Birthday wishes again and again and again…
It was my birthday on the 5th May and Beth sent me a text with her good wishes (once) which Ethiotelecom delivered at 9.21 and 11.22.
I also received that same text at 14.30 and 21.32 on the 7th May, at 4.36, 5.36 7.37, 12.39 and 15.41 on the 8th May, at 1.45 and 10.48 on the 9th May, and at 03.55 on the 10th May.
Frustratingly Ethiotelecom does not provide the facility to reply to a single one of them!
To celebrate reaching a ripe old age, Phil kindly planned to take a trip to Entoto Mountain (somewhere I knew about but had never visited). As usual we had to negotiate considerable road mayhem on the journey however on this occasion it was exacerbated by the crowds of white clad women who were milling around on the road that led to our destination. We finally began the ascent and located a suitable viewpoint and parking spot. A pleasant but overwhelming smell of eucalyptus forest was noticeable as soon as we opened the car door and began gazing over the sprawling cityscape. It wasn’t long before three local girls joined us. Surprisingly our limited Amharic was sufficient to communicate with them about the landmarks that we could identify, which was fun. All three girls were keen that we should take their photo and seemed to be satisfied with their requested reward of one birr (just over 3p) each.
To continue my birthday celebrations I had suggested that we arrange to have an Indian meal with friends. We asked around and looked on trip advisor to find a restaurant. Jewel of Indian (as it says on the website) looked suitable. It was only a little off-putting that the plates of food displayed on their home page included spaghetti Bolognese. Needless to say I couldn’t get an answer by phone so I used the online booking system. It must have worked because I received the following text:
Hello Madam Chris, Jewel of India thanks your self for your continued patronage to our restaurant. Thanks for the reservation. We confirm the booking.
What could go wrong?
We were almost there when our friends phoned to say that the Jewel of India restaurant was no longer where it used to be and neither the downloaded map nor verbal directions could help to locate it. Fortunately they knew of a very good alternative in a hotel nearby where we enjoyed food to rival that served in the most authentic Indian restaurant St Albans. I will remember fondly my first African birthday and acknowledge that sometimes ‘plan B’ does turn out to be the best option.