After Lalibela, we headed back to Addis Ababa for a pit-stop before heading on to Nairobi. As usual, we had an early morning flight before the sun woke up, so we got into Addis in the morning with the whole day to see some more of the city. We all wanted to do some souvenir shopping before leaving the country, so our plan was to hit up the market. Even without wanting any souvenirs, it’s always fun to visit an outdoor market in a new place. Unfortunately, it was Sunday, the only day the market is closed. Our hotel was able to direct us to another area with souvenir shops that would be open.
By shops, I mean squished together stalls packed ceiling high with handicrafts. Most of them were so cramped and full of stuff that only one person, plus the shopkeeper, could fit inside. The more aggressive sellers used this to their advantage and placed themselves in the doorway, insisting you haggle with them over something, anything that caught your eye. Because I dislike these types of tactics, I only bought from the shopkeepers who left me alone while I looked, showing aggressive selling only when we entered into the haggling stage. I forgot how much I enjoyed wrestling over prices from my days in China. I spoke just enough Mandarin to be able to give them a hard time for trying to rip me off and this usually tickled the merchants.
Tired from our purchasing but not yet ready to go back to the hotel, we looked in the guidebook for some suggestions and learned that there was a juice bar nearby. When we found the street it was on, it took us awhile to figure out which place was the juice bar, since it was tucked inside an unassuming fruit stand. All the fresh fruit outside wet our appetites and we were eager to try the colourful smoothies placed in front of us.
They were fresh and delicious and exactly what we wanted.
Except for one minor detail.
We suspect they made the smoothies with tap water and later that night my body vehemently disagreed with that detail. All night I had to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes. By 2am I wanted to die. By 2:30am I was asking Steve if I had malaria. He went down to wake up the front desk staff to use the internet and confirm that I had food poisoning (*cough* Traveller’s Diarrhea) and therefore whether or not I should take the antibiotic prescribed by our travel doctor. I took it and by 4am I was finally able to get a little sleep – we had to be up in an hour or so to get ready to fly to Nairobi. Because I still felt like death when we woke up, we consider cancelling our flight and going the next day – who wants to fly when they have to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes? But Steve drugged me up – antibiotic, anti-malarial pill, Immodium, and Gravol – and the guys helped me with my bags and we went for it. The airport is a blur – I stood as long as I had to and sat whenever I saw a chair, ledge, planter, etc. When we finally got on the plane, I was out within seconds and didn’t wake up until we arrived.
This was my first, and unfortunately not my last bout of TD on the trip. Nor was I alone in this – we all got sick on the trip, and all of us twice.