Thursday, April 13, 2006
Hello from Tunisia! I'm on vacation here (and elsewhere?) for the next two weeks. Nothing super exciting has happened yet -- just the usual planes, hostels, and walking around so far. I flew from Seattle to London a day or so ago, and finally arrived here in Tunis pretty late. The price of arriving in a new place after dark is that the transportation and hotel options are less obvious. I just let the first taxi guy at the airport take me to his "preferred" (kickback) hotel. In the light of the next day you realize that the cab fare and hotel cost 3x what they should, but I guess its no big deal. My sleep schedule is a little screwed up. I basically slept through the previous day in Gatwick airport so that first night I was up late watching TV. On the French channel they were playing a translated version of that "Cheaters" show. Woke up super early the next morning and got the heck out of my 37D/day hotel ($1=1.35D). It just isn't worth it to have your own TV and bathroom. For some reason, developing countries make me very cheap. I sat around in the main square and chatted with a Tunisian named Omar about unemployment, how to get a work visa for Canada, and new car prices. Next I got on the commuter TGM train to Sidi Bou Said which is a blue and white suburb on a hill that has good views of the sea and the coast. Not much was going on there so I headed back a couple stops to Carthage and walked along the water. At noon, I had a chicken club sandwich in a "Fast Food" restaurant (that is apparently something to be proud of here) that was furnished like a lounge. The fries were certified "McCain" brand by the menu. There is a museum and ruins in Carthage that cost 7D to bore me so I headed back to Tunis via the train to find a new place to stay. Ventured into the Medina in search of the Auberge de Jeunesse. It's a pretty nice place and costs only 7D per night including bread and coffee for breakfast. After checking in I napped away the afternoon. Had dinner and beers last night with two English archeology students and my Swiss roommate who wants to bike around the country. Today I need to figure out what my plans are for the next weeks.