A crashless course in Addis Ababa

As far as first impressions go, Addis Ababa has the coolest-sounding name of any place I’ve ever visited. Pronounced “add-iss ab-uh-buh” in English, it means “New Flower” in Amharigna (Amharic), Ethiopia’s official language. (There are around 70 different languages spoken throughout the country!)

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Do the Ethiopian time warp

Ethiopia doesn’t exactly scream “fun family vacation” (or fun solo vacation, for that matter) to many Westerners. Instead, mental images of a poverty-stricken nation pop up thanks to those guilt-inducing World Vision commercials. No doubt this is the default mental image people associate with most places in Africa if they have never visited the continent.

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Bah Hamburg

Inevitably, I always feel a bit “blah” as the year comes to an end.

My waning energy is partially due to the winter weather—which is far kinder here in southern Germany than in eastern Canada—but also a mental fatigue sets in as the events of the previous year culminate and play in a “year in review” montage in my head (kind of like what Facebook does for you, but with all the dirty details).

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Back in the ‘hood

October, a month synonymous with hot apple cider, pumpkin pie, turkey (Thanksgiving), vibrant colors, and fresh, crisp air, is a glorious time to visit the east coast of Canada. Fall is my favorite season for these reasons, and combined with the company of family and close friends, signifies warmth and happiness despite the rapidly cooling temperatures and darkening days.

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Revisiting (and rethinking) Delhi

I’m back in Delhi after two solid days of rest in Guwahati.

I found a copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho on the bookshelf in the communal living room and quickly read it cover to cover. I know most of the Western world has already read this book and I’m late to the game, but better late than never. It was a gem; there are many little nuggets of wisdom and interesting analogies weaved throughout the story.

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Back on the (bleeping) bus

The bus ride was less like hell and more like purgatory.

It turns out I was armed with higher tolerance on the way back from Ziro than I had on the way there. To my surprise, the same “punk kid” ended up being my Sumo driver from Ziro back to Naharlagun. This coincidence made me smile, and, once again, his driving skills proved solid. Once we arrived, he shouldered my backpack and took me directly to the bus stand. We exchanged a handshake and then parted ways.

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