Not their day vol.1
The bus for Addis Ababa left a square in Gondar at five thirty in the morning.
Generally, an inter-city bus leaves around five in the morning in Ethiopia.
Getting up early is tough for passenger, although you could hardly miss
However you've gotta watch out. 'Cause Ethiopia has its own time and calendar.
It's a time by means of sunrise and sunset. So six o'clock in the western
time is twelve o'clock in Ethiopian time, for instance.
Therefore as a tourist, you need some calculation. If you read "11:00pm"
on the bus ticket, you should be there at "5:00am", not eleven
in the evening. No bus would be coming at eleven o'clock in the night.
Moreover if you need your home country's time or calendar, it would be
more complicated. Through that you gradually loose confidence of "What
day and time is now?"
Now let's return a topic to "the inter-city bus" I mentioned. When I recall my memory, I've never taken the overnight bus in Africa. No over nigher in Africa? Maybe it's from security reason by road condition.
Here Ethiopia is no exception. Apparently, it's risky driving on a mountain
road of Ethiopia in the night. So the bus service would be from the dawn
to the dusk. I heard that it used to be usual spending two days between
the cities. Passengers had to stop for the night some where in the middle
of the route and get on the bus for the second day trip next morning. However
now a days, road are well paved. So most of the inter-city bus service
is done within twelve hours except some rural areas in the south.
The distance between Gondar and Addis is well 400 miles. It's enough for
using the air. Yet the twelve hour bus trip is not so painful. The bus
isn't the latest model but modern, all tarmac roads. More over, it's fun
traveling with local people.
A day was breaking in an hour after I had got on the bus. Brand new day
in Ethiopia. Green hills was washed by rain of wet season . The bus was
running on the long winding road in good speed. But before long, the bus
was slightly slowed down and honked frequently. I saw a many people's walking
on the road side through the window.
People pulling livestock, carrying big baggage with the head, holding firewoods...
Then I noticed it's Saturday. Generally open market were settled in the
towns on Saturday. So people took a long walk and came town. A bus, people
and livestock were going on the same main road. It meant the traffic became
so heavy. I expected it would be lessen after the town. But I saw another
pedestrians for next town. It seemed going on forever. Then I regretted
a bit "I should not have moving on Saturday"
In the town, the traffic become more chaotic. A wagon drawn by livestock stopped right on the middle of the road. Crowds across the street freely. The bus driver carefully honked each time in the beginning. But gradually he seemed like getting irritate. He bumped the bus to the hip of horse which was resting on the road. I was a bit surprised with it.
However the number of pedestrian was increasing over time. Shortly, I saw
two stray dogs frisking on the street. Despite the bus honked, the dogs
had never moved out. So the bus ran over them with out hesitation. I heard
squeak bottom of the car. "Oops!" We passenger opened eyes and
looked each other.
"So, what will be the next target of the Mad Max bus?" I couldn't
concentrate on a DVD movie on the monitor any more. In stead of that, I
carefully watched on the road. But nothing was happen. Eventually, I was
taking a nap....
" A boy in the Saturday market " Dembecha, Ethiopia 2012