I take my book to a bar in Oslo filled mostly it seems with Eritreans.
"My name is I-kill-you" says the man I meet outside. I laugh awkwardly assuming it's anti colonial/English chat.
"What's your name?"
"That means fuck in Arabic" he tells me. I didn't know that. "So my name is I kill you and your name means fuck you". We laugh.
"No really it is". He shows me his ID card.. "Aikillu" It really is. Now we laugh properly. Mistranslated both our names are the start of conflict. But not today.
@nicol the biggest observation was when I entered the bar. Despite 12+ years in London it was the first time I entered a bar of of 60+ people and realised I was the only white person. I hovered in the doorway, maybe I'd broken some unspoken rule about Oslo spaces (which are mostly v white) and should leave. But that could also be rude. I hovered in the doorway unsure what was the right thing. I stayed.
Also: Eritrean music is fantastic. And from a country of 3.5 million. It's 70% Coptic Christian and 30% Muslm - the music sounded a spectrum from Bangra to light Afrobeat. Apparently both live in peace. It's cool in the morning and late at night but hot midday. And it's only been independent since 1991. Nice reminder that music can transcend all and I know, really, nothing about Africa.
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