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Ethiopia January 2019 Trip Report Part 3

  • Written by Harry
  • May 1st, 2019
  • 22 min read


For getting the bus to the town of Hawassa (located almost 300 km south of AA) we had to go to Mescal Square where the bus terminal for buses to other towns of Ethiopia is located. We took one of S’s minibuses there for convenience sake.

It has to be noted that it is perfectly possible in Ethiopia to travel to the more remote towns by plane. There are airfields in all the major towns in Ethiopia and domestic flights go to all these towns. Tourists are quoted around 3 times the amount that locals are quoted if they buy a domestic flight to another town which makes local flights quite expensive in Ethiopia for tourists.

We decided to take buses to the towns we would visit,. I had time and was not in a hurry, and I do not mind bus rides since it is a great way to see a country’s scenery going by through a bus window (in my opinion) and the bus rides are very cheap as well.

A ticket to Hawassa came at 300 bir per person (just around 10 USD). There are a couple of very reliable and professionally run bus companies who operate lines to the various cities all over Ethiopia. You have Selam bus, Ethio bus, and Sky being the most famous and reliable ones. These buses always go in time (no delays). We opted for Ethio bus company.

I would of course during my whole stay pay all the expenses for S (food, drinks, hotel rooms, transport) which of course would make my stay a bit expensive compared to when I had been traveling around alone but it would totally be worth it. Had I gone traveling around alone I would probably not have 20% of the experiences and fun I would have with him, and it would prove a lot easier to hook up with (and negotiate with) girls we would meet along the way, because when one has a local with him as a western guy it becomes a lot easier to communicate with the girls and to make them come to you.

The trip to Hawassa although just 300 km feels like a lot longer. The Ethio busses are new and luxurious with reclinable seating and air-conditioning and the bus was very clean. No toilets inside so once in a while the bus stopped for a pee break. The bus ride started exactly at 12pm and we arrived after a more than 6 hours bus drive (at the medium-sized provincial capital of Hawassa around 6:30 PM, just before dark. Hawassa is located around a beautiful lake (lake Awassa). Awassa lake is one of the lakes of the great rift valley. There is abundant wildlife to be seen in and around the lake (especially lots and lots of different bird species big and small) and hippopotamus are found in the lake but no Nile crocodiles. There is a very active fishing industry on the lake (mostly Talapia). The area around Hawassa is a lot greener compared to the area around AA. The climate in Hawassa is similar to that in AA but it’s around 5 or 6 degrees hotter during the day in Hawassa.

The town itself (around 80,000 inhabitants) is nicely set up and easy to go around in. Like most towns in Ethiopia it has a central area (Piazza) but in Hawassa there is no old part of town (it looks like a new town and no old buildings can be found). The Piazza consists of one long street running from the lake to the (not very old-looking) town’s main cathedral. This street is around 2 km long and lined up around it are many of the office buildings, some universities, some churches and hotels. There are also some nice big parks around the Piazza street. Hawassa is the regional capital of Sidamo Province (nowadays called the Southern nations) and therefore many government buildings and universities can be found inside the town.

 

Political situation in Ethiopia

I am not really interested and versed into the politics of Ethiopia (it’s all fake anyway in my opinion) but I learned from S that there is a lot of tension between the different big ethnic groups inside the country. Especially the Tigray, Oromo and Southern people have long been fighting for dominance and still are. There used to be a Tigray president and that did not sit well with the Oromo, amharics and southerners and it resulted in many riots and uprisings all over the country, because the others really despise the Tigrian people who are the most militant and the best fighters (by far) among all the Ethio tribes. The Tigray people (living in the north) were almost seen as trying to conquer and control all of the country. Nowadays there seems to be a kind of national government (a coalition of sorts) where people from all the main nations have a position of power but this has not helped to quell the political unrest, on the contrary. Problems between groups, uprisings and tensions seem to be getting worse and worse. Tensions between different groups seem to be deliberately encouraged and spiked by the government as a means of “divide and conquer”. Nothing seems to be done to end the tension but many measures taken by the central government seem to encourage the envy and hate between the different nations inside the country. This is especially apparent in the major towns away from the capital. In the south where we currently were tensions seem to be particularly bad at the time I was there (January 2019). But S told me that in towns to the north there is also a lot of political unrest. There is a lot of military seen in town, lots of army guys parading around town everywhere, all proudly touting a big machine gun (AK 47 usually).

As a result the nightlife and activities (as we would particularly experience in Arba Minch) has gotten restricted. S told me that Hawassa used to be one of the nightlife capitals in the south with many clubs and bars and partygoers in the night (usually Ethio people and especially the Southern people, love to go out and party). There also used to be lots of festivals in Hawassa but a stop has been put to that also because many festivals started to become starting points for riots.

But there is still fun to be had in Hawassa. After we had settled into a (government hotel) which would prove to be the wrong choice, we went to one of the lake restaurants (easy walk from hotel through the piazza street) for fresh lake fish. It was late already when we arrived there, (around 8:30 PM) so most restaurants were closed. There was still one open though but the prices for the grilled tilapia were very high. 60 bir per small fish. 2 USD for a very small-sized fish, well Hawassa is a tourist town, and especially the restaurants close to and around the lake charge tourist prices.

After we had some food we went looking for the bar area. Although S had been to Hawassa quite a few times before (but not very recently) we had some problems finding the bar area. Bar areas in the towns seem to get relocated frequently and there used to be more than one bar area in town but nowadays there was only one bar area located north of the piazza in a side street. After we had asked a few locals we were finally steered into the right direction.

The bar area was actually quite big, consisting of one street of about 300 metres long with many small and a few bigger bars lined up all around the street. The first bar we went into was empty like a graveyard. 2 or 3 punters with 3 bored and elderly bargirls so we just had one beer there and got out quick again. The next one was a lot (and I really mean a lot) better. A big place, lots of (male) drinkers and I saw at least 5 or 6 very nice looking bargirls. One was particularly sexy dressed in a tank top and tight jeans showing a gorgeous ass and very nice slim legs. The girl was very young and fresh looking and with a very beautiful smile from her young beautiful face. S spotted her almost right away and asked me “what about this one?”. I said “of course man, call her over”. So he went up to her but returned empty-handed to me. She had told him she was already chosen for that night by a local guy (probably one with deep pockets I guessed). So she would not be available for me that night.

Then we spotted another one who I thought looked nice also (but not as good as the tank top girl), very young too but not as sexy and slim. For unknown reasons (she was not exactly my type) I asked S to call her over and she came. This girl was very shy and never at ease among us and that should have been a warning for me, but it seemed I had made up my mind to take her, even though I still saw (in this bar, and afterwards in another bar where we would take the girl), many girls who would have been more my type and much more fun. Maybe it was her face that hooked me, she had a very cute and innocent look on her face, and the manager who came by to chat with us told us that she had only started working there one week ago, and had only been with one guy so far. I actually believed the guy, the girl was not older than 19 (I have to admit to my shame), and acted as if she did not know what to do.

Anyway we (or rather S) negotiated with her for the price and agreed on 1000 bir. (around 33 USD). The barfine here was only 150 bir which is almost nothing. The girl went to the back to change dress and came back dressed in a tight shirt and jeans. When first meeting her she was dressed in a wider kind of skirt so I had not really been able to see her curves and body size, slim or not so slim, she appeared rather slim.

But when I saw her in a more showing outfit I could see she was actually a little bit chubby, not fat at all but a bit thick in the tights and belly area, not because she was fat (I had already felt her belly area while dancing with her and she was quite hard around the stomach area) but that was the way she was built.

She went with us to the next bar but even inside her own bar she had never been really at ease with me and in the next bar she even acted more uncomfortable. I decided it was my task to try to make her at ease and comfortable so I tried my new-found “Google Translate style joking”, mixed with some Benny Hill type of slapstick acting (which Ethio girls generally really like I had found out in AA) with her which softened her up a little but not too much. In the meantime in the new bar S had spotted a girl for himself and had called this girl over to our table. Man, this girl was sexy and pretty, I started feeling envious of him (also knowing I would be the one paying for that girl for him)

And there were quite a lot of girls in this bar which turned out to be a rare freelance joint (the girls there were not employed by the bar). It was very big and full with girls and of course also many guys but the guy to girl ratio in this bar was very favourable compared to most bars I had been in so far in Ethio. At least 40% girls I estimated, quite a few of whom were very ok looking.

S had grabbed a freelancer so there was no barfine for him to be paid. He agreed with her on 500 bir for all night (bloody cheap, just around 16 USD or so). S is not a young guy, he has a similar age to mine and has a big belly from all the beers he has been drinking over the years I guess, he is also not handsome at all but is a very good talker and joker with girls.

We went back to the hotel. S was staying in the room next to mine, we said our goodbyes and went into our respective rooms with the girl in tow.

I am totally not proud for what happened after I went inside with her, ashamed actually but I will tell it anyway because I should be honest about myself, other guys penning down a submission who experienced or did something similar will maybe choose not to disclose something like this, but writing this submission is also a kind of therapy for me, so I gotta let it all out I guess.

I felt unsatisfied and unhappy with her in the room. I am easily depressed (thought I was a bit cured now since I was feeling quite tiptop here so far compared to usually) but this feeling seems to be very unstable still, just below the surface the low confidence and jealousy and ill feeling are still lurking.

I was jealous of S who had snagged a girl who seemed to be much more fun and also a lot sexier and hotter than mine, and I even had to pay for her too. Here I was, a successful business guy who could not even get a pretty girl for himself while others who had far more little money and success than me could get a hottie (and they did not even have to pay since the bill for that was on me also). These were my feelings while the girl went into the shower/toilet for what I guessed would be a shower, because she started to run the shower almost straight away.

She seemed to take ages and ages, after a while I started feeling like she would never reappear from the shower? Did she despise and hate my ugly look so much that she had decided to stay in the shower for the whole night? What a bitch I thought. Mind you I had gotten quite drunk in the bars so I was not thinking straight also because of that. After about half an hour I started bonking on the locked shower door and shouted to her if she still was coming or not. She did not speak any English so she probably did not understand what I was up to. She replied something I could not understand, but did not come out or unlock the door. I had heard her making some puking noises sometimes but it had not registered in my mind she could have gotten a bit sick from the beers, I was only thinking the worst and this got worse and worse. After another 15 minutes of waiting I had enough. I got up from the bed and kicked the bathroom door hard, it didn’t unlock (and luckily for me it did not damage), but it was a really hard kick. S must have heard it because just after that there was a knock on my door, and a worried S stood there asking me “What is going on, Harry, is there a problem?”.

I started shouting angrily at the poor S, “The fucking girl has locked herself in the shower and does not want to come out, she probably finds me too bloody ugly and does not want to see me, if she does not come out in the next 2 minutes I will kick the fucking door in and will kick her out of my room. You have a pretty and sexy girl and I guess already had very hot sex with her but because of my ugliness, I cannot even get this fat bitch to want to sleep with me…………….and on and on I went.

S hushed me, “Quiet, Harry, it’s not true what you say at all just try to get calm again, don’t get stressed, it’s certainly something else that is going on with her. Let me try to talk to her.”

He went to the bathroom door and started talking to the girl, she came out very shaken and scared, did not dare to look at me (she had of course heard all the commotion and understood perfectly well I was furious).

Then I did something I am really ashamed of, even a lot more ashamed for that then for the things I had done previously. I kicked her very hard in the stomach with my foot, it just happened before I knew what I was doing. The poor girl fell down on the floor and started vomiting, all yellow bile onto the floor. Now S got really angry with me. “Harry, what the fuck are you doing man, stop that, don’t you see she was sick? That was the reason she did not come out of the toilet, she was very nauseous and that was why she stayed in the toilet, she was afraid she would puke you and the bed over, so she waited for the feeling to finish then she would have gone out of the toilet to you”.

But I would have nothing of it, I told her to fuck off, which of course she also wanted to do as fast as possible, she stood up and hissed at me and was ready to launch herself at me, and I was ready to launch myself at the poor girl again but S kept us apart.

All the time she was talking with S and S said, “Ok, now it is better that she goes home”. I had not given her any money yet so S asked me to give her at least half of the agreed fee, that would be fair. I did not want to give her a single bir, but finally I gave in and handed over 500 bir for her. I had quietened down quite a bit by now and started to realize my actions had been despicable. I also was very tired now and longed for sleep. She shouted something at me S did not want to translate, and off she went in search of a bajai who keep operating all night around Hawassa.

The next morning I awoke around 9 AM with a big headache, probably more from the stress from last night then the beers. I WhatsApped S but I got no reply. I thought he would still be busy having great sex with his hot girl and I started feeling really depressed again. I did not want to knock on his door so I went downstairs for breakfast and coffee. I acted like a real jerk with the hotel staff because I thought they did not want to serve me coffee and breakfast as it seemed to take ages before my order arrived. I went up to the serving lady and asked her angrily, “You don’t want to serve me right? “ ok I go out to look for food, forget about my order. She probably did not understand what I was saying. I went on the street for a cigarette. In Ethiopia it is common to buy cigarettes from street vendors who sell them by the piece, so you can buy one cigarette instead of a whole pack. After I had a cigarette I met a street dog (or maybe a dog belonging to somebody because it looked nice and clean) that seemed to feel my mood and had decided I needed some company and friendship.

It followed me around and when I sat down on a curb it decided to go sitting next to my for some strokes. I talked to it about my exploits from the night before and it listened interestedly, sometimes licking my fingers when I tried to stroke it on the head. After a while the dog got bored, probably wanted to look for somebody who could feed her something nice instead of just giving her or him some stroking but I felt better now. The therapeutic value of having a dog or cat around sometimes one can stroke or cuddle is not to be underestimated in my opinion. I went back to the hotel, it was almost 10 AM by now and I decided to knock on S his door who still had not replied my WhatsApp.

He came out and I saw his girl was not with him in the room anymore. He told me she had gone by 6 AM (I had given him 500 bir for her fee the night before just before we left home from the last bar) and that he had not had a good connection with her also. She would not let him kiss her and would not undress but they had had some hurried sex one time. Which had left him quite unfulfilling as he told me. Then we went downstairs to the hotel restaurant where the serving girl immediately went up to S and started talking to him. S appeared really shocked, and told me they had already prepared my coffee and breakfast but I had run away angrily and they did not understand what was wrong. S told me I had made a fool of myself in the restaurant and to please not to do that again. I should calm down and try to forget my issues and try to make a good time because if I continued like this he would pack up and go back to AA to leave me behind alone.

I felt really bad now and told him I would change, I already felt better I told him and told about the dog who had taken a pity for me, he really thought that was funny and we were ok again.

My breakfast was still on the table so I ate it and drank the coffee while S also had his breakfast.

After that we went to the lake and sat and walked around there for a long while and had a nice fish lunch.

In the evening back to the bar area. We went back to the same bar where I had taken the girl even though I thought this was not such a good idea, S wanted to talk to the girl and excuse to her for my behaviour. Also on his mind was to hook me up with the tank top girl.

We went there and both girls were present. S invited the girl of last night to our table and she sat down but did not talk more than 2 or 3 sentences all the while she was sitting with us. The tank top girl came too (she was available tonight) and I really had my good mood back (even better than before) and for some reasons the tank top girl (who was dressed in a less sexy dress this night) and I got a really good chemistry with her.

I had actually already met and spoken to her (with the help of S) in the toilet the night before and I already had told her I really liked her and joked with her then so she kinda had expected me to come back anyway I guess.

She was a lot of fun to be with, very outgoing, funny and friendly, very different from the girl the night before and before long I decided it was time to go back with her. I did not want to drink too much this night. S started the negotiations and she asked for 1.600 birr. I told him to ask her if she was ok with 1.200 (cheap Charley) and he asked her and she very loudly and smiley said OK. So off we went back home to the government hotel.

About the government hotel, the nightly rate was 600 bir which was a bit steep in my opinion for the old room with the small bed with paper-thin mattress. The next day we would hear from the staff we would have to check out because the hotel and our rooms were booked by an Ethiopian conference group.

The night with this girl was absolutely great, one of the highlights of my trip. I was a bit scared she would have been briefed by the other girl about me and would also do a “lock herself up on me” act with me but I needn’t have to worried, we had a great night together, she even asked for a second round without condom which I should probably not have agreed upon (the condom I mean) but I did anyways.

The next morning she left around 9am and S and I were up for another day in Hawassa doing much of the same things we had done the previous day. The third night we had a quiet one, we went to a nice luxurious nightclub in the night were a lot of regular girls were present. I tried to hook up with a very beautiful one but failed, partly because I approached her in the wrong way as S told me. I came up to her and started grabbing her hand to dance with her and introduce myself but she would have none of it, drew her hand back and ignored me. Strangely enough after I had done this she would often look at me (she kept standing and dancing near us) and sometimes smile at me, tempting me to try again but S told me not to try again.

The way with Ethio girls to approach them in a very innocent, non-threatening way for the first time. Just keep a distance and say hi, or Selam nu? (how are you?) and then if they react positively you can approach them and ask their name and tell your name. The general greeting in Ethiopia is not shaking hands together (although that is accepted to) but grabbing each other’s right hand and rubbing the left shoulder with the other person.

Anyway we went home early and went to bed to wait for the fourth day in Hawassa. On that day the plan was to try to hook up with a regular girl from the street because S told me I was ready for that now.

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