Migrant workers in Bore airport vol.2 ~ Fading Japan
Wherever I visited in Ethiopia, people called me "China, China"
Then kids came up yelling "Haranjo, Haranjo!", meant a foreigner.
As I described before, it didn't mean neither harassing, nor even teasing.
I accepted it as a rough expression of their friendliness. And of course,
I'm very happy to be interested in.
However Gondar town in northern Ethiopia was an exception. Ethiopian orthodox
churches, an old castle ... Gondar had a lot of sights for tourist. From
that people was accustom to the foreigners. "Hey, Japanese! Konnichiwa"
they smiled and came up to me. Once I trusted and followed them, always
they asked for the money in the end as if they were saying "No money,
Maybe this is usual in most of the tourist places in the world. Though
if it continued all the day, I would be completely exhausted. So I looked
for a place where being left me alone.
I recalled. In Cuba it's a church. In Senegal it's a sandy hill. And here in Gondar it's a beer garden.
That night I was drinking beer alone without any words. Before long, one
guy sat next chair to me. Seeing Haranjo was drinking beer in a silence,
he might feel some duty to start conversation. He talked to me.
I thought "It's troublesome if he is another guide" But gradually
I opened up my mind to him. Maybe it's because he told me he is an electrician
from out of town.
So I told him what I had experienced in Ethiopia so far. Then I added about
my impression of Gondar, which looked richer than other part of Ethiopia.
He listened up my story with interest. Then explained "People around
here don't work so much. They got money from outside of the country"
I had heard of story something like that somewhere in the world. Yeah,
Vietnam, I remember. The economic growth of Vietnam used be based on the money from Vietnamese
living abroad. The countries where they lived were Australia or The states,
for example. Through that I easily thought it's same for Ethiopia. It must
be money from the Western countries.
So I asked the guy. "Do you want leave the country for earning money?"
"Well ..." He was searching the words. I felt it. As like other
African countries, Ethiopia was highly developing. The economy didn't seemed
so bad. It must not good idea leaving Ethiopia for the all done and no
However, on the last day of my Ethiopia stay, what I saw at Bore Airport
in Addis Ababa made me think of it once again. 'If I told the electrician
guy about quite off the point things?' The evening Airport was full of
Ethiopian women in Black chador of Muslim. Looked like all teenagers. 'Where
are they going?' I looked over top of the long waiting line. The monitor
above the check-in counter said "Dubai" Now I got it. They were
migrant worker for the Middle East.
Their face was bright and positive. I felt even self confidence from them
like they would make a money abroad. Holding a pass port, some of them
were walk about in the departure lobby put the arms each other. Sometime
they went beyond the line and looked so impolite like the young everywhere
in the world. But no fear at all, that's their kingdom. Meanwhile it's
smile-provoking that they were hesitating to stepping on the escalator
on the edge. (Oh, I had never seen the machine in the country)
I ashamed talking about the US or Europe as a migrant worker's destination
at the beer garden. Now a days, the Middle East must be the most popular
one. Meanwhile, the country pushing up Ethiopian economy and investing
in infrastructure was now China.
My thought "The axis of the rotating world is the western countries"
was completely out-of-date. The end of the world must not be Ethiopia but
" Chador " Gondar, Ethiopia 2012