At six o'clock I was sitting in a minibus - right on schedule. Surprisingly it only took about twenty minutes for taxi to fill and get going - even more surprising it only took an hour to get to Dire Dawa. I'd expected it to take an hour and a half to two hours and that wasn't taking in to account the flooded roads - but our driver was certifiably insane - but he got us there. At the airport I found the Ethiopian Airlines' computers were down so I couldn't confirm my next couple flights - my primary reason for getting to the airport so early.
I had two flights today, one from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa, then another one to Bahar Dar. Each flight was pretty routine except for one thing. On the first flight as we were coming in for landing I glanced down and right before the start of the runway were the combined wreckage of at least three planes - not a pretty sight as we're landing! The weird thing on the second flight also occurred right before we landed - we had to close our window shades, and any opening was immediately yelled at and the steward would come force it shut. It must have to do with the war with Eritrea. In fact we weren't allowed to open the window shades until the plane had come to a complete stop - I guess the airport could be considered a military target, and in fact next to the terminal there was a huge military helicopter - guns and all.
At the airport someone offered me a free ride in to town if I'd take a look at the hotel they represented. The hotel got high marks in the guide book, but it was also in the $50-100 range so I didn't think I was staying there. However times change and the lack of tourism got me the local rate - 55 birr (~$8) for a self contained room with hot water! I spent the afternoon wandering around the town. It was pretty frustrating as it by far the worst harassment I've had yet - everyone yelling "you, you" or "farangi", either followed by "give money". I wandered around the large market, but between the mud and harassment I lost interest after less than an hour. I really felt my self loosing control over the constant barrage so I went into a cafe for a coffee. It helped, but within minutes of leaving that sanctuary I was getting tense again so I decided to head back to the hotel. Just as well because a few minutes from the hotel it started to pour rain. Spent the afternoon sitting on the veranda reading.