Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pit Stop in Ethiopia

I have a four hour layover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first leg of my trip was painfulwe flew south to Kigali, Rwanda, only to turn around and fly back to Addis Ababa. My flight left at 1:40am and the seats were extremely cramped, especially because the man next to me clearly does not share my American aversion to touching strangers/invasion of personal space. I slept for a couple of hours, but was rudely awoken when we landed in Kigali, and again for a forced breakfast at 4am. Ugh. I do not do well with being repeatedly woken up during night hours, and its a miracle I haven't lost anything at the airport yet. (Knock on wood!)

Not the perfect picture I had planned as my iPhone died, but it'll do ;)

Anyways, now I'm just surviving my lay over on two hours of sleep, afraid to doze off in case I miss my flight or have my shit stolen. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, the airport here is fascinating. The terminal is lined with lounge chairs, which is really a godsend for all the passengers who spend fitful nights and early mornings waiting for their connections. 

Upon my arrival this morning, I walked past Africans sleeping wrapped in traditional fabric fished out of their suitcases. Asians with winter coats spread over their legs for warmth. (It IS cold in here.) Indian women sheltering their children with colorful saris. Muslim men sleeping completely ensconced in their floor length prayer attire (head included). Scraggly European backpackers, curled up around their bags, covered in many layers (extra room in the suitcase).

I found my own lounge chair between a young Chinese couple and the man wrapped in his prayer attirefinally shaken awake by his friend to emerge from a beige cocoon. The couple left, as did the man, and slowly others took up seats beside me. I just noticed we've formed a row of European/American girls... three of us traveling alone, and another group of three French girls on my left. We're all wearing skinny jeans and scarves, sneakers or flip flops... variations of black, grey, and denim. A young male American backpacker just took up residence across from us with his iPad. In fact, we've all got our laptops, cellphones, and/or iPads out to pass the hours.

Oh, globalization. We all fit somewhere in the equation ;)

P.S. I had the most perfect picture for this post: A "Welcome to Ethiopia" sign next to lounge chairs with a Middle Eastern family sleeping, the mother in a full-on burka. And then my iPhone died :(

2 comments:

  1. I love your description of all the travelers. It makes me love what we do. :)

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    Replies
    1. True citizens of the world... its rarely so pronounced than in an African airport. ;)

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