[The following post was sent to me by Master Dogen from Ethiopia with a brief note that our blog is blocked at the place where he is staying. This is his text as sent plus a picture of Miss Ethiopia 2007, to illustrate his point.
Women in Ethiopia are famously beautiful.
One time a few years ago, before I had ever been to Africa, I was spending the evening in the good ole USA with my Dutch friend and his wife, and their 10 year-old son. The other guest that night was an acquaintance of ours from Zimbabwe. We three men had been working together that day and at the end of the business day, the way the Zimbabwean fellow (let’s call him “Paul”) had been sadly lingering made my Dutch friend (“Kees”) realize that Paul had nowhere else to go in town and no one to visit. So Voors invited him to break bread with all of us.
At dinner, Paul immediately dominated the conversation and insisted on talking about the political situation in Zimbabwe. Kees’ wife didn’t help much as she kept feeding him leading questions. He had that intense black-African way of speaking with round vowels, pointing
fingers and staring eyes. He literally didn’t let up for three hours. Kees tried to steer him away to other topics after politely listening (and indeed commiserating… there are few situations on Earth more fucked up than the one in Zimbabwe). But Paul, with no sense of manners, kept hammering away on his topic, even describing in detail — right in front of Kees’ son — the special kind of gruesome torture he had dreamt up for his political enemies.
After dinner and wine, with Paul still beating his dead horse, the three of us men decided to go check out a new bar that had been getting a lot of mentions in the press. On the way there, in the car, Paul continued his rant. It was hour four. I kept breaking in, telling him that “Yes, that’s fucked up… but life goes on,” upon which Paul told me I “didn’t understand Africa.”
Kees spoke up, practically yelling to make himself heard. “You know, Master Dogen here is going to Africa for the first time in a couple weeks!” As was indeed the case.
“Where in Africa?” asked Paul, seemingly unimpressed.
And that’s when Paul, for the first time in four fucking hours, finally forgot about the political situation in his homeland. “Oh my friend. Ohhhhhh, my friend!” he said, every bit as intense, grabbing my shoulders from the back seat, but with a smile forming on his face. “Are you prepared? Are you prepared for the WOMEN?”
Kees broke out in a big laugh and nodded his agreement. And from then on, it was all smiles and reminisces and fun and drinks. No more Zimbabwe.
Well, if you look at some photos, you can see that they have above average faces, on the whole. They usually have nice, golden skin tone that ages gracefully. They have very delicate noses, and full but not fat lips. They have beautiful eyes that are almost cat-like in the prettier girls, lined with dark lashes that contrast with their golden skin and the whites of their eyes.
Also, body-wise, they tend to be tall and slender like Somali women, but with more curves — there are fewer “boy-body” women here, which can be the occasional downside of tall, slender females.
But that’s all on paper. A photo only tells half the story. In person, especially with real Habesha Ethiopian women (not the DC imports), the charm lies in the way they move, the way they talk, and the way they flirt. I’ve never seen such feminine women in my life.
When a woman acknowledges that you are speaking to her here, even at the customs office, she looks up and widens her eyes briefly and raises her eyebrows. The men do that too actually, but the women imbue this cultural tic with a special charm. They always smile when they speak to you — a real, interested smile; not some phony smile of politeness. They speak with a lovely, lilting tone. The verb often comes at the end of a sentence in Amharic, and women will lift that
last verb often, so it sounds like a little girl asking a question of her Daddy. One cute, charming question after another.
When they walk, they move their hips naturally. Not stomping like an American lawyer-bot battleship, but also not grossly exaggerating it like an American whore. Just swinging their hips gently as if it were the most natural thing in the world, which of course it is. When they move their slender hands, it’s with control and grace. And when they dance… oh, when they dance.
I knew what to expect this time — it’s my second month-long visit here — but nevertheless I was once again truly stunned to see it in person. In a few hours, some friends and I will go out to an Asmari Bet (“cultural house” where there will be food and music and dancing and
this bizarre form of singing stand-up insult comedy that men do here). I haven’t even put on my shoes yet, but I can already tell you I am going to have a fabulous time, because such are the joys of being surrounded by women, real women.