In the early hours of Saturday morning, the plane touched down in Addis Ababa accompanied by a round of applause. A group of women aboard also let loose with some celebratory ululations signaling my first visit to Africa. I felt like joining their cheers, but after so many hours of flying all I could manage was a weak smile at the thought of the hopefully comfortable bed that was waiting for me.
With my head spinning and my stomach doing flip-flops, my relationship with my malaria medication was cooling quickly by this stage. I’m thinking perhaps my eyes were also majorly bloodshot judging by the slightly fearful look the immigration official gave me. Still, she let me in to begin my Ethiopian adventure.
On the way to the hotel the driver informed me that, as Ethiopia runs on its own Coptic-based calendar, the year is only 2003 here, making me seven years younger! Oh, I only hope that I at least feel 25 years old again after a good nights sleep.
I awoke feeling much refreshed (though stomach still a little tender) at 8am. Actually by the Ethiopian clock it would only have been 2am. Yes, along with their amazing strip-the-years-off calendar, they also have their own quite practical time system. The sun rises at 12 o’clock (6am our time). After an hour of day light its 1 o’clock and so forth, until the sun again sets at 12 o’clock (6pm by our clocks). Simple!