. I continued with my, sorry I don’t speak English, routine but at the same time made sure not to make any eye contact with him or to look directly at the knife. This was so he would have some doubt in his mind as to whether I’d actually seen knife and understood his threat. Luckily I wasn’t too far from the Sheraton entrance gate and I sped up the pace of my walk and was quickly at the gate with the hotel security guards. At this point instead of walking off he decided to have a go at me for not acknowledging him and being unfriendly and that I now should not let my eyes lay on him. The cheek. I waited five minutes until he’d gone and some locals came over for a little quiet chat which was a relief. This place was surrounded by military police anyway so I’m not sure I was ever in that much danger but still it was pretty scary all the same. To recover I had another pizza on the way back and then back in the hotel we had the usual Power cut. This time the hotel staff kindly bought loads of candles when they realised it wasn’t going to come on any time soon. I like candles, the mosquitoes fly into the flames and incinerate themselves, I know I shouldn’t but every time it happened I seemed in involuntarily shout, “die ya ba**ard.” To be fair, they’ve got me a few times this holiday.

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