Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
135Trip End Ongoing
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Our petit de-jeuner consisted of fresh baguettes and coffee, but David's addiction was alive and kicking so we went off in search of capusin. I'm going to have to limit his intake or I'll have a madman to transport back to London.
Last time we were here we hired bikes and cycled round the island. Bike-hire-man has gone. Lucky for me because today I have the enthusiasm of a pregnant hippo in mud and as I remember, there had been a headwind the whole day.
We wandered around the town centre which hasn't changed at all and down to the sea front to see the old fort, Borj Ghazi Mustapha. We've been inside before so we just sat and chatted to a local for a while in a mixture of french, italian and english. We've found Tunisians, in general, to be very friendly people.
Just past the fort they're still building a new marina complex where there are holiday flats for sale. It used to be a local harbour with lots of little fishing vessels and loads of octopus pots but god knows where they've shoved them now because it's just tourist shit with no tourists.
I'd managed to keep David occupied but he was getting the shakes. I couldn't tempt him with a fresh juice but agreed that he could have one last capusin for the day.
We found the little café where we'd dined last time and as usual, the food was very satisfying. Well I thought so until around 1am when I woke with twisting knots in my stomach. I barely had time to put my thongs on and race to the ladies before it reappeared. Fortuntely I was wearing a long t-shirt because the echo of my grotesque episode had brought the young reception guy from his bedroom! I don't know what he was more shocked at, the noise, or my lilly white legs.
There is only solar heated water in the hostel which never seems to actually reach the showers. I tried it last time and froze. I don't shower in cold water in cold weather. The local hammam was just round the corner and I decided it was time I tried it out. David had been in during the man-time in the morning and said it was great and there was no one in there. But I knew that if I went in, the entire islands' female population would be in there. I think you can guess the outcome.
You can choose what you want to wear in these places and being a bit on the prudish side I wanted to go in fully clothed but could see that would present the small problem of getting everything dry by the next morning and possibly public humliation. I know what you're going to say. It's all women, all sizes and ages, we all look basically the same. That's where you're wrong. I would be the only fluroescent white, freckled, blonde haired, blue eyed tourist in there. I knew all eyes would be upon me no matter what I wore, so I chose my sarong. David had said that there were cubicles in there so I stupidly thought I may just be able to grab some privacy. No. Every woman and her grandma and her grandma's grandma and her grandma's grandma's grandma and her aunty and niece and her niece's niece and all the children were in there. All of them watching me, most just wearing knickers. I wish I'd taken my contact lenses out but I knew I'd never find my way back to the hostel. I wanted to sit for a while in the steam room, but there were breasts everywhere. Nearly had my eye taken out with coach bolt nipples when I was getting my bucket of hot water (no boys, I didn't take any photos). There was a small space in the first room. Bit too exposed for me but the only place to put my stuff. I bucket washed as best I could clothed and with an audience, and quickly exited. The dressing area is also open and I'm sure you know just how difficult it is to dress wearing a sopping wet sarong without exposing any bits and pieces. I managed not to offend anyone though and made it back to the hostel safely. It was nice to have had a boiling hot scrub, but I wish there had been less eyes.
My capusin regulations had worked. David had only had 3 and seemed relatively happy. He wanted to go back to spew café for dinner but I was a little reluctant. It's probably the best local place around though so we did and I avoided the salad tunisien with tun (tinned tuna).
Tomorrow we're off to Libya. I'm kind of looking forward to it and not. We have to take an expensive tour. We don't usually do tours but it's the only way to get into the country as a tourist. David is really excited and keeps talking about the land of Labia and Labs. I think he's going down a different road than me.