(Incidentally, I’m blogging to you from TekServe, the redoubtable old Mac repair joint on 23rd Street)
Tigrinya is the predominant Eritrean language, and they’ve been on and off at war with Ethiopia more or less since World War 2. So I’d be kind of fucked if I walked into Eritrean customs when I landed there with a big ass piece of Ethiopiana on my forearm.
I was emailing hotels in Asmara when I decided to be completely weird and email all these reservations ladies JPEGs of my arm. Also the guy who seems to design every website in the Horn of Africa. I was coy about it, like, “Uh, I have this friend with this tattoo, and I was wondering, uh…”
So the reservations lady at the Crystal Hotel, near Harnet Avenue in the heart of Asmara, wrote me back. Thank you, reservations lady.