Last day in Ethiopia for this trip. We spend it around the city in the company of R. and S., two Ethiopian ladies we met at a restaurant last night. First stop is at a music shop, where I can buy some CDs of Ethiopian music. The area is by the "mercato", the Italian built covered market. All around an odd mix of old and new. Some donkey-pulled carts roll down the street next to modern cars and traditional spices are sold next to Coke. Out little music shop displays a rich variety of CDs.
When I ask about "traditional" Ethiopian music the lady at the counter looks bewildered. "We don't have so much, no one listens to that stuff any more." I suppose it would be like a foreigner going to a music shop in Rome and asking about CDs of "O Sole Mio"; he would probably get the same answer. Instead, she proposes a few disks of contemporary Ethiopian hits. Rather rock and rollish, with a touch of techno. Anyway, this is Ethiopian music today, so I buy a few CDs to take home!
More shopping at a bookstand. Again I can find some old colonial publications in Italian, I am struck by a meticulously detailed issue of a Rivista Economica in which the Fascist administration was proposing to reorganize the Ethiopian economy to face the League of Nations' sanctions!
Church of Mariam is worth a visit. Rose and Selam stop to pray by the little shrine at the bottom of the steps which lead into the Church itself. As we drive back into town on a newly paved road, an old lady walks briskly downhill with a huge pile of what looks like dried bamboo on her shoulder.
It's time to go to the airport, the trip is over. One last mishap, but not a major problem. It is impossible to change back our leftover Birr after security control, and therefore the only thing left is to spend them at the duty-fre shops. Nice picture books on Africa are fortunately available...