Friday, September 24, 2010

I wasn't going to buy it even if he had no teeth

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

And bowls

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

And me

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!


Mom said...

Loved the post, especially the picture of you. Thanks! What an adventurous day. Thanks for sharing. Love you!

The Katzbox said...

You have found yourself in an interesting piece of real estate. All of those previous owners, leaving their columns and bowls and dead guys.

I feel the need to seek out employment possibilities in far away lands. I have a semi-connection in Dubai...and now I am charmed by Tunis...


The Katzbox said...

Oh! And you look adorable. Your face radiates calm and beauty. Have you ever been told that? It's true. You are a naturally beautiful woman, we are blessed to know you...even if it's through your blog and your humor.


Laura said...

Thank you, Thank you for the picture! I think you look lovely. And I am just so impressed that you're venturing off on your own like that. I would be way too afraid, I think. I wish it were a reality show or something so you could have a camera guy following you so we'd be able to see all your crazy adventures on video when you get back!!