Dancing in the restaurant

Dancing in the restaurant
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


In January, Joseph (the owner) arranged for the Yaya gang to head to a restaurant in town and the memory of food and Ethiopian dance was good enough that Morten suggested we do it again. Just the Danes and I went down. I was feeling fairly unwell again but figured I could make it through a few hours. Worst bit first, the journey back was a stomach cramping yuck, though at least that meant I made sure to be distracted by the view of Addis’ lights, which is pretty fine once you’re up the hill, and it made any putative danger from the dark road seem unimportant.

The restaurant itself had a quick security search on the way in, though they weren’t checking for a complete lack of coordination so we all got in. Each setting had a small table and chairs all round-given most cuisine is rolled up in the pancake-like bread and eaten with the fingers, having food at waist height is no impediment. Andreas and I had different dishes that were both essentially smoked meat. My stomach coped. Meantime the band played and four singers came out in rotation, with dancers joining in some songs. And they moved through the audience, making sure we realised that dancing with shoulders whilst bobbing the head is much harder than it looked.

Morten had booked our trip back for 10, so we missed the full on-stage dance-off experience, but got a flavour for the whole thing. We left bemoaning our lack of national dance – Morris Dancing just doesn’t have the same mix of kinetic energy, suggestiveness and costume changes.

Summary: 30m bike, 35m bike. Food cravings, slim to none.

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