Hyenas, Tigers and Soiled Pants- Ethiopia On a Bike

Hyenas, Tigers and Soiled Pants- Ethiopia On a Bike

Hyenas, Tigers and Soiled Pants- Ethiopia On a Bike

Date- July 9, 2019

Written by George Balarezo, Intrepid Global Citizen

It was a dry, hot, queer winter day, the winter I aged five years in one month. I was filthy and didn’t know what I was doing in Addis Ababa. Let’s do this. 

My stomach growled after stuffing myself with the most succulent airplane food my palate ever tasted. Steamed balsamic rice, turmeric infused lentils, spiced spinach, sliced raw beets, all washed down with a piping hot cup of black tea. Five stars. The airline brought me heaven in the form of my first authentic Ethiopian meal. “It must be utopia down there,” I thought as I gawked at the rugged flat-topped beige mountains and sea-blue cloudless sky. 

I stumbled off the plane, a few kilograms heavier after all the grub, and heaved my big cardboard box through customs and immigration. 

“Oh, bringing TV to Ethiopia,” said the customs officer.

“Ha! I haven’t owned a TV in 15 years. I am what you call a TV resistor. It’s a bicycle. I am going to ride it around your country,” I said. 

“Oh 15 years? Bicycle? You very clever my friend,” chuckled the officer while clapping her hands together and letting out a soprano pitched squeal. 

“Crazy is more like it. What I am going to do with this thing?” I said. 

“Ha! No problem Ethiopia. You have great time, my friend. My country good place,” she said. 

“Yes. That is what I heard,” I said. 

“You being careful hyena and tiger. Animals sometimes eating people, you know? Hyena and tiger eating my friend in village, okay?  Sometimes people gun fighting my country. You careful people gun fighting, okay?” she said while handing me back my passport. 

 What did I get myself into? Hearing about deadly animals and weapons nearly left my pants soiled with half digested airplane food. Holy crap!..Literally.  

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I like animals too, but if I meet them in real life, it would be very scary.
    Especially, I heard that hyenas are really big. If I meet them, I will have to run away quickly.

  2. riding bicycle is what i like, so i am envious of that. i hope to ride another country like you.
    if i have chance i will go far away alone with my bicycle, that will be great experience to me

  3. The custom officer scared you. I would have been scared if it were me.
    You said you didn’t know what you were doing in Addis ababa. I wonder why you felt that way.

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