Notes from an interstate bus

I arrived at Addis’ Awtobes Tera (interstate bus station) at 6:00 AM but it was already teeming with thousands of would-be travellers. This was last Tuesday, the 28th in Ethiopian calendar, a day of pilgrimage to Metak Ammanuel, a revered church in the vicinity of Debre Birhan, an old sleepy town with medieval roots on the southern tip of the Amhara region, where I will be passing through on my way to the border of Wello and Shewa for a two-day sojourn.I sat between a farmer and a chubby light skinned woman on the back seat; not too happy at the prospect of spending no less than seven hours on a rickety bus on a partially dug-up (now for two straight years) highway. The bus slowly made its way out of the crowded bus station at 6:30, an hour before the morning rush hour that is dreaded by interstate bus drivers. I prayed for good conversation as the bus left Addis, but not daring to hope for the rare bus rider that will risk a frank political discussion in the police state that Ethiopia is evolving in to after the 2005 elections.But, Thank God, I was to be pleasantly surprised.

Notes from an interstate bus

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