18. September – SIM-Cards, ATMs out of order, switched-off internet – and friendly people

On our way through immigration and customs, we see an ATM, but it‘s not working. Next door ist a money changer, who claims to disburse money on Visa cards. After serveral tries they give up due to „connecting failure“. At the end, we change 50 Euro cash and get 1600 Birr to start with.

After having picked up our luggage, we go ot and find the driver of the pick-up service to the hotel, we have booked.

The room in the „Caravan“ hotel is quite good and we are happy to get the room that early in the morning. Before a nap we take our breakfast there.

After a nap of about three our, the hotel organizes us a taxi-driver, who speaks some english: Sami. He had to drive us to serveral ATMs – the fifth is working and we get 2×4000 Birr (ETB).

We go on to the Ethiopian telekom in order to get Ethiopian SIM cards. A long row is already waiting. Quickly, we get into a sort of conversation, learning our first Amharic words – “Thank you” – that is “Amesegenallou”. An 8 year old girls next to us asks us for our names – her’s is “Gnest” with a very hard to pronouncing “klick” in the beginning.

The lady at the counter notes down our passport numbers – and while waiting for the computer to work, she talks about her daughter and asks us for our relatives.

In front of the office, there is a young lady who offers to cut the SIM card to the right size.

So far we hat no “nice landscape” but absolutly no “bar people” either.

We make a short stop at the KfW-Office (the parent company of DEG, where Annette worked) – just to leave our contact details for a date with the office manager.

Back at the hotel, the receptionist tells us, that the government switches off the internet in Ethiopia, due to clashes during manifestation of Oromo people.

Nevertheless, we book a city tour for tomorrow and organise some bookings for the next days.

In the evening we went to an Italian restaurant, recommanded by our book. It was quite good but relatively expansive.