Monday, August 31, 2009

A Discussion about Tunis

I met with a friend few days ago who happened to be in Tunis at the same time I was there. She asked me how I found the country. I told her I love it. It is my fourth trip to it. She made a face of disgust, "I hated it! There wasn't anything to do, and the food is awful and there isn't much to eat." I shook my head very puzzled, in Tunis I had the best food ever because it is all local produce, seasonal, and very clean. Even the seediest of street vendors sell clean delicious food. "Have you ever heard of a country where they don't have Rocket!" She exclaimed. Now I think her very shallow. She left all the good products sold there and concentrated on Rockets! It isn't the end of the world if she doesn't eat Rocket for a short period of time. "And the restaurants! Very awful. Their food isn't good." She continues. "Now come on! I had the best food ever, maybe the people you were with don't know the good places." I protested. "I was with the wives of ministers and dignitaries." She argued, "Who were you with?" Ah…it has become into 'My horse is faster than your horse'. "I was with my brother in law and my brother, with Fahad and the kids." I replied. "Unfortunately my friend Um Talal, she is Tunisian married to a Kuwaiti, left on the day after we arrived, I always eat the best Tunisian food when I visit her." She gives me this look that my brother and brother in law are nothing compared to the people she was with, and my Tunisian friend is insignificant(If she only knew). "My brother has been living in Tunis for the past nine years, and my brother in law for the past two years. They know the country better than anyone." I elaborated. "Yes, but it is boring there isn't anything to do there." She tells me. "Well, it depends on why you went there in the first place. There isn't much shopping there unless you are looking for artifacts, or handmade objects and traditional items. Tunis during summer is time spent relaxing at the beach, and the weather is spring compared to Kuwait. I guess wherever you go around the world you have to keep an open mind about it." "Why did you go?" "To have fun, of course. I had the kids with me. We spent most of our time at the beach. We went sightseeing here and there. It is fun to do something different and let the kids learn new things. One day we went Harrissa hunting in Nabul, searching for a certain store which sells the best Harrissa. It was fun for them." I explained. Since she felt I will not agree with her, she changed subjects and we drifted into other topics. I always tell my friends who ask me about Tunis, you should at least know someone there, who knows the right places to go. For example, Ghar El Melh, travel agencies wouldn't know about it, only the locals. I'm not only defending Tunis, I'm talking about anywhere you travel around the world. It is a blessing which sometimes we take for granted. Travel isn't all about shopping or raza bel gahawi, a6al3ek oo et6ale3nee. You should keep an open mind when you travel to new places and go with the flow. You'll have more fun like this. You should break your normal routine and ready to try and experience new things. Coming soon, Sidi Bou Sied. So Stay Tuned.

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