I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I lucked into a free place to stay for the majority of my time in Addis Ababa… how you might ask? Well… the Californian/Ethiopian girl that I met here eventually had to move back to California… but she was nice enough to ask her housemates if I could crash in her room while I was in the city. They agreed… and were nice enough not charge me anything. But before you guys out there get too excited, know that maybe “a room in the house” might not be exactly what you’re picturing in your mind. Mostly because I stayed in what’s known as “the service” here in Ethiopia… See most well-off people here have domestic servants (ranging from guards, to maids, to cooks, etc…. and the wealthier you are the more servants you have), and those servants generally live on the property, so they have to stay somewhere… enter the service. The service is generally just simple out-buildings on the property where the servants live… and depending on how old the property is, before servants, it’s where domestic slaves live (Ethiopia did not abolish slavery until 1942). Not exactly luxury accomodation, but it did the job for me… and my friend who had been living there for several months. So here’s a little photo tour of where I was living in Addis:
So pretty bare bones… but the price was right. And after a while, sleeping on those thin mattresses became very comfortable, so much so that now sleeping on a soft bed is strange. As far as “facilities” go, I just used the bathroom and kitchen in the main house. And this being Addis, the power went out several times a day, and the neighborhoods water would get turned off anywhere from several hours to several days without warning… luckily, this house (and every house here I think), has a large water storage tank that we could use for washing, showering and flushing toilets (I’ve never taken so many bucket showers in my life as my time here in Ethiopia… something you have to do in some of the cheaper motels in the small towns). It ended up being a great place to stay (centrally located and near a cafe with a good internet connection and a generator).