April 07, 2006

Gang of local toughs takes up residence on the Fun Zone's turf

Though not an exact representation, this image gives you a reference for the tough acting gang of youth that has taken up residence down the alley. Their headquarters consists of a nook, not more than three meters across and one deep, below a telephone pole standing centurion over the gated back-entrance to a row of houses.

Much to the disappointment of the Fun Zone, this development looks semi-permanent and is on one of the main access roads the Fun Zone uses to go to work (luckily, they haven't established morning hours of operation as of yet).

This cigarette smoking, khat chewing, group of local toughs stares down cars, mouths the occasional comment (they are just beginning this aspect of their presence), all the time sneering at the social norms in Ethiopia and the neighborhood which dictates they should be doing this completely out of sight, if at all.

There was a time in the Fun Zone's less intelligent youth that I might have tried to take a hard line with such yutes, acting tough, returning stares, etc. But a group that so blatantly smokes for all passers-by to see, must not have very serious parents, are likely unemployed, and are probably not the crowd the Fun Zone wants to take the moral high ground with. As such, the Fun Zone adopted the steely/mildly anxious "Ethiopian street face", and glides his car through their environs with caution and grudging respect/resentment.

Update October 2010:  What was I thinking - harmless neighborhood kids, bored, never did a thing to me or anyone(that I know of).


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