Thursday, 4 December 2014

How to install ZTE USB modems on Ubuntu

Although you can still use the modem by setting it from the edit connections (upper right corner on the network icon) and then clicking on add, scrolling to Mobile Broadband..., you will not be able to access the modem's menu, like texting and all that stuff. That is why I went to pains to make - or rather edit - the readme.txt from the linux folder.

I installed mine and I use it just you would in Windows. But I cannot give it for free, you will have to email me, and of course send some small amount ($1), for  the corrected and tested process. It will still be a .txt document.

By the way you pay through Skrill to Paul Kimani Njuguna,  of 127-00206 Kiserian Kenya.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Naming System in Kenya

Traditional communities of Kenya used the patronym or matronym.The Kikuyu used 'wa' to mean 'of' so, Kimani wa Mumbi is Kimani (male) son of Mumbi (female). The use of the mother's name among the Kikuyu was a result of polygamy, where a man would have more than one wife, sometimes upto 10. Using the mother's name was important, moreso to the father who needed to know which wife gave him which son, or daughter.

The Kalenjin use 'arap', as the Maasai use 'ole', while the Meru use 'mto' sometimes just shortened as M'. So if my Meru name is Kiraitu M'Murungi, it means that I am Kiraitu son of Murungi. And you read the name as Kiraitu Mto Murungi, not Kiraitu Mmurungi.

Even though Kenyans adopted the English tradition of using the paternal surname, after being colonised, most - if not all - did not use it the English way. Look at the example below to clearly understand:

A man called Paul Kimani Njuguna,
is the son of John Njuguna Gitau.
And John Njuguna Gitau,
is the son of William Gitau Kamau.

Clearly, the surname in the English concept should be Kamau for all, from Paul, to John. This discrepancy was brought about by the fact that even though the Kikuyu, and many other Kenyan communities, adopted Christianity, and hence English customs, one's given name was always a Kikuyu one, or an African one. The English/Biblical name is what was, and still is referred to as the 'Baptism name' and one did not get that until after going to church to be baptised. This baptism could happen two weeks or even months after one was born. That did not mean that you had no name. One had the African name. Still, under the influence of the missionaries, the baptism name came first i.e. before your African name, and so your first (African) name became the middle name, and your given (baptism) name became your first name.

To make it simpler:
When a child was born, Africans already had their naming systems - maybe after seasons, conditions, ancestors, family, etc. - so if a child was born today they would name the baby, for instance
Wambua mwana'a Nzeki, i.e.
Wambua child of Nzeki.
(Wambua means the child was born during the rain - mbua.) This is an example of the Kamba way of naming.

So, after Wambua was old enough to take to church for baptism, the name Wambua would become his middle name, preceded by say, Paul. And that is how Paul Wambua Nzeki would come into existence, according to the colonists.

By this argument, it would be safe to conclude that Kenyans did indeed name like Ethiopians, where in Ethiopia the name:
Hamerti Paulos Gemechu,
means that Hamerti is the daughter of Paulos, who is the son of Gemechu. I come to this conclusion seeing that Africans in Kenya did not really consider the baptism name when naming their kids, and neither did they use their father's name (last/surname). They merely used their first (given/African) name. Otherwise, we would have been able to trace our ancestors a long way up the tree by just a name, the family name. Only a few communities like the Luo do that, hence the Obamas, the Nyong'os, etc.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Kilometre – The Snob

I would like to start by informing the reader that this is a true story. It is about a snob who is still alive as I write this. His name is Kilometre.
Not many are sure about when and where Kilometre was born, but he was alive during Kenyatta I’s regime, and he was born around Kigumo in Kiambu County, the exact village unknown. I have seen this man with mine own eyes and therefore I believe what I was told about him since I do not see any reason why anyone would make up a story about an innocent man, and also due to the fact that the whole story was too good to be a fabrication.
During his youth, he was a conman, a fraudster, and Kenya had a dictator for president at the helm, contrary to what many people mistook Kenyatta for – a statesman. If you happened to look up dictator in Collin’s Gem dictionary during the 70’s, you were sure to see Kenyatta I’s picture and an example in a sentence about him, so I was told. But there are no more dictionaries of that kind – 70’s – these days and you would therefore not see what I am trying to say.
Kilometre was from Kenyatta’s Kikuyu ethnicity and so using the dictatorship to his benefit, he would go around Central Province terrorizing land-owners, telling them that Mzee wanted them to vacate their premises. So he got a lot of land that way – whole coffee plantations. And the people were not that educated to know their rights, nor their lefts, and even if they should have been, Kenyatta I was so busy grabbing land for his future generations that he would not have given a rat’s ass about anyone’s rights. If he needed your piece of land you had to vacate as soon as you possibly could. And so Kilometre enriched himself with stolen wealth. He became extremely rich. Filthy rich.
It is said that he spent money like it meant nothing. Every time he went drinking it is said, he would leave his Land Rover’s engine running, saying that since he was drinking, so should his Rover. And the Rover’s tank was always full. He had all the money in the world. After such drinking sprees, he would often ask the poor what it was like to be poor and would often ask God to send him just a drop of poverty so he could experience what the poor man did.
Those who knew him say he had two more Land Rovers but he would often exaggerate at the bar, saying, “I’ve got four sons, and four Land Rovers, what else would I need in the world? Each son with his own!” They also add that should his Rover Jeep have stopped because of any minor problem, he never tried to start it again. He would have several boys rounded up who would push the Rover home, no matter the distance, with himself sitting as comfortably as if he had not the slightest care in the world. Many say there was quite a close connection between man and car.
I believe you now think that I must be a terrible story teller for not telling you how he got his name in the first paragraph, but everyone has a way of doing things. I believe this is the right time to do so. Well, during his drinking sprees, Kilometre used to boast of his great many acres of land and that a deer would not run a kilometer in his woods before a hunter shot it. In other words the woods were so extensive that a deer would rub a kilometer without getting out. Whether this is true is a matter of opinion, seeing that he would boasts of 4 Rovers for his sons, and yet they were two.
This very day, as if God used to listen to his ‘prayers’, the man is poorer than a church mouse and the only indication of his now gone greatness is his great compound is its size and the ruins. No one knows how exactly he squandered his wealth.

The Ethiopian Beggar

Ethiopia is the ultimate beggar-tourist destination. All beggars in the world should endevour to make that trip to Ethiopia to see how business is conducted. Of all beggars in this wide world that I have had the fortune to meet, the Ethiopian one stands in a class of his own. He is just as filthy as others in the business, and just as poor, but what makes him stand out is the fact that he seems to be always informed on the hottest markets year round. Now, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, every day of the month is dedicated to some saint, and they celebrate most of them in some flamboyant way. They do not celebrate all the saints but the most notable ones in the church’s history, but that does not in any way mean that they degrade other saint’s. in Ethiopia, too, they name their different cathedrals after the different saints and that means that if today is Kidist Mariam (St Mary)’s day, they all flock to St Mary’s cathedral; if it is Kidus Yosef (St Joseph)’s, they still do the same. And these cathedrals may be located miles apart but people hire out taxis and buses to ferry them to the different locations. And who else would you least expect to be absent from there than the Ethiopian beggar: young and old, sturdy and sickly, beautiful and ugly, hungry and satisfied.
They line up the paths, streets and highways that lead to these holy places of worship and lay down their rags and wait for the faithful to come drop a coin on their mats, or rags. And Ethiopians come by their hundreds, with so much loose change to give them. They make sure that they get as much loose change in coins to give these hundreds of beggars and they drop them coins until they run out of the coins. Should they run out of coins, they get a bigger denomination, drop it at the nearest beggar and then take change! Imagine that! I drop a quarter and take back and dime! Such professionalism! Then they proceed to go pray. Ethiopians are so pious.
On the other hand, the beggar sits by his rag and patiently awaits a coin while at the same time uttering loud enough prayers for mercy while mentioning several saints and the Trinity, evoking that empathy that exists in the human nature. The beggars are not so pious.

Though I do not despise these beggars, there is a class of beggars that I do not wish existed. These are the ones that go around showing very ugly parts and deformations that are so vile. They show you diseases that would make you cringe, whatever that means! A missing limb, a missing eye, with a part that looks like it once belonged to an alien. And boy they make you feel so bad, showing wounds that would make a little kid run with fear to the end of the world. Anyways, it is not my business to classify these beggars, I have to leave them at that.

A Trip from Moyale to Nairobi, Overland

Before you leave for Nairobi, from Moyale, get ready for the journey is quite an exciting one. I booked a seat, no. 37 on a Moyale Raha bus, and waited till the next morning for departure. Well, morning eventually came and I boarded a bus, along with my luggage. We started the journey at 7.00 am.
Moyale is at the border with Ethiopia and that means that you should have come in contact with skista, the Amharic dance. If you didn’t then no need to worry. The best skista dance lessons are on the way. There is no tarmac road for about 300km and there the bus jolts you this way and that and the driver seems to care less, being seated at the very front where there is no ups-and-downs, literally. We jumped here and there, at times for an inch, at other times for many several metres that would have made a pole-vaulter jealous. I remember after hitting a crater on the road – the driver often thought they were nothing but mere potholes – I was tossed so high in the air that I hit the roof and came landing on the wrong seat, or rather on a very beautiful creature, the species of mankind, of the opposite sex. I landed awkwardly such that I looked like I was her dear baby that she was holding in her arms. I did not want to waste such a precious moment that the lord hath provided for me. I kissed her sweet lips fast and then apologized, blaming the driver and even cussing him out loud, but deep in my heart I was blessing the same driver. After that I was in secret prayer, fervently praying, asking God to bring the whole Great Rift Valley at the next moment we got to hit a crater. I wasn’t very successful at this request, but we danced all the same.
And then we got to some desert, which I think was called Chalbi. My o my! I have never seen an area flatter than this, and all full of nothing except miles and miles of rocks covering the ground, and men with hundreds of camels travelling to a drinking hole, from a grazing place, carrying nothing but a stick to control the camels. They carry no water or nothing! And they survive. That is where our bus broke down and we made camp for about five hours as we waited for another bus from Moyale. The sun and the wind are involved in that epic battle for supremacy, as the wind blows with all its might and the sun shines with all its glory.
But the road is under construction at places and so you enjoy a short smooth ride that tricks you to believing that all is going to be well after that, but that is pretty much what you experience all the way. You experience a short smooth ride, and a looong one that makes you utter cusses you never thought you would utter. There was nothing else special except all the police barriers looking for illegal aliens, which they might as well have ignored – they were just as corrupt as Kenyan police officers are inherently supposed to be. There was a codename “Mahabusu” which in Swahili means “convicts” but this was used by corrupt officials to transport illegal foreigners to Kenya without the police disturbing them. It is a complicated network, and these police must be compensated otherwise they wouldn’t allow these aliens in without being bribed. I think the guys who do this are based high in the government, or at the immigration department. These “mahabusu” usually travel with some “official” who books them seats at the very back, usually, and he sits at the front. That way if there is trouble, he can deny them and they get arrested and jailed or deported or whatever happens to them.
There was nothing else interesting on the way except that the bus got a flat tire, it was safe, but while we were changing the tyre I lost my ID.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Wonderful Ethiopia

1. Of Butcheries

Muslim and Christian butcheries exist in Ethiopia, with a crescent and cross to indicate the same, respectively. Christian butcheries are mainly pro-Orthodox Church and so non believers, pagans, and Protestants really must feel left out. Kenyan Christians are so tolerant: they don't care what you told the cow before you killed it. Why, they would eat beef from a cow that was slaughtered by Old Nick himself! As long as the cow is made of meat they will have it. The reason I say this is because it is a well known fact that in all the slaughterhouses in Kenya, a Muslim is always available to kill the cow while uttering "Bismillahi", telling the cow that it is being slaughtered in the name of Allah, the most magnificent, the most graceful. If there wasn't one for the same, no Muslim would eat the meat from Kenyan butcheries. I am so proud of the many million Kenyans who don't care about the cow's religious affiliation. In Nazareth I had friends asking me why I visited any butchery and they were offended when I told them that in Kenya animals don't attend mosques and churches, hence no need to care. As long as the cow was free of mad cow disease and made of delicious meat, bring it on. I have always experimented on the meat. I have brought both my Muslim and Christian friends to my place at different occasions and without telling them where the meat was from, they all attested to the fact that the meat was delicious. But all Ethiopians coexist amicably, despite their different butcheries.

2. Transport System

I may not have travelled all across Africa but I can comfortably say that Ethiopia has the best, most organized transport system in Africa. They even have the best airline carrier in Africa: the Ethiopian Airlines. This is due to government "interference". The government sets fares for all distances from the biggest buses to the smallest Bajaj autorickshaws, leaving no chance for greedy conductors and bus owners, or the cartels we hear about in Kenya. If it rains in Kenya we all know fares go up. And not only are they set by the government, but the fares must be indicated by way of a sign at the front where everybody can see, with an official stamp. Talk about a responsible government! It might sound like communism and many people hate it  I wonder why - but, hey, it's for the good of the public.  Even basic goods like sugar and cooking oil have their prices controlled by the government. This makes sure that all Ethiopians have access to them. I'm sure if the Kenyan government came up with such an idea, political temperatures would flare. Kenyan politicians are just politicians. Few seem to care about the welfare of the citizens. On that note, I would like to tell you that my salary is higher than the Ethiopian Prime Minister's, by about 2000 Ethiopian Birr! Politicians here are about as honest as any can get.

About transport, the government owns a fleet of buses that charge as little as Br 1 (1 Birr) in the cities. Do you know how much that is in Kenya? Ksh 4-5! If this isn't amazing then nothing else would amaze me. They remind me of the city stagecoaches but we failed to keep them. These are called Anbassa Buses in Addis Ababa, and are red and yellow, and some are two combined like two train cars, and are all assembled locally. Anbassa is Amharic for lion. In Kenya the minimum you would pay must be Ksh 20, or around Br 4. These days bus and Matatu conductors in Kenya do not recognise 5 bob as legal tender, no matter how short the distance you have travelled. You might hear one say: Hiyo patia mtoi anunue pipi (Give that to a kid to buy sweets). It wouldn't be so in Ethiopia if it wasn't for the government regulating, and not only that but also monitoring continuously. In Kenya they decide to implement things but then they don't monitor progress and  before you know it, everything goes  back to "normal". First time I came to  Ethiopia I would just take the autorickshaws and travel from one Kebele (village) to another. It was so cheap I just had to do so.

To show how serious the government here is, roads are paved and new ones constructed, year after year. If you ever take the road from Nairobi to Addis, like we passionately call the capital, you would see the difference. The last time I travelled we left the Tarmac near Isiolo. From there to Moyale, there was something that looked like a road, with curious small mountains and craters in it, and the driver cared nought for that. We danced the whole way, and got painted in dust such that when we arrived in Moyale, we looked like one large family, of lunatics! At Turbi - which is so named after the seven hills around it (Turbi means 7 in the local language) - your vehicle must be stuck on the mud about 3 hours during the rainy season. And if not, there must be something wrong with your vehicle. As soon as you cross the border, you make the acquaintance of Tarmac and you converse all the way to Addis, except small portions that are being resurfaced.

When the Kenyan government is giving and canceling contracts amid charges of corruption in the tendering process, Ethiopia gives contracts and projects are started immediately. The railway in Ethiopia is almost complete, what we call standard gauge. In Addis parts of the railway are elevated, and some underground. Buildings have been brought down for the same. We know what happens in Kenya when a building has been bulldozed - drama - and these have been brought down in the very heart of Addis! When we were still dreaming of the Thika Superhighway, Ethiopia had completed hers and it was no longer a novelty to the locals. Ethiopia has recently just completed a toll road - the Addis-Nazareth expressway - a great highway that charges motorists, from Nazareth to Addis. Do we have a toll road in our beloved Kenya? Nope. Ethiopia is truly amazing. Maybe we should follow Ethiopia's footsteps to develop, Kenya.

3. Location of Ethiopia

Kids and adults alike innocently tell me that I don't look like an African but that I look more like an Ethiopian. This inspired me to write a poem, Nappy Head. You might have noticed that I seem to mean that Ethiopia is not in Africa but this is what they think. The kids innocently ask me, "You say you don't speak Amharic. But you look like an Ethiopian. If you are not Ethiopian, what are you? African?" I think Social Studies teachers here are sleeping on their job. They aren't working hard enough to tell these kids that Ethiopia is in the heart, not exactly but on the dexter shoulder of Africa! I am not usually amazed when I go to some place and they whisper that I am African and some even have the audacity to call me "Africa" and all the countries they know  in Africa. Sometimes I'm "Nigeria" all the way to "Uganda"! I just smile at their blissful ignorance and also because I love Africa. But with a Rasta hat and speaking English, I sometimes become "Jamaica"! They tend to associate the word Africa to Sudan, if you know the Arabic literal meaning. I was dazed when one guy strongly declared that my parents must have emigrated from here and he parted with him calling me a liar.

Kimani wa Mumbi travels Africa whenever possible

Amazing Ethiopia

Ethiopia has many wonderful things and also wonderful places to visit. I lived in a place called Nazareth, like the Biblical home where Jesus lived as a boy, and I really had good times there.

It is a known fact that Ethiopia has the highest population of cattle in Africa, and the 10th in the world. What people don't seem to know is that it has the highest population of beautiful girls per square kilometre in the world, as compared to India and the Philippines. You can even throw in South Korea if you like. I am still confused on which should make me the happiest, " for better, for worse; till death do us part..." Another fact that has never been observed is that Ethiopia has the highest population of DOGS in the world, when you put her size into consideration. I have seen more dogs in one street on a normal day (yes, it wasn't a canid holiday) than all the dogs in the Rift Valley Counties of Kenya. Below are some amazing facts:

1. The Dogs of Nazareth

Nazareth is a city about 100km from the capital, as you head towards Shashamane and to Kenya. It's a beautiful city, almost entirely surrounded by hills, and is low-lying and therefore hot, being on the Rift Valley floor. It has wide beautiful streets, some entirely cobblestoned reminding you of the ancient civilizations. The first time I saw cobblestones I immediately consulted Google Maps for my location. And it has traffic lights too, but these don't usually work unless the city is about to host a major event. Too bad because it is a busy city, being on the road to Djibouti, whose port is also used by Ethiopia.

To the main point now. The dogs. If ever a city had so many dogs, and those particular dogs be homeless, and fat, and healthy, and of all breeds in the world, Nazareth is that city. There isn't a breed I haven't seen in Nazareth except the bulldog. And most of these dogs have no owners meaning they rule the city streets. They sleep right in the middle and wouldn't move even if the Prime Minister was passing. You will see beautiful homeless poodles that might tempt you to break a commandment: the one about stealing! The dogs are so healthy and have a constant supply of meat. Of meat?! You must be wondering. Like I said in the opening paragraphs, Ethiopia has a lot of cattle, but these have owners. The local Ethiopian population therefore does not eat meat from the head, the lower leg, I think it's called the shin, and the innards. The only innards they eat are the liver and the stomach. The stomach is not even considered edible to some. All that they don't eat, consequently, ends up in dumps and there the city dogs reign. It amazed me when I first arrived there and saw a dog hauling a full head of a cow - it might have been a bull - together with its tongue and skin! I thought it had commandeered it. In Kenya the only part of the cow I don't remember eating was the gallbladder, the lung, and the bone, and the bone must be broken so as not to miss the elusive marrow. After breaking, the bone is boiled for so long a dog can't tell if meat ever clung on it. It must smell like it's a century old to a dog. The reason for boiling is not to make glue but to make what Kenyans call "soup, supu, thufu, and surwa" in English, Swahili, Kikuyu and Sheng respectively. Personally I have eaten eyes, brains, the nose, and even the skin on its head. Kenyans have a great recipe for a cow head, and not only cows but also goats, sheep, chickens, name it. The intestines are then washed and stuffed with a mixture of peppered meat, liver, and blood to make Kenyas indigenous sausage called "mutura" or "African sausage" or "Dubai sausage". The latter is derived from the fact that Kenya imports second hand cars from Dubai and the "sausage" is not so "sausagy" by having blood and pepper in it. O! The blood! Kenyans don't shed the blood of an innocent beefer in vein! We either mix it with fresh milk and honey and drink it like a Maasai Moran, or cook it in the sausages! Dogs in Kenya are the reason they coined the phrase "a dog's life". They really get a hard time.

That explains the health of these dogs of Nazareth. But in the subarbs of the city, dogs have no peace at all. Boys and even grown men comfortably bend over, pick up a stone, and hurl it towards an innocent dog that is minding it's own canine business! It appears Nazarenes have an inherent inclination towards molesting homeless dogs or mbwa koko in Swahili. And there's not a single pound that would hold them, and there's still not one in the country. The only reason Nazarenes don't hurl objects at dogs in the city is simply because there are no rocks to throw, and also so many people. But even though these dogs be harmless, they are most annoying from 2.00 to 3.00 in the morning. It appears they usually meet an hour  before 2.00 to decide on what noises they should make that particular night. They continually wail, howl, bark, growl, whimper, cry constantly for that one hour, apparently for no reason. But dog and ghost experts generally agree that that time of night is when ghosts roam about our land and because dogs see ghosts, they try to have conversations with them!

2. The Gurage Dance

I must say that Ethiopian dances are beautiful. There is not a thing I would love more on a weekend than to watch an Ethiopian girl dance "Skista". It magnifies their already present beauty to colossal heights. Skista isn't "obscene"like many other African dances which involve shaking your hindquarters like you have a mind to shake them off. On the contrary, rather, Skista involves movement of the torso and the head with hands akimbo. Mostly it involves shaking your shoulders in a suggestive way and moving your head this way and that. O! How very beautiful! This dance is native to the Amhara people.

But what I want to talk about is the dance of the Gurage people. I don't know if it has a specific name but boy oh boy! It rocks! If you don't have a bicycle, and if you keep wondering which method is best for exercise, just take Gurage dance lessons. You will get into shape in your first lesson! It is so complex and also so beautiful and involves violent movements that I always wonder how they don't sweat after the dance. I always sweat as soon as I start thinking of the dance itself. Rhumba's "violence" is nothing compared to this. I wouldn't give a perfect description if I wanted and what would help anyone understand it better is looking for a video on YouTube. You move your hands back and forth as you make a slight jump accompanied by a little bowing, back and forth and so on. Your feet also move back and forth but not in tune with the rest of yourself. Occasionally you jump a little higher than you did all through the dance. This jump is probably meant to punctuate the dance, or indicate a different style coming. In general, it looks like you have a mind to run but your body is stuck in a singular spot. The Rastas who live here cannot endure that dance, partly because they own the laziest dance on earth that only involves pointing your index finger to the sky and very slight - almost unnoticeable - movement of the upper torso and the head, and also partly because their herb tends to make a body lazier and slower.

3. The: Local Booze

Apart from contemporary booze, Ethiopia also has three major local boozes viz. Tej, Araqe, and Tala. Many Kenyans would not pronounce the words right, leave alone leave the drinks after trying. There are letters in Amharic that don't exist in the Latin alphabet such that the Ts in Tej and Tala are very explosive and the Q in Araqe seems to come from down the larynx. I have tried all three even though I'm a teetotaler. But what amazes me is the honesty of Ethiopian local brewers. Every day I look at Kenyan papers I see dead people who drunk their moonshine that was laced with methanol and so on. In Ethiopia alcohol kills too, but it takes a long long time to completely destroy your liver, depending on your definition for long. And they have Tej Bet, Araqe Bet, and Tala Bet. Bet is Amharic for "house" or "place". Some of these "Betoch", for that is the plural, are even licensed and the price indicated on a notice on the wall complete with a stamp that that is the price approved by the local government.

I will start with Tej since it was the drink of the Imperial Family. It was a royal drink when great Abyssinia stood. It passed through the lips of many royals. Jomo "the Burning Spear" Kenyatta drank it every time he visited his close friend, Emperor Selassie. It is definitely one of the drinks that Queen Sheba took to Solomon as "gifts".

"Yellow", so aptly surnamed, is a sweet yellowish wine made from honey. It is served from "glasses" that remind me of chemistry - you know the one with a round body and a thin neck, I forgot its name. It is never served from a bottle or a cup. This is the standard serving. You hold the neck between the middle and the index finger. Never between any other fingers. This is the standard and accepted and revised way of holding. Being a wine, obviously they ferment yellowish honey and make it. It is sweet. It would be fair to compare it with Kenya's Muratina. Alcoholic content may be around 7%.

Araqe is the mother of all three if you are talking about alcohol levels. This is the chang'aa equivalent. Many people believe you should only take it after eating raw meat, yes Ethiopians eat raw meat as comfortably as a Kenyan can eat fried chapatti. They say it helps in digesting it and that drinking without having eaten the meat can kill you quick, since, finding no raw meat - it will definitely settle for your raw stomach. I have seen people drink it when even hungry. They drop down after some shots. But they aren't dead, they wake up eventually. Just like Tej, Araqe also has its own serving. Small whiskey glasses for single and double shots. They don't use those big multipurpose cups we use in Kenya. Now, being in the family of whiskey, it is distilled from other local drinks available in the area, especially Tala. This Araqe is crystal clear depending on the quality of the distillation process. It has no standard alcoholic content as it is home-brewed. Some say it can go to 80% volume!

Tala is made like Busaa. Corn is used in its preparation. They roast the milled corn on a wide almost flat pan, while adding small amounts of water to it. Then they ferment that and Tala is born. It is usually greenish brown. This one is served in half litre cans that originally contained tomato paste, brand named Merti. And as if all Tala Betoch held a meeting to use those yellow cans, you will find the same yellow cans in every Tala Bet. Alcohol content is like a normal beer, around 4%.

That's Ethiopia for you.