Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Ethiopia has it's own ancient calender and time. It's desperately confusing to figure out the time and date is. For example, someone might say, "We'll start at 1 o'clock and end at 8 o'clock." But the 1 o'clock is Ethiopian time so really it means 7 am and the 8 o'clock is just regular 8 am.
Also computers are sometimes set to Ethiopian time and date. Sometimes the date is wrong so that they can use pirated anti-virus software. Other times the date is wrong because the CMOS battery died and it resets on bootup. Anyway, the result is that you can't check gmail because the SSL certificates are from the future.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is that it's as confusing as pants.
Ethiopia also has it's own ancient branch of Christianity. It was the day before Easter 2000 when I reached Dejen. For the fifty days leading up to Easter, Ethiopian Christians don't eat meat. I also didn't eat meat because it wasn't available. One butcher used the down time to repaint his shop.
Then on Easter everyone has a feast. Cattlemen from three hundred kilometres away drive their herds to Addis Ababa. I have never seen such happy butchers as in Dejen that day.
For myself, I hung out with a guy called Henok just shooting the breeze. At one point I was just joking and I said he should join me. But instead of laughing, he said it was a great idea. "So uh... What about your job you were telling me about?" Turns out that I had misunderstood, he didn't have a job currently. "But you were going to school though. You can't leave that." No no. School was out for two months.
In the end, I decided it would be pretty cool to have company so I agreed to buy Henok a bike and let him come with me. It was sort of risky thing, because he could have robbed me blind but he seemed like a nice enough bloke and I felt I could trust him.
Posted by Dan Carpenter at 1:28 AM