I headed up to Byrsa to check out some more ruins. It sits on top of a hill that overlooks Tunis. While I was up there I heard the call to prayer. I've heard it plenty of times here before but it felt a little surreal coming from so many mosques and overlooking the city and the gulf. Like I was in a movie about a girl going to Tunisia rather than actually being the girl in Tunisia. (here is where I am cursing Blogger because I actually have a video of it and it's pretty good but for some mysterious reason (we can blame aliens if we like) it uploads but doesn't show up on the actual blog. Grrr.)
Like everything here in Tunis is has a long history with several different conquering forces. So the hill has ancient Phoenician ruins
Headless Roman sculptures
And fallen columns
Then the French came to town and built a Catholic cathedral
Then tourists came and a museum popped up, complete with dead guys
And a gift shop with a pet turtle roaming the grounds
And a garden with pretty flowers
And a guy wearing purple Crocs (egads!)
And weird modern art installations
Yep, me and my tragically windswept bangs really are here. (This is for Laura. The reason why I don't post pictures of me is because I don't have any. I am almost always by myself on these outings and I don't care about being in pictures enough to pantomime out, "Will you take my picture," every time. Although one of my mom's final bits of advice to me before I left was "Make sure you're in some of your pictures." So this is for Mom too.)
On my way back to the car I was accosted by a guy who maybe had 3 teeth to call his own, trying to sell me some "real old stuff from the dirt!" for just 5 dinars each. That's about $3.50. They were a little oil lamp and vase that looked pretty fresh to me. I said no, graciously. Then he shoved them into my hand. Again I said no and tried to take them back. He wouldn't let me put them in his hands. So I put them on the ground, again saying no and opened the car door. He kept saying over and over, "How much? Just 5 dinar! How much? How much?" Shouting it into the closed window. Even as I was driving off he was trying to strike a deal. I felt bad for him but a I have a strict "no junk" souvenier policy that will not be broken, no matter how many teeth he was missing.
I tried to get to another site but a freakish rain storm, the likes of which maybe only Noah has seen, started up. I tried to wait it out, which may have been a mistake because by the time I gave up and headed home the streets had turned to raging rivers. The Party Honda barely made it home alive. And when I got home the basement was flooded with an inch of water and a rather nasty smell was coming from it. The crackerjack embassy squad was down here in a jiffy and squeegied it all up and Henry's toys were saved. Hooray!