Contrary to the discoveries, there were the things just as I had expected.
It's "features" for instance. Collecting people's faces is my
life work. As a cross section or transition of people's figures, Ethiopia
is very interesting to me as much as the one in Kashgar in Xinjang Region,
China where I had ever visited.
The biggest group is the The Oromo people who's from south, Kenya. Then
it's followed by The Amharas and The Tigrayans from north, The Somali from
east, Somalia. There are smaller groups in the south plain like The Mursi.
Ethiopia is consisted of some eighty groups. In other words, all those
people are mixed together and become the features of Ethiopian. The face
has slightly different characters from Egyptian or Yemenis. Maybe they
are mixed together little by little. From the ancient Indian Ocean trade,
I guessed it would include some Indian essence. Although it's not obvious.
In the meantime, with the close watch the fact which people belong to which
job or role in the society, I can see the real story of Ethiopian society
from the different angle of view.
One more thing which I had been really looking forward to was Ethiopian
official language, Amharic. To me, Amharic character is a one of the coolest
in the world. Although it's hard to describe how it looks like, it forms
Can you say which one is chromosome and which is Amharic? The answer is
the former one is a chromosome and Amharic character for the latter ...
Sorry. I'm joking. Both of them are Amharic. "Addis Ababa" for
the first and "injera" for the second in Amharic.
As you've seen Amharic has quite strange shape. However the grammar is
familiar to me, Japanese. It's because Amharic isn't phonemic character
like alphabet but a syllabic character like Japanese. Vowel or Vowel +
Consonant makes one character. A word order and an omission of subject
also similar to Japanese grammar. Once learn words and characters, it must
be easy for Japanese to study Amharic.
Actually I often got sales of book sellers on the street. The strongest
pushing title for me was Amharic language text book. But I rejected their
offer saying "It will be heavy for my backpack. So later, on the last
day of my stay" Of course they never gave up with it, discounted 20,
30%, then finally 80%. But I said "No".
Eventually, I was busy on the last day no time for buying the book at all.
I should have buy it when I got the offer.
Oh, I was almost skipping another famous product of Ethiopia. It's a coffee.
Local people suggested me "Forget about the cafe's one. It should
be all home made for washing and roasting coffee beans ... every thing.
That's a real Ethiopian coffee" But for me, all the coffee I got in
Ethiopia are tasty without exception.
I took a menu on the table at cafe. I could understand the Amharic word
"Bunna". It's a coffee. The I asked waitress about "ማክያቶ" listed below the bunna. She said "Macchiato?" Suddenly the familiar
word came out from the chaos of Amharic. I knew later it didn't mean The
Starbucks made the word popular in Ethiopia. Some Italian words have been
widely used in this country since Italian invasion to Ethiopia.
In facts, I often invited to the coffee ceremony during my stay. However
I could not open up my mind because of my trauma of "Shanghai tee party incident" It's a good example one travel experience effects to the other.
" Washing coffee beans " Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2012