Hello from Tunisia!
How is everyone doing? Here in Tunisia everything is just fine and the weather is as beatuiful as always. This week we have been having days off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of the end of Ramadan. I went with some people to Hammamet again, swimming and having a good time. Got back yesterday evening and now it's already Saturday!
This is already my third week and even though I really had time to experience both the country and get well started with my project, I must say that time really flies - as always, when you're having a great time. I barely don't event remember what I expected before I came here, or if I even had time to reflect so much during everyday life in Stockholm with university, studies, daily kickboxing trainings, part time job and other things...
Since I have been living in four different countries the latest four years (Russia, China, Thailand and Vietnam), I'm quite used to just go with the flow, live for the moment and make the most out of my time when I'm at a certain place. I know there will come a day when I will leave, and I know there will come a day when I will be at another place, but wherever I am in the world - I tend to just focus on that and get 100 % out of the experience. Something I really regret during all these years abroad, experiencing new cultures, learning new languages and getting friends with very diverse backgrounds, is that I didn't share more with people in Sweden at social medias, so people would have an understanding of what I have been doing - four years traveling the world is a long time!
Some reflections from Tunisia anyway so far:
1. Dress code - during Ramadan, yes, girls should cover themselves more, basically meaning wearing something which went down over the knees. In reality, I although spotted some girls in quite short shorts and guys were walking around on the street in swimming trousers and barechested anyway. Now Ramadan just finished, but after have going out at a club here last night, I can say that people dress exactly like in Spain for example, when going out.
2. Dangerous - I live literally 10 m away from the police station, in a "richer" area just 30 m from the big tourist street, which is one of the highlights when tours are arranged for tourists. I live 200 m from the small supermarket, and it takes me maxiumum 10 min to run to the beach (I don't like walking). With this said, I know that I'm in a priviliged, expat situation here, and have therefore no reasons to feel unsafe where I live. I have never felt unsafe in any country where I have lived, but if I would compare it to for example India, where I felt I had to be covered (now we're talking Indian clothes covered) all the time and didn't leave the hotel after 9 PM because it was dark and unknown - it's not even comparable. There are policemen at all crowded places and the atmosphere is good and warm.
3. Being a foreigner - Speaking for myself, most people here in Sidi Bou Saïd where I live (which is quite small, maye 400 people where everyone knows everyone) see me when I'm running up for the very steep street here, up to the view over the ocean where I usually take photos. On that street, there are a lot of small shops and coffee places. As in many other countries except from Sweden ;-) it can be a bit unusual to see a girl working out, especially so often and so intense that I do. Speaking of own experiene, I also know that Asian girls don't work out so much, and I've been told that the only experience people have here of Asians, are that they are very pale-skinned, take a lot of photos and don't work out - not when the peopel here have seen them anyway. With this said, I'm quite a rare sight in many Tunisians eyes, and 100 % of all the people are very curious of where I'm from. I'm apparently "known" at the "Japonaise" here and people often call me on the street, not in a bad way. As I have written before, most Tunisians are very friendly, welcoming, warm and really like tourists. As a foreigner, you are therefore well treated.
4. Tunisian guys - since some of my friends ask. Unknown guys can be quite pushy sometimes, as I've experienced in southern France and Spain for example. I would although say that it's better here, and if I'm getting annoyed, most guys go away. Flirting with girls on the street and when siting in cars is although way too common here, the main reason to why I'm always listening to music while I'm running and rarely have eyecontact with anyone - most girls will understand me on this. I would say both girls and guys feel more European here than in Russia or Asia for example, and Tunisia is from what I've heard the most open Arab country - which I could basically agree with, even though this is the first Arab country I visit.
In the future, I will update here a little bit more seldom, not every day like before. I know that a lot of you reading are on summer holiday anyway, and that your time spent reading all of this is limited ;-)
Wish you all a great continuation of the summer!