Saturday, September 18, 2010


We headed up to Bizerte (rhymes with dessert) this afternoon. It's about an hour northwest of here. It's a port city with an old Medina. That brick structure in the center of the picture is it.

It looks like a fortress on the outside and on the inside it looks like this

Narrow alleyways. People actually live inside it. You know what else lives inside of it? Approximately a gajillion cats. I've never seen more stray cats before in my life. Tunis is also like this but Bizerte seems to be the Headquarters for Feral Cats. I saw a really adorable kitten but I had the good sense to not pick it up because you know that if given the chance it would eat my face.

But this kid was a lot friendlier.

As we passed by he said, "Bonjour!" in the cutest little voice. I pointed to my camera and asked if I could take his picture and he just smiled like he does this every day. I pray he's not eaten by cats.

Here are some boats

But more importantly here are some guys in man-pris. The man-pri is alive and well in Tunisia. I think it's actually the offical uniform of all men ages 15 to 40. You can't throw a feral cat 10 feet without hitting a guy showing off his ankles.

You will occasionally see men in the Man MuuMuu.

You can't tell from this picture but the guy is wearing one. He is also wearing pointy-toed slippers. And smoking a hookah.
Whenever I would imagine Arab markets I would picture mounds of spices.

Immediately after taking that picture this man started talking to us.
We had no idea what he was saying but he gestured for us to follow him into his spice booth and he showed us a picture of him back in 1957 and he said something about Frances, or France, or Lilian. And there was certainly a Fatima in there. But isn't there always? And he kept making the number 8. It made no sense at all. But he was adorable. And slightly crazy. And he let me take his picture but wouldn't stop talking long enough to get a good shot (Dad?).
Pictures I will not be showing you: animal entrails and sheep heads all lined up in a row ready to be purchased. We walked through the meat market and saw them and something possessed me to take pictures but now I can barely look at them without vomitting. You can thank me in the comments.


Jenny said...

Thank you.

thefoxkids said...

I see a primary sharing time in your future with pictures of all the wonderful children and experiences of holding babies and seeing all the wonderful things you are seeing!!! (but maybe i've been in primary too long to think that!) send it to me would ya when it's done.. i'm low on creativity and the kids out here don't get out much!!!
have FUN!!!

The Katzbox said...

HAHAHAHAH...I read "thefoxkids" opening sentence as I was picture the animal entrails and the sheeps' heads...BWAHAHAHAHAHAH....

I am in LOVE LOVE LOVE with this post. Really, I think it's one of your absolute best...not that I judge your posts, but the entertainment/comedy/education/visuals are par none!

Hugs hugs hugs

Stephanie said...

You are a happy traveler. I would like to travel with you someday. We would go on a big road trip and we would be sitting in pleather seats with no air conditioning in the middle of summer, and there wouldn't be ice cream for another 100 miles, and all that was left in the snack pile was an old apple (which already had a bite taken out of it by the baby) and everyone would be whining and at the edge of despair . . . I bet you could find something positive to think about and do so that we wouldn't be miserable.

Rachel - you make me smile!

colleeeen said...

I need to wire you money. I need leather, pointy-toed shoes. I have two pairs of awesome curl-tipped pointy shoes, but they are imitation leather and imitation leather kind of makes me sad.

Laura said...

Man-pris make me crazy! They were all over Italy too. And if men are going to wear sandals...please...please...please take care of your toe nails!!

On a side note, I would like to make a formal request. Would it be possible for you to post pictures of yourself in all of these wonderful places?

Rach said...

I love it! All of it. The man-pris, the muu-muus, the mound of spices (which reminds me of Sense and Sensibility when what's his name says "the air is full of spices"), and the lack of pictures of entrails and sheeps heads. Thank you.

courtney said...

i like man-pris. better than lady-pris.

there. i've said it.