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Not Too Different From England
I have found Tunisia very easy to live in and I hardly speak a word of their language. Most people in Tunisia are excellent at languages and even in the most smallest and remotest of towns, there will be at least one person who will pop up and speak to you in English!! Failing that even those of us who paid a little bit of attention in our French lessons at school will find that the few words we learnt, coupled with alot of gestures and hand movements will suffice in most situations.
The Tunisian people as a whole seem to be much more conservative than the British nation. This is especially so with their daughters. Five of my six children are girls and I have found that my fifteen year old has had to change considerably since moving here. She has made many friends, who are extremely well behaved compared to British teenagers. Although everything you read or hear happening in Britain amongst the young, such as smoking, drinking, drugs and under-aged sex, could happen anywhere, in Tunisia, it happens, but is still rare (thank goodness, we rescued her just in time!!) Dress amongst most teenage girls is modern, but not practically naked. Sports clothes with matching headscarfs are seen on beaches amongst modern swimwear, but rarely thongs!
Parents Treated With Respect
Most of the Tunisian children who I have met treat their parents respectfully, and as is the case of our builder's sons, you will often find them helping their parents out with the family business during their school holidays, although if you read recent reports in the Tunisian press, Tunisian society seems to think their children's behaviour is changing!
I haven't met anybody who has not accepted me, the only exception being some people have chosen to find me "invisible!" I once stood in Beni Khiar post office for about 20 minutes at the front of the queue as one by one, people filed passed me and "queue-jumped" to get to the front!
Tunisia is a largely secular country, but the official religion is muslim and even if people do not fully practise the religion, most of its values are still upheld.
Tunisians like their women to be quiet and modest. A woman speaking to a male member of the public whom she doesn't know could be thought of as "not entirely innocent" and sometimes it could even be construed as a "come-on."
I have heard that your teenage girl should not go to a Tunisian wedding without her parents and that sleepovers are not a "good thing."
Inviting a male relative into the house whilst the husband is not present, even for an entirely innocent reason, is definitely a "No No!"
Whilst sometimes one could find all of this a bit irritating, especially as in the UK we see it as normal to say a pleasant "good morning" to everybody who we meet, by following the rules of your new country, you are guaranteeing your own safety.
To me, Tunisia does not seem to have that many rules to follow and I haven't needed to make too many adjustments. What do other people think?
Discuss them in the online guestbook, it will be interesting to hear all of your comments!
Let us know what you like and what you don't like about Tunisia, add to the lists below. Anybody or anything you think deserves a special mention, we will include it on our list. Send your comments to the online guestbook.
|Long, hot, hot summers||Trying to get used to summer opening hours when you have overslept and have not got out of bed until lunch time (Tunisian shops are usually closed by 1.30pm in the summer, not to re-open until about 4.30pm!! Just when you have got used to these hours, along comes Ramadan! All change!|
A wonderfully cheap and tasty snack consisting of a filling of egg, potato, salad, tuna, olives and harissa sandwiched in the middle of something that tastes very much like batter or a donut without the sugar.
Remarkably satisfying, probably not very healthy!! For the price of about the UK equivalent of 15p
|Warm cheese triangles (not kept in the fridge department in shops) and warm water in the summer from your cold taps!|
|The British Exchange Rate giving you lots of dinars for your money||
Tunisia has many lovely walks down country lanes lined with white-washed farmhouses, and cactus plants. Tunisia also has a seriously bad litter problem away from the main tourist routes which spoils people's enjoyment of these. Come on Tunisia get your act together!!!
|The promptness of Beni Khiar Police when responding to an emergency||Anything that is small, flies and buzzes - the downside to a hot country! All insects such as ants..etc, seem twice the size!|
Tunisian teachers secretly, although against the law, still use the cane!!
No Lager Louts or Ladettes!! (see above)
|It hardly ever rains, but when it rains....it pours....and if there is a country where you could describe rain as vicious....then Tunisia is the place!|
|The dustbin men come round every day!||The dustbin men may come round more often, but as with the British dustbin men, they will not return to pick up anything they have dropped, or anything that the Tunisian cats have scattered across the road!|