Asmara Eritrea - May 30th 2004
Today is Sunday. Not much excitement
in Asmara. Feshaye will make a long healthy walk to the center. I
accompany him, telling about my adventures in Assab, his brother and the family
of his brother. In the main street, Harnet Avenue, he shows me the directions to
Cherhi bar and restaurant on top of a hill in the outskirts of Asmara.
"just walk straight from here"".
After a two kilometers walk from the
center I climb the hill to enjoy the view over Asmara. I make some pictures of
the restaurant and its surroundings. When I ask if the bas is open at this hour,
the answer is surprising: "This is a military place now". Afraid of
the consequences (it is forbidden to make pictures of military objects), I
resume my walk, away from this building, towards Via Jeddah.
In a small grocery store I order a
Coke. A girl asks me where I'm from and offers me to show her village Mihram Chira, between Haz Haz and Acria. We walk for half an hour, climbing a hill to
enjoy the views. She explains why most people do not want to be pictured.
"If I don't know you, I'll have to be afraid that you will abuse the
pictures. And there is nothing I can do to prevent it." Selam will go to
her sister, so we take the number 10 bus to the center and go our own way.
It is hot, even for Asmara. I
try to walk in the shade and visit a bar every hour. A boy is selling hot
roasted peanuts for a Nakfa per cup. I buy a few cups and share them with
the other guests. At the market I buy a dozen oranges. A few blocks
further a girl says: "Please let me have your fruits". What would
she mean (apart from referring to the oranges)?
People ask me what happened to
my skin. Since my visit to Assab my skin is coming of and the sweating
makes it worse. I have to tell them it is not a disease. It is the sun,
"tzehaie" that created a map of the Dahlak Islands on both my
At the bus station I buy a
small toy for Elilta. She starts to like me. And I feel at home and at
ease with Terhas, Feshaye and the children.
I recognize the second bus
that accompanied us returning from Assab. And I meat Francesca, the
Italian journalist that was in the pane to Assab. We walk through the
center of Asmara and exchange experiences and have some drinks.
Francesca has her own appointment,
so I finish the day in the Selas Bar, trying to catch Lem Lem and Freweini
with my camera. I have no succes
Mosque Via Jeddah - Asmara Eritrea.
Bus station of the Keren buses
- Asmara Eritrea.
Wall painting - Asmara Eritrea.
Decorated shop window - Asmara
Kidane Mehret, Oriental Christian
Church - Asmara Eritrea.
Post office - Asmara
Interior of the Catholic
Cathedral - Asmara
Berhe shoe shop - Asmara Eritrea.
Bar Amanuel -
Asmara Stout beer - Selas