February 28, 2007
A rudimentary state of construction
Just been re-reading Evelyn Waugh's account of his visit to Addis Ababa in 1931 to attend Haile Selassie's coronation (published in his book When The Going Was Good).
Here's his first impression of the city:
Addis Ababa is a new town; so new, indeed, that not a single piece of it appears to be really finished.
The first, obvious, inescapable impression was that nothing was ready or could possibly be made ready in time for the official opening of the celebrations six days hence. It was not that one here or there observed traces of imperfect completion, occasional scaffolding or patches of unset concrete; the whole town seemed still in a rudimentary state of construction. At every corner were half-finished buildings; some had been already abandoned...
Today, 76 years on, can anyone think of a single block in the city that you could point to and say 'Yes, that's done'?
Posted by aheavens at February 28, 2007 6:29 PM