I’ve been living in Addis Ababa since August, and have had overall positive experiences with transportation, food, and Ethiopian people.
Today, however, I experienced what may be a new scam in the city. I got on a typically crowded minibus (locally known as a taxi) and sawt between a man and woman. A few minutes into the ride, the man asked the woman to open the window. She tried, and was struggling, so asked me to help.
As I was leaning over to help her, the man (who had a jacket on his lap) began to open my purse using his jacket as a cover. He unclipped it and probably got his hand in before I realized what was happening, but fortunately my wallet and money were buried under other things. I gave him a look and pulled by bag away, and then (perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not) the driver pulled over and told my two friends and I to get out so we could get an other bus to our final destination.
I hope that this is not one of the new scams that will become common in the city, because minibuses are generally very safe and foreigner friendy – I’ve never been overcharged in my time here.
Hopefully this will help alert others to be especially careful on minibuses. I would be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar experience.