November 15, 2011 ·7 Comments
Marcello Arrambide who has managed to visit nearly 40 countries made a stop over in Somaliland two weeks ago and had this to write about the polite and inviting people of Somaliland.
It really felt like we were being smuggled into a country territory that is deeply misunderstood by the entire world. We left Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, at a shockingly good time (at 5.28, roughly 2 minutes before we had to leave at 5.30). What was even funnier is the advertisement on the bus that said “Young Man Bus, German Technology, Chinese Price” which sounds about right in this part of the world.
It was a refreshing change of pace after getting used to the wonderful delays with African transportation. Even when I flew from Madagascar I was able to win a bet because I was the only one that knew that we weren’t leaving on time. A 6 hour layover turned into a 2 layover because the plane was “surprisingly” late.
Luckily, Kenya Airways was nice enough to give us sandwiches, a bread sandwich to be exact.We arrived at the bus station, better known as the side of the road, in Jijiga, Ethiopia at roughly 4pm. I was able to find the best hotel in the city through a contact for the expensive price of $20 a room. Being a Muslim hotel, we were informed of their #1 rule, a marriage certificate is required for couples staying in the same room. I was fortunately traveling with another straight man so the only documentation we had to provide were our passports. I wonder if the same rule would have applied if we told them we were actually gay and happened to be partners.
Who doesn’t love Cher anyway?
After we befriended some locals and ate at a local restaurant we laid on our beds at the Hamdu hotel which felt like the floor of a wrestling ring. The mattresses were stiffer than the day after bread in Europe. For those of you that haven’t been to Europe, bread is made fresh daily and if you don’t eat it the same day it turns into a rock due to the lack of preservatives.
We were eating at the hotel restaurant when it happened. The man sitting across from us was clearly Somali by the looks of the bottom part of his goatee. He corrected us when we tried to order a Coke and say thank you and as the conversation continued he invited us to his table.
You can read the rest of Marcello story in his block WanderingtraderFollow @somalilandpress