« The adoption question: our informal poll | Main | Addis expat socializing, Part II: the Ferenge Network, the Mommy Mafia, and the many acquaintances »

August 21, 2007



It might be the short-termness, actually. Thinking of graduate school, most students are around for what, 2-3 years? And unless they're going to school in a town where they have a social network in place already (Emily), they tend to hang out with other grad students only.


>>chalk this scarcity of socialibility up to my personality

Uh yeah, some'n we've been meen'n to tell ya...


I think most Ethiopians are extremely shy when it comes to dealing with feregis. The language barrier is one thing. the other is the culture itself doesn't have "how to make friends with strangers." The concept of lets do lunch maybe not be understood in Ethiopia. But lets have coffee ceremony may break the ice and understand eachother.


A coalition of factors :) Many live in houses that are too small, too shabby to invite a ferenj. As you noted, you go to the "cheap" 50 Birr lunch restaurants, which is just too expensive for them. So, hanging with you could be fatal for the wallet. Cultural differences are so big. Even if one speaks good English, daily routines and lifestyle and all these things that make up simple conversations are so different, that I think makes socializing small talks often awkward. You noticed it yourself, people laugh out loud only when you are not telling a joke. For most people, it takes an effort to explain themselves in English and so on. . .

The comments to this entry are closed.