A couple of weeks ago I’ve been to Tunisia with work. A new person was hired in my team, and me together with the person I train to be a team leader went to meet our new member of “the family”.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been away for a whole week from Alex and Levi. And it’s been very hard in the beginning. Then, there were quite a lot of things to do and time kind of passed fairly quick.
Tunis is not what I expected, with surprises on both ends. There were a lot of preconceptions I came with: that’s it’s not safe to walk the streets alone, that you need to be covered with clothes up to your teeth, that because I was a woman I was going to be treated like a second hand citizen.
All of that took about two days to get rid of. Of course, like almost everywhere, there are places where it’s better not go walk in, and places where it’s totally Ok. Tunis is quite conservative, you will see the more conservative people dressing like that, but I’ve also seen a lot of people and especially women in T-shirts and jeans. However, besides tourists, I haven’t seen women in dresses, but it was still a lot of casual attire.
One of the biggest challenges I had was with taxi drivers. They see you as the tourist that you are and they rip you off. Big time. Next time if possible I’m considering renting a car or have someone from the office take me, because public transportation was not an option. But, you live you learn.
On our first day there, my colleague Maria and I tried for lunch a traditional dish, Brick, that seemed healthier in the menu than showed up in the plate 🙂 It was made of some egg, with rice and was fried in oil, which is something I would have avoided if I’d known any better.
I don’t know what exactly from that dish (maybe also in combination with the heat outside) made us so stick to our stomachs, that it’s better I don’t get very much graphical right now. Let’s just say that my dinner that evening was some orange juice (unfortunately from the can) and some ginger tea.
Most of the time there was of course, work, work, work. But we managed to see two things: Sidi Bou Said, which is like a Santorini of Tunis: it’s amazingly beautiful and a bit of El Medina and surroundings – and I want to come back to visit in more details both places.
All in all I loved it here. It was a full adventure and I plan to come back: the spicy food that makes you feel like you don’t know what’s happening to yourself anymore, the rhythm of a place that’s growing and evolving, the culture difference that sometimes pushes your limits to the point of changing your views on the world, the nice, welcoming, witty people that exceeded my expectations.