Jan 18, 2019
“Welcome to Tunisia” is a phrase I first heard from Nouri when I landed at the airport. Not content with that, he and his wife insisted on driving to my hotel in Tunis. They dropped me off with admonitions to be careful and to call them should I need help. I was to hear the phrase again and again in every city, souq, on trains, buses and louages. This is no mere lip service but truly meant. In Sousse, I met Imene who took time out of her busy schedule to show me the delights of the medina that aren’t in guidebooks.
In Toujane, much to my delight I was invited to stay with a Berber family where they graciously put up with my many questions. Wandering the souq in Tataouine, I met Ahmed who morphed into a self-appointed guide and treated me to lunch, refusing to take no for an answer. I met Khouloud as well, in Tataouine and ended up in her aunt’s house where I met the extended family over tea and Tunisian delicacies.
Amine and Soumaya are a couple from Sousse whom I’d met in Matmata. They had asked me to contact them when I returned here. Today, Soumaya and her friend picked me up and sputtering protests notwithstanding, have shown me Kantaoui and the quaint little town of Hergla.
There are others I meant to see again but haven’t the time anymore. The dragging feet syndrome has struck again and I lay the blame squarely at the feet of Tunisians.