Welcome to Africa! Landed at a little after 1am. The visa-on-arrival process went smoothly at the Addis Airport, and I exchanged a bit of money to get me rolling on the night time streets. Walking out of the gates of the airport at 2am it was a bit quieter than I expected and the cool temperatures felt nice compared to the sweat box of India.
I haggled a taxi to take me to my hotel and along the way, noticed the driver was chewing on some branches and leafs. He offered me some, but said it is good for "not sleeping" and after a full 20 hours of transit, I was stoked on sleeping, so I declined his offer. He also offered me his phone and a soda. Both of which I declined. The predictable "pay me more than we already agreed" discussion took place after we arrived at the hotel, but I shrugged it off. Then I took a very cold shower and went to sleep.
My first impressions of walking around the town are its a bit more chill then where I have just come from. There also a lot more viable women here than in India. Receptionists, store owners, waiters, etc. I often wonder while in India...where are the 600million women? I hardly ever see them. A few opportunistic "tour guides" walked with me a bit, but after politely saying I wanted to walk myself (I said it about four times), they left me alone. I strolled around until I found one of the many coffee and bakery houses and ordered some cake and tea. Definitely can feel the altitude, at 2500m, its harder to breath than at sea level. To balance it out though, the temperatures are nice and cool, which is a big relief.
At the cafe I had a nice conversation with a Ethiopian man named Michael who is starting a hand sanitizing factory here in Addis. There are many bookstores and I bought a language guide to Aramaic. Pretty stoked on learning whatever I can over the next three weeks. For lunch today, I'm getting stoked on Injera the traditional lunch served in this part of the world.