To Get To The Other Side

By Meki Shewangizaw

I have a fear of getting in a car accident. Not a two-car collision, but a fear of getting hit by a car while walking. I don’t know where it came from, or when it manifested, but whenever I cross the street–there’s a short-lived sense of panic until I make it safely to the other side.

Now imagine me crossing the street in Addis Ababa.

In this city, crosswalks are few and the drivers who obey them are even fewer. Family and friends can sense my level of discomfort without me having to vocalize it. From people like Sami, a member of my EDF cohort (who often tells me to get on the other side of her so that she can be facing traffic), to my cousins who laugh while explaining that cars don’t stop for people here.

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