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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Happy New Year to you too, Dr. X. Thanks for your always interesting posts. Have a great 2014!


You're welcome and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Dr X!

Backatcha Lance!

Can't remember the thread but we were reminiscing about the sub zero temps of winter past.

I said something like "Considering how cold it is this early we may be headed for another one of those record cold winters."

Looks like I was right. Temps next week are forecast to be in the -20's for Chicago and not much better down here in "Indianer".



Yikes!! I didn't know about the forecast. Well, I guess I'm practiced enough at burrowing down into some interior state while shutting out the weather until I'm at home or in the office. It's kind of like the dissociative mental state I enter during the most intrusive moments of an annual physical.

Actually, what was getting on my nerves today was riding the underground and the L. Everyone, me included of course, is twice their normal size, which makes packing into a noisy, jerking, tin can all the more unpleasant. Layers of clothes and coats that double torso circumference, gigantic footwear, big hats, hoods, gloves and scarfs in your face. Everyone is too large.

There's an unspoken agreement that physical contact that in other circumstances would be legally questionable is to be tolerated as long as no one looks anyone else in the eye, though if you fall on someone with your full body because of the jerking movement of the car, there's an expectation that you murmur a barely audible "sorry."

Hehe, I haven't ridden the L in at least ten years and then only for a quick ride from the parking garage to Rush Street and back.

It's fun when you only do it once every ten years.

When Kidist and I travel around Addis Ababa we usually take the "mini-bus" taxis which are mostly little Nissan minivans with four rows of seats packed into them. For some reason it's frowned upon to open the windows so it's usually rather stuffy and hot inside and people are jammed in by the "assistant" that takes the money and leans out the open door yelling the taxi's destination, "Bolay! Bolay! Bolay!".

You get pretty "up-close and personal" with your fellow commuters but everybody is friendly and deferential, especially to "faranges" (white foreigners) like me.

It think that I get extra nice treatment since I have learned some Amharic, and that I am married to an Ethiopian. Also I think most Ethiopians appreciate the fact that I am in amongst the every day Joes instead of gawking at them from the air conditioned comfort of a passing Mercedes going from the hotel to the next sanitized tourist destination while being safely "insulated" from the "dirty streets" of Addis.

Ethiopians are polite and well socialized to tolerate the crowded confines of life in Addis Ababa. But most westerners would be disturbed by the rough and close contact of everyday travel and daily interactions of Addis Ababa.

I love it there and look forward to our next visit, probably this coming August.

I also love the incredibly pleasant sub-arid, tropical mountain climate. There is never high humidity and the daily high varies from a "cold" day of 65 F to a "hot" 85 F.

I have never been to Hawaii but the weather there couldn't be any nicer than in Addis Ababa!

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