Licky, Sticky Money
Feb. 7th 2003
Those without luggage headed over to the airport. Although it took a while, our luggage was there and we could eventually claim it.

On the way to the airport, we saw out first road accident. Unfortunately, road accidents are more common than in the UK. VSO is very careful about the drivers that it uses so we are probably as safe as we can be.

In the evening we headed to the Karamara - a kind of bar where they have traditional Ethiopian dancing. We were led into a large, purpose built hut shaped building. On the inside there were many low tables with cushioned seats around the edges of the hut, and squat stools with three legs and a concave seat. The stools took a little getting used to. Just as you thought you had the hang of it, it would throw you ground-wards. The trick was working out which of the two feet were closest together and have that at your back.

Our food for the evening was enjera and Tebes (slices of meat). I was also able to try Kitfu which is an Ethiopian delicacy. Before leaving I thought that it was always made from raw beef but you can have it cooked. I tried one of the local's slightly cooked kitfu. It was, actually, quite nice.

As the evening progressed, the dancers came out and performed dances from the different regions in Ethiopia. As they dance, you can give them money, which should be done by licking it and sticking it to their forehead. On the night, everyone tucked it into their headbands. Licking Ethiopian money is most definitely not a good idea. Much of it is so brown and dirty that you have to really study it to see what value it has.

The dances were slightly confusing to my eyes. Some of them had fairly obvious meanings. But others involved slightly movements of the shoulders (this is throughout Ethiopia but the size of movement changes), and another had the male dancer nodding his head up and down so quickly that it was a blur in the dim lights of the club.