“Have a safe trip, my mother!”

Addis Ababa is constantly changing. And every visit to this city means learning again to orient yourself. Of course, not all innovations and changes are positive but some of them have made life much easier in the past years. Often it is the little changes that prove to be helpful.

When I arrived at the airport the day before yesterday, the airport looked very empty. There was no crowd of visitors welcoming and saying good-bye to their relatives and friends, because since recently visitors are no longer allowed to enter the airport building. This means, people who come to pick you up have to wait for you outside (without information on whether your plane has already landed or whether it is delayed).

Another (helpful) innovation at the airport is the presence of so-called “ticketers” (I hope I understood their title correctly). These are women that have been accredited to arrange taxi transport for arriving passengers. You can find them just outside the customs area. Depending on your destination, they propose a price for you (which, in my case, was not entirely unreasonable and still negotiable) and when you have agreed on the price they accompany you to the taxi stands and pick out a driver that is known to them. As you are accompanied by a ticketer, you don’t have to fend off other drivers and brokers of other drivers. Finally, the ticketer sends you off with a “Thank you. Have a safe trip, my mother!” – at least in my case :-)

You can, of course, still look for a taxi on your own, if you prefer. But I think using the service of the ticketers is an especially safe option for women travelling alone.

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