On our last evening during our stay in Addis Ababa late last year my wife and I went for a stroll through the local streets and marketplaces. It was interesting to see a way of life in complete contrast with what we are used to here in Australia. Of particular interest were the many animals for sale in the main street of the suburb where we were staying while visiting out daughter. The animals – cattle, goats and sheep – were very docile and despite not being yarded in any way were not at all spooked by the noisy car, truck and bus traffic a metre or so away, nor did the many pedestrians upset them either.
I must have looked like a very rich person because I was offered many animals as we walked along. I was not sure what the going price for a nice lamb would have been, so I politely declined to buy any. Besides, we were scheduled to fly out a few hours later; I didn’t want to try explaining a live goat or lamb under my arm as carry-on luggage.
One of the features of travelling around the city of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is seeing animals everywhere. Donkeys are common beast of burden and drivers have to be especially wary of them. Cattle are found in various parts of the city and we passed several markets where they were for sale.
By far the most common animals would have to be sheep and goats. They all looked the same to me, but my daughter assures me, after talking to the locals while she was teaching there, that the tails of goats stick up and the tails of sheep hang down. I never had the opportunity to really put this to the definitive test. Had I shown more than a passing interest in the animals I would have found myself having to buy one. Not sure what I would have done with it had this occurred.