good things come in…

…is it pairs, or 3’s or small packages?

Well I feel like good things in Ethiopia have been happening in pairs. For starters, life here works around 2 calendars. The Gregorian calendar and the Ethiopian calendar. So on September 11 we celebrated Ethiopian New Year. Because according to the Ethiopian calendar, September 11 is New Years Day. And on January 1 we celebrated the New Year again (Gregorian style!)

photo 1 chook
New Years #1 – Sept 11 – it’s all about ‘segar’ (meat)…

ny2a ny2
New Years #2 ceremony at work – Dec 31 – it’s more about cake this time!

And the fun didn’t stop at New Years, on December 25 we celebrated Christmas and on January 7th we celebrated Christmas again. (Orthodox style!)

Genius – A Christmas tree made from used beer bottles – Sept 7

So given my birthday is coming up soon (on the Gregorian calendar), that means I’ll get a second birthday right…one Gregorian style and one Ethiopian style. Yes, that’s definitely correct.

But one experience that made me question this theory of good things coming in pairs (or 3’s) was my double dose of malaria and typhoid. After feeling rubbish for a couple of weeks I decided to get a blood test. Which was lucky because the Doctor discovered I had malaria (the falciparum kind) and as if that wasn’t enough, he also discovered I had typhoid. What a blow that was. A double blow. But luckily we caught it early and the drugs kicked in and cleared things up pretty quickly.

The amazing drugs that cured me of malaria in 3 days…

When I went back to the Doctor to get another blood test to make sure I was rid of these two nasty bugs from my system, I was happy to hear that good news came in pairs again – and the malaria and typhoid were indeed long gone. But what came next was a bit of a surprise:

Doctor: “The malaria and typhoid have gone but you still have typhus Emy”!
Me: “What? Ahh, you didn’t mention the typhus last time….”,
Doctor: “Oh yes, look at your last blood test results, see here (pointing at the results), you can see the previous blood test results clearly show you have typhus!”
Me: “Ummm, yes, but you didn’t tell me this piece of information last time, you only mentioned the double whammy of malaria and typhoid”.
Doctor: “Oh ok then, sorry about that, well just take these drugs and you’ll be fine in 2 days”!

So I think I’m sticking with the ‘good things come in pairs’ saying. Not so much good news comes in 3’s!

Another example to back this pair theory up is that not only are there 2 calendars in use here, there’s also two time systems. For example, 10am (European time) is also known as 4 o’clock (Ethiopian time). So 4 o’clock can sometimes roll around twice in a day, depending on what time system you are using. Just don’t confuse the two and turn up for a ‘4 o’clock’ meeting twice in one day because you get confused by which calendar everyone else is using (definitely not speaking from experience here). But this is great news for ‘happy hours’!

Twice a week here, we have fasting days (Wednesday’s and Friday’s to be precise). Meaning people don’t eat meat on those two days of the week, making my life as a pescatarian super easy – twice a week…!

Fasting days mean guys like this are spared…

…for a while anyway.

These guys seem to have gone a bit overboard on the pairing thing!

‘Suupparmaarkeettii’ – Just rolls off the tongue…
(click on image to enlarge)

And in the interest of the pairs theme, I’ll leave you with this classic:

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants?
In case he got a hole in one.



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