Caixin
Mar 05, 2022 10:00 AM
WEEKEND LONG READ

Weekend Long Read: Tracing Rimbaud’s Footsteps Aboard a Chinese Railway in Ethiopia

Former residence of Rimbaud, currently the Arthur Rimbaud Cultural Center, in Harar, Ethiopia. Photo: Liu Zichao
Former residence of Rimbaud, currently the Arthur Rimbaud Cultural Center, in Harar, Ethiopia. Photo: Liu Zichao

The morning I left Addis Ababa, I felt as if something was going on in the city. Sitting in a taxi, I was surrounded by smoke. The air was filled with the pungent smell of burning objects.

Ethiopia’s capital is clearly undergoing a transformation.

Unfinished concrete buildings are everywhere, and Amharic language signboards are covered in dust. There were a few people who emerged from their home under a roadside sign — mere shelters made up of plastic woven bags for rest at night. Despite the suffocating air, I could see people dressed in exercise attire, jogging on empty viaducts amid the smog.

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