Because The Great African Caravan had little money, our diet was usually composed of the cheapest items we could find in whichever country we were in. In Ethiopia , Injera, which is like the national dish, and its different accompaniments was usually the cheapest so we became very close to it. After two weeks of almost daily Injera, most of the caravan members, myself included, were just about fed up with it. It’s an acquired taste and whereas I’ve grown to appreciate the dish, my taste buds missed the familiar taste of Uganda.
The day we left Addis Ababa, we were taking our ‘last meal’ in the city so we went to a restaurant in Piassa and ordered anything but Injera. I went for a club sandwich. It was the most non-Ethiopian dish I could find on the menu. Gala Soler ordered Fetira with eggs and I turned my nose away because it was very Ethiopian sounding. But because we are about that communal eating life, hands started reaching out for the chips that came with my sandwich and I was offered potions of the other people’s food including this Fetira item. That’s when someone else on the table mentioned it was like rolex and they had my full attention.
I took a closer look and realized that it was indeed fried eggs on top of a chapati looking item aka Fetira. You can also add honey for the full full experience. Sweet Christmas, the universe had heard the cries of my stomach and its colony of worms. I took a huge bite and waited for the familiar rolex taste to make impact with my tongue but it didn’t connect as expected. It tasted like restaurant rolex. There wasn’t enough character to it. This needed that roadside treatment and some nyanya mbisi to make it come alive.
I thought of making a special order but I’d already inhaled a club sandwich and it seemed wasteful, especially considering our delicate relationship with money. Still, it was a good enough reminder of the taste of Uganda. Also, we have about two more days of driving till the Sudan border so I’m was sure I’d have another opportunity to fake sign language/speak slow loud broken English, because English is a 2nd/3rd language for most here so communication problems can be real, until I got a customized fetira that tastes like Ugandan rolex.
My fellow countrymen, if you ever find yourself these ends and you want to connect to the motherland through food, I have found the solution for you. You’re welcome!