February 18, 2006

Vegetable market

Hello all on this cloudy, warm Saturday in Addis Ababa. Not much happening at the Fun Zone. The daughter is down for a nap, so thought I would take the time to blog for a few minutes.

The Fun Zone household is recovering from the departure of one maid. Given the labor shortage, the Fun Zone ponied up last night and cooked dinner for everyone. It wasn't what you could call gross, but I think I overdid the balance of mayonnaise to other inputs.

Also went to the vegetable market this morning. What a place, especially if you get there early. This is a call to the Dean of Ethiopian Blogs, of course I'm referring to Meskel Square - to head to the market at around 7:00 am and take some pictures of the beautiful colored fruit and people as they go about their business in the early hours. Apparently, things kick off as early as four in the morning, Meskel Square, if you are interested.

Anyway, it's a really neat scene. It's just a long city block where small pickup after pickup drops off and or picks up fruit and vegetables for distribution throughout Addis. You see porter after porter carrying 50 kilo baskets of bananas, oranges, onions, etc. to merchants procuring supplies for the day's business. Habesha aren't generally big people, and some of the loads the guys up there are carrying look like they are going to pop their hips sideways out of the sockets.

Another thing which surprised me about the vegetable market is the absence of beggars. I sat in the car for a good hour while my wife collected are month's veggies and not one beggar approached me. When I pointed this out to my wife, she wasn't surprised, saying that the market was a "working man's area".

Well, enjoy your Saturday. The Fun Zone predicts rain within the week, which would be nice because the smog in the air here now is approaching Los Angeles levels.


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