I started to feel the heat on a cool summer day, sunnier than the previous ones though I dressed lightly. A reminder of the need for a heightened mood and atmosphere for that particular day, with a definite would-be spillover to the new year under the Gregorian calendar, cliqued in the ear. It could not have been a good start for a day out, seemingly envisioned as a day to piece together a new year's resolution.

I came out to stroll down the length and breadth of Addis Abeba centre every weekend, not because the internet, computers, and mobile phones mania with me were over. My interest in the evolution of technology is intact. However, the speed of nowadays gizmos that unnecessarily consumes continuous screen time, instead calling for extended breaks.

As I pondered if being connected to the internet is indeed being connected to other people, either as friends or followers with nothing to say to each other, I arrived at Piassa. It was a stroll down memory lane henceforth, showing the theatre and movie I attended and the eateries swivelled around in my thoughts.


It reminded me not only of the skipped lunch for the sake of eating outside. It was an essential item in my new year's resolution.

Great cooking is an art form as dear as creating masterpieces that are appreciated mainly in restaurants. My plan for the New Year is to make a quick cursory tour to examine, as far as possible, the eateries around the city centre closely and carefully. I intend to make comparisons that factor into decisions with friends to identify and remain loyal patrons to those that come out excellent while having a conversation about theatre, films and news on the creative world. The cramped and friendly raw meat eateries are not included in this, though.


Lost in this thought, I arrived at a restaurant close to a food and catering school.


Inside, its vibe tilts to that of a bar than a restaurant. I had ordered Spaghetti, accompanied by bread and plastic bottled water with a hardly identifiable sauce, whose colour was dominated by paper and generously added onion. Halfway, I could go with the old flatware and metal plate. No salt was added, and the taste was no more an issue with the tongue and the teeth, as the pasta was overcooked.

Undoubtedly, a city cannot assume social significance without its restaurants. Its practitioners' duty hangs on rewards for initiative and effort with feedback from every plate produced. It looked awkward, for a while, to me how my mood swung from that of annoyance to piquancy. It immediately brought the psychological metaphor of reframing, which is the process of changing the way we look at something, from negative to positive, as changing our perception of an event, a person, or an experience.

Then, as I thought of avoiding any hint of gentrification, the small Arabian Ful Medames and Feta kinds of food preparing eateries came to my mind. They are common in Addis Abeba, with simple, understated, and correct dishes as the houses are always cramped and crowded with tastes almost the same through generations being timeless.


Restaurateurs, training institutions and regulators of the business should focus on the intimate knowledge of the characteristics of major food items or ingredients than list overseas, mainly French-sourced names of dishes. It is what it takes to present what is available with taste and a limited menu instead of plating void of taste burdened with complaints about what is not available.

The change in the feedback with a favourable taste determines ones worth, as credentials and years of experience stay at the side with the plate. Meanwhile, my new year's resolution to e-world and reviews to share with friends is intact. I hope my next effort will discover merits and talents in people that I can hardly wait to address.



PUBLISHED ON Dec 24,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1182]




Tadesse Tsegaye (seetadnow@gmail.com), a polyglot with experience in multicultural-cum-institutional settings in resources management.





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