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2003 - Part of the family
 
 

Massawa - Ghinda - Asmara - May 18th 2003

 

Next day I spend the morning in Massawa. I visit the old port area. You can do the whole area in an hour. An old lady becomes hysterical when she sees me. I must come in to drink coffee. She looks absolutely desperate. I think she hopes someone will save her from her poverty and / or loneliness. I tell her I have an appointment and take a taxi to the Massawa Housing Complex.

 I feel very tired. The trip by bus is absolutely disastrous for your ass. 700 kilometers shaking, sweating and dust on a not very comfortable seat. If I ever do the trip again, I will go by plane (for less than 50 dollars!) and return by bus.

The celebrations in Asmara are about to begin. Before noon I am at the bus station where again I am lucky. I have the seat next to the driver in a brand new Toyota bus.

At the stopover in Ghinda I choose one of the little restaurants to have a coke. A mentally disturbed man, "zulul" collects watermelon skins from the street, eating what is left of them. When he passes the restaurant his eyes first focus on the Dutch tourist. He  approaches me and holds up his hand. I have compassion with the man. If I can have a coke, why should not he have one. I give him three Nakfa's for a Coca Cola.

He is glad and tries to start a conversation with me. Then, when I am not watching he grabs my bottle with Coca Cola. The other people are enjoying the show. I do not know if he is dangerous, so I decide not to react. Either he must be very thirsty, or he is afraid I will take his bottle. In no time he finishes my Coke. I order a new one and hold it carefully. He has had enough. As if he wants to pay for the Coke, he is doing an act in front of my camera. After some time he leaves, picking up garbage and smashing it against the street.

Children sell roasted chick peas, toothpicks and little baskets to earn some money. After 30 minutes the Toyota bus passes all the bars sounding its horn, indicating it is time to get in for the rest of the trip to Asmara, where we arrive at 16:00.

First thing to do is have my shoes polished. The shoes suffered most from the 1600 kilometer trip last week. They are disintegrating. No problem, for 15 Nakfa they are perfectly repaired by the small boy who is stitching the shoes as if it is his every day job.

Before returning to Terhas and Feshaye I have a good meal. The center of Asmara is beautifully illuminated, indicating the celebrations are about to begin.

 

Reminder of Massawa's violent history.

Reminder of Massawa's violent history.
 (1961 - 1991 War of Liberation) .

One of the many alley's in Massawa.

One of the many alley's in Massawa.

New residential housing Massawa Eritrea.

New residential housing Massawa Eritrea.

Apartments of the new build Massawa Housing Complex.

Apartments of the new build Massawa Housing Complex.

Regional administration Massawa Eritrea.

Regional administration Massawa Eritrea.

Taxi's waiting near the Sigalet Cinema Massawa.

Taxi's waiting near the Sigalet Cinema Massawa.

Taxi's waiting near the Sigalet Cinema Massawa.

Zulul - mentally disturbed man - Ghinda Eritrea.

Blooming tree - Ghinda Eritrea.

Blooming tree - Ghinda Eritrea.

Bar Durfo - Road to Massawa.

Bar Durfo - Road to Massawa.

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara  - 12th independence day.

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara - 12th independence day.

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara  - 12th independence day.

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara - 12th independence day.

 

 
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