Guy adventures in the Horn of Africa!

Ethiopian food is great and a bit exotic for the Western palate. Ethiopian food is spicy and with lots of vegetables, and is eaten with a spongy cloth like bread called “enjera”. It is made from teff grain. You will find it in almost every dish. It is served like a cloth, and bits of it are rolled up with spicy sauce and meat over more enjera. A country cheese, "ives"  is a cottage cheese which has a wonderful taste! Especially if it is fresh from a village. Banana trunk bread is a kind of bread which has an acquired taste. Wanta, which is probably my favourite dried meat in the world makes  American style beef jerky a distant junior when it comes to taste.- all accompanied with a local Ethiopian beer which is refreshing, and also an Ethiopian red wine.

The Drink

I remember the small “hole in the wall” restaurant where my friend took me in a village a few hours on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, we shared a plate of spicy meat and some other spicy vegetable concoction along with some local Ethiopian wine which is served from bottles which were like soda bottles! From my opinion the wine was for fun and for the relaxing buzz and the total feeling of happiness being together among all the other happy local people ( I was the only European in that whole area) just enjoying the outside veranda experience with food, laughter, and the sights and sounds coming from the town street along the veranda. The wine taste was not the important issue but the memory of the good times which the wine brought to me.

Ethiopian coffee is strong, black and is drunk out of small cups, and eaten with popcorn. There is a lengthy coffee ceremony which happens in tradition.

Saint George is a popular beer which I had but my favourite which I couldn’t get enough of was “Axum” which was made with spring water.

Taj is a wine which is made from honey. This conjures up delicious thoughts about meid which is a  traditional wine made in European countries. Taj wine is an acquired taste so much that I was not able to even finish half of my glass. My friends joked about me in a playful way for my squeamish and undeveloped palate.

FUN in Addis Ababa.
Exploring Gay Life, Love, & Friendship

Gay, and homosexual life is frowned upon in Ethiopia. It is illegal to have a gay affair, although it does happen, it is hidden and kept as a secret.

My trip wouldn’t be the same without my Ethiopian friends who took care of me, and showed me a wonderful, memorable visit. I was fed by them the traditional way in which they take some food, wrapped in enjera and intimately feed me! Talk about a male to male bonding experience- in public! I felt humbled and so special.
My Ethiopian friend took me to Lake Kuriftu which is around 1 hour away from Addis Ababa. Near the lake is a high scale "luxury" resort called Kuriftu Resort.

 I saw many expats and some well heeled Ethiopians here. We didn't stay the night but we enjoyed a dinner and the relaxing atmosphere for the day.  I enjoyed the eternity pool which was freezing but refreshing!

Another male bonding experience was to go to Sodere Thermal baths where local guys, just wearing mini briefs, would all bath together, sometimes massaging, many times rough housing together in the hot thermal baths in a remote village a half days drive from Addis Ababa. They weren’t kidding when they say hot in this natural thermal bath!

            ( I am under the tap where the hot water flows into the baths)

 My friends, meeting together for a few beers took me to a very hip and fashionable sheesha club. Sheesha is the hookah water pipe commonly used among guys (and sometimes women!) around the Middle East and India. This sheesha club had upbeat Middle East music and intimate rooms which were draped like an Arabian tent with low seats and many fun cushions to lounge with your friends and smoke sheesha, with wonderful flavours and aromas wafting around, along with beer and wine!

                       internet photo

After a few bottles each of wine and beer, my friends , became very campy and “fierce!” in the gay sense of the word, all decided to take a toilet break and all ran together to the “powder room” together. We were giggling, posing, some of them putting on lipstick and screeching loudly which embarrassed the toilet room monitor, looking the other way. We had the time of our lives and it will be etched in my memory forever!

Ethiopia for some conjures up thoughts of famine, civil war, unstable neighbours, exotic people in the south. My arrival at 3.50 in the morning, greeted with a kind smile from the immigration/passport man and the hotel shuttle from my hotel kindness as well as the other people I met in Ethiopia made me feel it is so EASY to love the people and the country. People are very kind and seem always willing to help. They also seem religiously harmonious and accepting of others as churches are many times located next to a mesjid ( mosque). There are so many languages spoken besides Amharek. Amharic music is great and has a haunting yet up beat sound.

I had a short but sweet visit which was a wonderful introduction for me and it left me wanting to visit and experience more of this beautiful country and culture. I wish I could have an opportunity to return again soon!


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