North Africa Journal, 1979: 3

Amitav Ghosh | August 21, 2011 in North Africa Journals | Comments (0)

 

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

[July 13, 1979, Tunis]

 

 

One evening met two Tunisians quite by chance. Was eating at a little restaurant in a gali

 

Medina, Tunis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and afterwards asked the owner where I could catch the bus. He asked two of his clients to show me the bus stop. They were about my age or a little older  – in their early twenties – Wahid and Omar. They walked me all the way to the bus stop and waited there with me. My French was at its most pitiable and I could hardly say anything sensible. Nor did I understand anything they said, but they were incredibly nice and we arranged to meet again, on Friday. I didn’t really expect them to be there on Friday but Wahid was, and he took me to a café where Omar where was waiting as well.

I walked around Tunis a bit with them.

 

 

Mosque of Sidi Youssef, Tunis, 18th cent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My French has improved a bit, since I spent the first few days working on it, almost exclusively, so I could say and understand a little more than I could the first time. But it was fatiguing for me, and I would have thought, very boring for them. But they tried hard and insisted on paying for everything I had – it was embarrasing how hospitable they were. At dinner they made me eat almost till I was sick. Wahid was trained as an electrical engineer and works somewhere – I haven’t yet fathomed exactly where.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mosque of Sidi Youssef, Tunis, 18th cent


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