There are two countries in Africa which are considered to never have been colonized. The countries are Ethiopia and Liberia.
In the 1880's Italy failed to take Ethiopia as a colony. On 3 October 1935 Mussolini ordered a new invasion and on 9 May the following year Ethiopia was annexed by Italy. On 1 June the country was merged with Eritrea and Italian Somalia to form Italian East Africa.
Emperor Haile Selassie made an impassioned appeal to the League of Nations on 30 June 1936, gaining support from the US and Russia. But many League of Nations members, including Britain and France, recognized Italian colonization.
It was not until 5 May 1941, when Selassie was restored to the Ethiopian throne, that independence was regained.
I have been in Ethiopia for a week, I have had to fly into Ethiopia because I can only get a visa into Ethiopia at my country of residence. Today we will keep this light and not deal with the issues behind the visas being difficult for an African child.
This got different really quickly upon arrival in Ethiopia. One thing I had not thought of was how Ethiopians drive. Ethiopians drive on the right hand side of the road, and that is where my confusion started. In all the countries I have travelled everyone drives on the left hand side of the road. So yes, right now I am back to being a 3 year old learning how to cross the road all over again.
Most of the roads in Addis Ababa do not have lanes, and those that have lanes the drivers do not pay attention to.
Most of the town does not have traffic lights, stop signs or speed humps as I am used to. There are pedestrian crossings even on a four lane highway. I remember crossing this four lane highway and seeing cars coming at a speed and I panicked, I started running, screaming
“I am going to die” to the amusement of all the locals that where around.
The one thing I have loved about Ethiopia is, It has been the only country that when you meet the locals, the first thing they don’t tell you is how terrible the crime is and how you must always be careful. Not that there aren’t any small incidents but it comes back to you taking responsibility for your possessions. The streets of Addis Ababa are very safe, even at night.
There is only one cell phone network in Ethiopia, which is owned by the government. Reception is either bearable or non-existent.
Electricity in Ethiopia, like all other African countries I have visited comes and goes as it pleases. It is not as bad as in Malawi or Zambia but you sometimes can go with no electricity for the whole day.
Due to the attempt by Italy in Ethiopia, you will find an Italian culture in Ethiopia. There are pizza restaurants in most places. Not the best pizzas though. You will also find burger joints but these are not the most appealing burgers. The portions are really big, I have always said that African portions are crazy huge, and the Ethiopian portions even bigger. Everytime I get served I feel like it’s an attempt to get me fat.
Tomorrow I will write about things to do in Addis Ababa. Later in the week I will travel to Gondar, Ethiopia and I will write about.