We made it to Tunis. It’s lovely. The weather is divine. Ramon’s job looks great, and I can work at his office for now. There’s wifi to spare and a cute coffee shop out front, run by a fellow who teases us about our French.
But try to get a taxi and… ARGH! The traffic is just ridiculous here. And the taxis all have commissions – so you can’t hail one on the street and no one calls the taxi phone numbers because it does no good. Such a strange situation.
On Thursday we went to the Spanish Embassy’s fancy National Day celebration. Too bad I couldn’t eat the (shellfish) paella (damn allergy), but Ramon and all his fellow Spaniards hoovered it up. But the rest of the nosh was good. You know, in Pakistan I was kind of desperate to get invited to these things – and then here I am, wandering around one like a lost puppy. It was fine, but I wasn’t missing anything.
Sunday we walked around La Marsa, a neighborhood we may well call home. Some of the little nooks and crannies and twisted streets and surprising alleyways leading down to the beach and the sea. There are plenty of parks, too, which charge a small fee to enter, and are as a result very well kept. We found a big one on Sunday with tennis, mini-golf and Internet cabins!
We stayed for a week in Centre Ville, which is much more “city” and loud and busy, compared to this little paradise on the water where we hope to live. The buildings in the Centre are white or off-white, sometimes with a bit of bright blue ironwork. The effect is very pretty, especially from the top of the hotel.
One feature of being stuck in downtown traffic is that a taxi driver introduced me to the BEST radio station, apart from NPR, that I’ve ever encountered. From Motown to deep cut salsa to Django-like jazz riffs with voices singing in Arabic and French… it’s just the funnest, most eclectic mix! I’m listening to it right now, in fact.
Down at street level the main feature of Tunis is… cats.
I met the lovely woman photographed below, a friend-of-a-friend, and she took us to a great place for Italian food and another for sundowners looking out over the sea. I am looking forward to finding an apartment and getting settled in in that neighborhood, as these hotels are a bit cold compared to meeting a local (expat) like her. She can’t take her cat with her when she leaves next month, because she has four cats back in the U.S. already. I’m hoping she finds a home here for her little buddy, because Ramon gave me quite a look when my resolve appeared to be weakening.
I’ll keep you posted on my housing, because I am assuming my faithful readers may want to come visit… :>