Eritrea May 31 2016 - Walking through
After the morning tea &
breakfast the day starts - as always - with the children of the private
school next door singing the Eritrean anthem at 7h45.
Like every day the early
morning is for networking / visiting tourism service providers. I walk
from the center to Godaif. The road has been opened for a new sewage
Back in the center I visit
Kibreab at the Housing and Commerce Bank. From here I have internet access
to check the Eritrea Profile. The internet is slow. Guess it is one of Eritrea's challenges for the near future to connect to the
digital highway with fast connections. Internet is business. And no
connections is no business.
In the afternoon I meet Mr.
Tekeste (Asmara Grande) and Natsuno (Young Pioneer Tours) in a cafe next to
the Asmara Grande office. We chat about the various types of tourist and
the types that fit more or less for the destination Eritrea. It is the humble
type that will feel happy, while the arrogant type of tourists will be a mismatch with
the Eritrean culture and life style.
Visa requests were no problem
for the Young Pioneer group, but the time it takes to get a visa varied
from one to more than eight weeks. The time span may vary with your
nationality, your occupation, and your arguments to apply for a visa.
I still have to do some
shopping for my wife. I have no idea what the beauty shop product will
cost. I start in the shop where I bought them last year. I ask for the
price. 28 NFA for one unit and 336 NFA for the whole (12 pieces) box. They
have to come from another shop because the girls do not have them in
stock. I wonder how this fact will affect the price of the product. One
hour later I will know. I buy a dozen. The hair vitamins are carefully
packed in a a few pages of Haddas Ertra, the Tigrinya newspaper.
I continue my walk to Abbashaul
and start a search for the same product. As per my wife's instructions it
is best to buy in this poor district, as prices are better. I find
the same product at Nardos Cosmetics Shop in Abbashaul.
I ask the price showing the empty package I brought as an example.
"30 NFA for one, 360 NFA for the dozen". I tell the shop keeper
/ owner I just bought the same product for 28/336 NFA. I will get the
dozen for 336 NFA.
Back on the streets of Abbashaul,
I receive a firm handshake of Tekle. It takes a few seconds before I
remember. Tekle is the happy owner of Restaurant Omer Nasser in Edaga
Hamus. He is proud to guide me to his restaurant. I ask him if he can
serve ful (as I still cannot read the Tigrinya menu card) "Ful
Zubuk!" is his instruction to the kitchen, which means "good
full", or make it special for the tourist. The two words again are a
warm welcome of a man proud to have you in his restaurant.
I do my best to eat the ful
without a spoon, I am too proud to ask for a spoon, I will use the two
breads, in pieces, to eat the ful. I am successful to finish the ful
before I finish the bread / my Eri spoons. No need to ask for a spoon
('manka' in Tigrinya).
Tekle asks me what I want to
drink. "Milk, tea, a coke?" I chose the Coca Cola. But a then I
remember one of my previous visits, when no coke was available. "I
kept one for you!" Tekle replies with a happy face.
Out on the street again I pass
the Edaga Hamus bus station with its variety of buses. When I study one of
them, curious of its brand and origin, the driver asks me to come in. He
introduces himself as Christo. He is the owner of two very old buses that
operate on the line Asmara - Beleza. Proud he shows me his bus. "It
has everything: a radio, light. It is an old but very strong bus" he
tells me. I
can only agree. The bus is very old, but it does not fall apart on the
sometimes rough roads outside Asmara
IRGA building - Sematat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Nakfa House - Sematat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Houses and shops - DGSA Street 189
Tiravolo Asmara Eritrea.
Kindergarten - Godaif Asmara Eritrea.
PTZM midi bus - Godaif Asmara Eritrea.
Sign post Bloko Godaif - Godaif Asmara Eritrea.
Bar Impero - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Guard Housing & Commerce Bank - Asmara Eritrea.
Selam Hotel under renovation - GMBI Street Asmara Eritrea.
Crispi Bar & Fast Food - Denden Street Asmara Eritrea.
Nardos Cosmetics - 119-6 Street Abbashaul Asmara Eritrea.
View on the kitchen - Restaurant Nasser Omer - Edaga Hamus Asmara.
Harat regional buses - Edaga Hamus bus terminal Asmara Eritrea.
Because life is everything - Edaga Hamus
bus terminal Asmara Eritrea.