Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You know you belong to Tunisia when:

So one of the other girls in this program, Karen, found a great blog by another American living in Tunisia. If you're looking for another woman's perspective on being an expatriette in Tunisia, check it out. Her stay has been a tad longer than mine! Her blog also includes a great collection of recipes and music.


One of my favorite posts of hers is her "You know you belong to Tunisia when" list. There are 24 points and I thought I'd include the ones that, even after just 2 months here, already apply to me. 

1. If you spend half the day in the cafe, smoking shisha and (she says playing rummy, I mostly just get hopped up on espresso or mint tea).

2. If you go to an office to ask for an important paper and they tell you: "Arja, ghoudwa (come back tomorrow)" (I should also note that this is a daily occurance. Whenever you need something, it'll always be ready tomorrow. And then tomorrow you hear the same thing.)

3.  If you tease every hot girl you see in the street (This one goes both ways. You all know I've seen my fair share of being the one teased in the street, but at the same time when I see some blonde french tourists walking down the street in a tank top and short shorts and wondering why Tunisian guys won't leave her alone I do laugh to myself about it).

6. If lablabi and kaftaji sandwiches are your favorite fast food.

7. If you say "mush normal" (not normal) when something surprises you (ALLLL the time, even when I'm speaking to people in English back home and they don't know what I'm talking about).

8. If you can't have a meal without khobs (bread). *make that half a baguette of khobs*

11. You say "Inshallah (God Willing)" as a nice way of saying NO

12. You think traffic lights and signs are colorful decorations for the streets (because trust me, I know they aren't directing traffic!)

13. Your relatives alone could populate a small city (I can't keep track of all the "cousins" I've met...they can't ALL be related!!!)

15. You put olive oil in and on everything (we have also taken to carrying around little bottles of olive oil to take to restaurants who give us canola oil instead, assuming we're tourists and don't know the difference. Embarassing them by saying "atina zit zituna, mnfudluk," or give us olive oil, please, has gotten a little old)

17. If you say "yaishek" to say thanks. (Directly translated, it's a blessing, but Tunisians use it all the time as thank you)

18. If you start talking to someone about a friend and realize they know them too. (Everyone knows everyone here)

19. El car essafra (the yellow bus) is a convenient place for flirting and hooking up. (I haven't experienced this personally cause I have a boyfriend but a lot of my friends have. The train is the same way. One girl in the group is dating a Tunisian guy she and I met on the train!)

20. Weddings usually last a week or more (henna kbira, henna sghira, el hammam) (I haven't gotten to go to a wedding yet but some of my friends have and they really are lengthy events. The women spend all week getting the bride ready).

24. If harissa is present in all your meals.

1 comment:

  1. Geez... two lists in a row?!?!? You have been dropping the ball lately since you have started posting again. Taking the easy way out with lists :P haha