In my daydream strolls through some of Addis' finest gardens, I'm astounded as well as disappointed by the gardens of the Sheraton. They are beautiful, indeed, but I am surprised that the grounds are not larger. Everything also smacks of being very new, unlike some of the other older properties of Addis' embassies and hotels. There, the trees are quite impressive. However, I'm much more relaxed here and there is no obvious armed guard as in so much of the rest of Addis! In fact, several of the staff on the grounds take the time to chat with me as if I could afford to be a guest of the hotel -- a lovely idea, that!!
As I'm leaving I am momentarily confused. Doesn't this seem like an anacronism? Christmas decorations in the middle of sunny Africa? No, it's not an anacronism! I realize, it is November, and many of the hotel's guests are indeed in the mood to celebrate Christmas. I think what is jarring are the European/North American references in the choice of decoration: evergreen garlands and red bows!