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PostAnother Ethiopian Friend... (Robert McCabe, -France, 09/10/12 8:05 am)
Adding to the list of Lost Ethiopian Friends (see David Duggan, 10 September), I'd mention Solomon Deressa, a poet and writer I met in Addis in the late 1960s. His father was once foreign minister, and I seem to recall friends saying the Deressa family (from Tigre?) was a power in the land. Solomon later married an American girl from Pennsylvania, fathered a couple of kids, studied in New York for several years and starred in several interesting parties at our flat. Then he vanished.
Have I been in Ethiopia? Yes, several times, but not since the Emperor's death. A wonderfully interesting land and people, immensely proud of their heritage, but not very good at making a success of their governorship. And who could forget the wat! Ethiopian Airlines used to serve this broad thin pancake as a main dish item, swaddling forgotten stuff, rather like a tamale. (Here today, gone tamale, as my forgetter tells me.)
It was in Addis that I discovered that one shot of whiskey up there in the heights equalled three shots at sea level. Never been so high in my life.
JE comments: Ethiopian food is marvelous, although to me their bread-and-filling cuisine is more tacolike than tamalesque. It's funny: Aldona and I almost dined at our local Ethiopian restaurant Saturday night, but opted instead for local fare: Cornish pasties, a staple of the copper miners in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. But I must have channeled my thoughts to Tor Guimaraes, who brought up Ethiopia in an e-mail the very next day.
I see a recurring theme here: why can't we stay in touch with our Ethiopian friends?