It has been a while since my last post, the reason being lack of inspiration, and already too long time spent working on the pc.
But on the past Saturday something happened that really made me feel eager to write about it. And I want to use the same words I put on my notebook immediately afterwards..
I got a taxi to Jimma airport (an old van driven by a very old man) and we picked up two other Ethiopian guys o the way. One of them introduced himself and his friend, and then we started to talk, and talk till the airport and then in the waiting area. About different things: their business and my job, the different cultures of different people, the way people behave, particularly white people, and tend to isolate themselves into laptops and phones. Interesting guy, very different one from the other. Mesfim, very spontaneous and practical, has come to Italy some times to buy machinery for cutting aluminium window frames. The other, Mohamed, an architect working in building sector, looked like a spiritual person.
We were sitting far on the plane and so at the arrival in Addis ababa I waited for them in order to say goodbye. They asked me if I had any plan for lunch and they invited me to join them. Mesfim called a friend of him and we went to a place down the Lobelia hotel (where I spent some times last year), and I had a good traditional lunch, but didn’t try the raw meat. I wished F. could be there with me, to enjoy the moment. They were very nice to make me spend some time in company, rather than at the desert airport. This was just a simple act of kindness and humanity, of recognizing each other as human beings despite of the many differences. We got two separate tables, I talked a lot with Mohamed, he’s a Muslim and quite religious. We talked about the fact that people put barriers, but also that there are different kind of people all over the world, despite categories and definitions (such “Western” or “Muslim” culture).
What is so surprising about all this? Well, the thing is that with the kind of job I have been doing for the last 5 years, these type of not interested, not job-oriented meetings with almost unknown people happened very rarely to me, neither in Africa nor in Europe.
Then they took me back to the airport. Probably we’ll never meet again, but this Sunday lunch left me in a very good mood, and I needed it all to stand other 8 hours at the airport…