On Sunday night we headed out in the evening to Maylomin – an area just on the edge of Abi Adi popular for walking and relaxing.
The journey there was eventful in itself. We met the two doctors from the hospital in Abi Adi getting their shoes shined. It turns out they are from North Korea! They are famous in the town for not speaking any English whatsoever or the local language Tigrigna, meaning consultations are by sign language and mime! How they ended up in Abi Adi remains a mystery…
We got a lift in a passing pick-up and enjoyed the journey sitting out back as the sun went down over the town. Mulubrhan joined us and took us to his favourite Tej Bet (Tej House) in Maylomin, which involves crossing the wide but dried-up river-bed and heading into a more foresty area. On the way we saw a monkey in a tree before reaching the Tej Bet and being greeted by the owner – an 80-year woman.
Here we are enjoying some Tej – which is Ethiopian mead, or wine made from honey. Dhamayanthi enjoyed the non-alcohol version – berz – which was sweeter and seemed to be just honey and water… The Tej itself was not too strong on and you can definitely taste the honey. It is served from a large copper kettle into these almost clinical containers and a lime from a surrounding tree is picked and used as a stopper to keep the bugs out. A boy came round selling kolo – which are roasted grains – in this case it was roasted chickpeas and sunflower seeds – delicious!! He carries a big bowl and you get a generous portion in a dish for 1 birr (4 pence).
Heading back afterwards we passed a number of Tej Bet in town where the Tej flows most of the night and is probably somewhat stronger than the version we had in Maylomin.