Day 87 - Luke's House

Trip Start Aug 07, 2007
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Trip End Nov 07, 2007


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Flag of Tunisia  ,
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hair: 70s Mophead
Beard: Obi Wan 
Distance Driven: 12,050km
Frame of Mind: Kid in a Candy Shop

I am at the Lars family homestead on Tatooine, actually about 100km from the real town in a place called Matmata.  The place where Luke Skywalker grew up.  I have my own little troglodyte cave to sleep in and I am an excited little bunny.  I can't stop humming random snippets of John Williams (I don't always hit the Starwars theme, it sometimes turns out to be ET or Superman).  There are lots of old bits of set lying around (well, stuck to the wall).  Did you know that in those futuristic pipes were just there to hide the palm trees inside?

After breakfast I wanted to go to the Tashi station to pick up some power converters but the manager said I had chores to do before I wasted time with my friends.  Old sourpuss.  He'll get his comeuppance.







So a little on Tunisia....

First thing I noticed is that is is very French.  The streets are littered with battered old Peugeots and Renaults and little mopeds with gnarled old men riding round with well rehearsed scowls on their faces.  Of course everyone is smoking but the Galoise seem to have given way to Marboro.

And the bread!  C'est magnifique!  It is slightly strange that the first thing the Frenchies did when they invaded a country is slap a tall poofy white hat on everyone's head and say "come on boyz, let us bake some bread, no?".  No complaints here. 

It's also decidedly different from Libya.  I had my first argument within minutes of entering the country!  I stopped at a roadside stall to buy blackmarket petrol smuggled from Libya.  The last petrol station was 20km inside Libya and I didn't know it was the last one so I missed the chance to fill up at the ludicrously low Libyan prices.  But the blackmarket stuff was much cheaper than the 1USD per litre kosher stuff.  Anyway, I pulled up and my 'salaam alechum' must have been pretty good cos he told me in Arabic that the petrol was 3 Dinar for 5 litres (about half the Tunisan price) but by the time I got off my bike he had twigged I was a jonnie-foreigner, switched to French and the price was now 4 Dinar.  After a completely unnecessary and long argument I got it for 3.  Giving up easily is one thing the Tunisians didn't learn from the French.

This is definitely not Arab Africa as I have seen it so far.  It's French language all the way here too.  My Arabic hellos are looked on with either amusement or uncomprehension (and my Bachi is only useful for speaking to 'vaporators).  I can read the road signs!  Everything is open on Fridays.  The man I asked seemed confused as to why it woudldn't be.  Also, the whole place shut down a little while after sunset.  No late night shopping here.  Perhaps it was because it was Hallowe'en and the Frenchies always had a thing for all saints (the day, not the band).  Indeed the square was teeming with kids waiting for some concert or sacrifice or something. 

Yeah, another thing is the kids.  There seems to be millions of the little blighters running around everywhere.  Is this where the pied piper took them all? Inverse Hamlyn.  I reckon the average age of the population must be about 16.  The ones sitting next to me in this internet cafe are about to get a kicking.  Annoying little bar stewards.

It's also teeny.  Brilliant.  Eveything is close to eveything else.  You can drive the length of the county in one day without forgoing your dozen streetside grand cafes.  And it better be small.  The petrol is ten times the cost in Libya.  How painful.

You may, if you have a quick connection, wish to see the new Starwars movie before it comes out on the big screen:
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

murdo_99
murdo_99 on

Ah ha - open for comments
Ah Ha! I was finally able to log in today and can actually post a comment (I haven't been able to since, oh, back in Ethiopia!).

What a trip! Your descriptions are poetic and enlightening (although I don't pretend to get ALL the references....... I think you will need footnotes in the book for us older types).

Sorry Charlotte will probably not make it but I am very glad that you probably will. There have been close calls for both of you at times ...especially across that little desert. Your SW video is inspiring although just a little concerning ...I left a comment on it too.

Keep on keeping on ....

tadcooke
tadcooke on

owen lars was crap
weird - the lars homestead is where ewan mcgregor and charlie boorman were on yesterday's long way down (you know, the reverse of what you are doing?)! pretty damn sweet. mind out for jawas....

charlesaclark
charlesaclark on

Re: owen lars was crap
Yes he was.

I have no time for these pseudo-adventurers that steal all my thunder. Anything more than 250cc is cheating in my book.

amy_n-b
amy_n-b on

Video Rocks
I can't believe you are in Europe, it seems like yesterday when Joey defaced the pikipiki with 'Charlotte' using that wedding invitation marker....

Your video is hilarious, btw, can I put in on youtube?

charlesaclark
charlesaclark on

Vid
Cheers ears. Feel free.

I agree completely, it has been nearly 100 days! The marker pen nametag is somewhat faded by the 'latin' inscription is still confusing people left, right and centre.

C xx

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