Many overhanding guides say that welcome from Ethiopians is not very warm. The language barrier is not helpful and sometimes you can expect occasional showers of sticks ans stones…
Well…We experienced the whole range of different behaviour from local people, especially kids… But to be honest we didn’t see many Ethiopians with angry, full of aggression faces. Most of the time, their acting, when they saw us, was funny and little odd.
Reactions on us and our van by Ethiopians
§ Waving towards us
§ Passing a kiss (mainly girls)
§ „you, you, you”
§ „pen, pen, pen”
§ „birr, birr”
§ „Farang” (foreigner)
§ Spitting on our car
§ Once we were hit by a stick (old lady didn’t lke a car in the village)
§ Once a girl was screaming: „I love you”
§ Throwing mud/ rocks/ animal poo
§ Once hit by a whip
§ Staring at us like on UFO
§ Running along the car/behind or running away leaving on the road a huge herd of cow
§ Showing a tongue.
§ Dancing, showing acrobatic stuff, standing on a head
§ One kid was walking on the stilts
So that was what we experienced:)
Due to the fact that lots of Ethiopians cannot afford to buy a car( they rather walk or run), therefore they don’t really get used to many vehicles on the roads. Firstly we thought that those reactions were only addressed to foreigners, but even a car on Ethiopian number plate can meet some reactions listed above. Of course sometimes people (mostly kids) were trying to throw a stone into our car, but then instead of driving faster, running away we were waving and smiling towards them. And because of that, such a person or child automatically was drooping a stone or animal dung down and he/she was waving back to us…Simple solution, which allowed to save our windscreen in that country:)
We also were thinking, why actually kids or young people throw stones/sticks into cars…The reason for that in our opinion is:
-roads in Ethiopia are various…nowadays, there is plenty of tarmac roads, but before asphalt times, gravel was dominated. Now..Imagine…when a car is driving fast on gravel road, some rocks may shut out from the underneath and hit people, who are on the road. Therefore, they are throwing stones into vehicles as a payback.
Short video of Ethiopian Kids (you will be able to hear something what they scream)