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The Medina: Tunisia's Tourist Mecca

    Hanging above the arch of the main entrance of the New Medina in Hamamet is a large banner stating ‘tourism is the key to self-sustaining development,’ a quote from the current Tunisian president.  The banner’s quote states the government’s stamp of approval on the advertising of Tunisian culture as ... read more

Alexandra BetGeorge

TunisiaTunisia

A Sfaxian Wedding (P.S.: All is true but the 6th and 7th to last line)

The fish was caught in Cap Bon's Gulf, whose waters curve into the northern suburbs of the capital: A Sfaxian wedding, but not in Sfax: The bride hesitates mid-step; her skirt's wire frame threatens to catch on the fish on the floor with fake pink flowers tucked into its gills: ... read more

Alexandra BetGeorge

TunisiaTunisia

Tourists, Travelers, & Turbans in Tunisia’s South

There seems to be a window in front of every sink in every kitchen. Even if it is small, square, with sooty panes, but somehow the view beyond it mitigates the task of scrubbing dirty dishes in the sink below, and the consequently wrinkled fingertips. As omnipresent as the kitchen ... read more

Alexandra BetGeorge

TunisiaTunisia

Becoming Proust in Tunisia

I did not approach Tunisia as Proust, but as Griet. "From the moment I saw View of the Delft at The Hague Museum, I knew that I had seen the world's most beautiful painting," remarked Marcel Proust. There is never a solid block of color in this masterpiece of Vermeer’s ... read more

Alexandra BetGeorge

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Getting Around

Bargaining in Tunis

Alexandra BetGeorge

03 Feb 2010

Tunisia

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Alexandra BetGeorge

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You hear an exorbitant price. "Too expensive!" you say. Browse for another minute with an air of "detachedness." Pause dramatically, racking your brain. "Ah, khooya!" you exclaim, before you mention the latest of Qadaffi's crazy feats. It's like bringing up the game last night: There is so much to talk about. Laugh. Now you have a friend. "Mumpkin," (maybe) you say, reconsidering your item. "Ahh, mumkin (maybe) __ dinar." Name a price 40 percent of his first offer. Watch his counter-offer drop 40 percent from his first. Level off to a happy medium from there.

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