27 December 2007

i may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for.

Hope everyone's Christmas was exciting. Candace and I made homemade
french onion soup (with the provolone cheese we procured on a trip to
Addis for which we paid dearly). Delicious, if not very Christmasy.
Then we watched Southpark. I feel like all I ever talk about is food,
but that's really all we do here since I don't start working until
next week. I promise I'll soon start discussions about things more
interesting than what I eat each day.

I don't remember if I ever talked about the tissue Mafia in Jordan,
but they definitely have an active branch here in Ethiopia. For those
unaware, the tissue Mafia is a gang of street children who make their
money by shoving little packs of tissues in your face until you buy
them to make them go away. I, fortunately, have no soul and rarely
cave unless I'm in the throes of a GI emergency, but it appears to be
a pretty lucrative business. The Ethiopia branch has diversified
their product, also offering gum, and in the larger bus stops around
Addis, cigarettes. In Jordan, the tissue brand was Fine, but here
it's called Soft, hence giving us great pleasure when the kids run up
saying "Soft, Soft," and we respond with, "No, but do you have rough?
I'm looking for something to scratch my rectum." They don't speak
that much english, but it amuses us and that's all that matters. For
the record, Soft isn't appropriately named.

Four altercations on four different busses yesterday. Fortunately, we
weren't involved in any of them. TIA. The whole gang's coming in on
Saturday for a massive twenty four-hour feast with fun and games and
movies. We'll probably traumatize the neighbors, but they're already
used to the town freaks.

On the way to the internet today, I stopped to buy bananas and the guy
in the fruit stand asked me to marry him. He was very insistent. My
first Ethiopian marriage proposal - how special.

Merry belated Christmas! Joey, you made my day. Thank you SOOO much
for calling! Andy, sorry if I made little sense when we talked, but
it was equally wonderful to hear from you. It's business time. Nick,
I got your letter on Christmas Day (there are perks to Christmas not
being a real holiday here) - thanks! Jas and Jules and Grandma, got
your letters as well. Mom, box 3 of 3 made it, but boxes 1 and 2 are
still MIA. TIA. Letters are en route to all of you!

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