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2003 - Part of the family
 
 

Assab Eritrea - May 16th 2003

 

First thing I do is buy the return ticket for next days bus to Asmara. I recognize the boy selling the tickets close to the hotel. Again I will have the best seat, in front of the bus. Then I will try to find myself a breakfast.

I have an appointment at 9:00 with Tekie, the taxi driver. Together we try to find Hadgembes. After half an hour we find him in one of the offices of the military. He received a new assignment and has to do a lot of talking to get permission to join his brother in law. I hope I do not bring him into trouble.

Before noon we visit Assab, the salt flats and the oil refinery. Hadgembes will go back to the military. I will see him late in the afternoon to say goodbye. I will walk through Assab on my own, using the small map in the Bradt Travel Guide as a reference. It is hot. There is not so much to see. No women who are waiting to feed me. Nothing spectacular architecture, no adventures. Most people in Assab do not leave their house in this heat, if not necessary.

At 16:00 I am back in the hotel to wait for Hadgembes to say goodbye. I will bring back a letter to Mebrat. I am sure she will be glad I visited her brother. He is in Assab for a long time. Saw him in 1999 only, when he happened to be in Asmara, during my first visit to Eritrea. Hadgembes will stay with me tonight. He explained the military that his family from Holland is visiting him. They gave him permission to stay in the hotel.

We visit a bar in Assab and get drunk. Two double araki's for a dollar. The local administrator comes to visit the bar. He wishes to speak to the Dutch tourist. I do not know the reason. Maybe he is afraid I am a spy. There was a war around Assab. Ethiopians trying to fight themselves an outlet to the Red Sea. Hadgembes explains the situation. "So you are an Eritrean by mariage. Welcome to the family!", the administator says. We have some drinks and at 10:00 we return to the hotel.

 

Municipality of Assab - sign of the Afar.

Municipality of Assab - sign of the Afar.

Little bar in Assab.

Little bar in Assab.

Small grocery shop in Assab.

Tekie and his wife in their small grocery shop in Assab.

Port bar in Assab.

Port bar in Assab.

Small bookshop in Assab.

Small bookshop in Assab.

City Park Assab.

City Park Assab.

Salt ponds of Assab.

Salt ponds of Assab.

Former cableway connecting Assab salt panes with the port.

Former cableway connecting Assab salt panes with the port.

Prepared for the 12th anniversery of independence.

Assab - Prepared for the 12th anniversery of independence.

Kebal International Hotel - Assab Eritrea.

Kebal International Hotel - Assab Eritrea.

 

 
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