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Meeting the young intelligentsia
Rating: (5.0) (2 votes)

Tunis, Tunisia
December 11th, 2005


Pros: None
Cons The raw bar scene

That's it. I'm all alone now. Quebecers have all gone back and the real experience of my trip is really beginning. When you're in a protected environment, the advantage is for you to focus on the limited tasks that you have to do, but the experience is limited. Now, all is open, I can go anywhere; when I want, as long as I fulfill my engagements.

I have reconnected with a bunch of students who were part of the protest that followed the end of the hunger strikers. I am now living at one's place, I have to say a crummy little apartment in the popular part of Tunis you don't see in the touristic tours. It's a student area, near a big market full of exotic food. A lot of cinema and political discussions coming up. I met a cool Cote d'Ivoire guy named Mamadou who says HI to Catherine Clusidu in MTL (if anybody knows her).

Fun thing with the press pass I have now, I was able to get press access to the Journees Theatrales de Carthage; a theater festival that just started with plays from all over the . Yesterday I saw some Tunis circus group (bof) and a fantastic Cote d'Ivoire musical play called Sogolon. A magic cow defeating ugliness.

After the play, I went on the lookout to Hammamet, the Tunisian Cancun, where I met three French girlfriends, previously met on an express Tunisian bus tour (two-days around the country; breezing everything but seeing nothing). Ok let's expand a bit: 10 hours of bus, mountains, markets, roman amphitheater, sand desert, salt desert, mountain desert, camel ride, oasis visit, eat at the Skywalker house (yes where they shot the film, you know uncle Lar's desert house). All that in two days, next time I rent a car. Okay back to Hammamet or Tunisian Cancun. We go out to a bar, me, the three Marseillaises and two tour guides (Belgian and German). It's now tough for me to enjoy the artificial paradise since I know what supports it. It's also a plainly disgusting atmosphere of a lot of people sucking up to tourist money. The guides were telling me how much they enjoyed meeting people they could relax with since they're on PR and dealing all the time. They're king over there, so it's strange having all theses dudes you don't know after you. I also saw the extremely subtle Tunisian beach style approach to woman, where I had to step in because there was a big lack of respect. As an example, you don't arm lock a girl's neck hoping she'll fall for it and like you better. Any ways, I won't go back there.

Another theater night coming up. I feel like an lost intello enjoying culture instead of the raw bar scene of Hammamet. Hopefully, more intellos to come.