My trip to Tunisia

Of Shaggy and clueless people

One of those Tunisian balloons/parachutes on the beach
One of those Tunisian balloons/parachutes on the beach

“You don’t know Shaggy?” I ask.  'It wasn't me' sears through, cuddling everything in its wake. I tap my foot, smiling at the genius that is Shaggy. Smiling at the memory of the 90s.

 He shakes his head.

“Are you serious?” I ask slowly feeling the alarm rushing through my veins. I thought it was bad enough that he had never heard of Toni Braxton. I thought it was a catastrophe when he asked what TLC is. I even forgave him when he said that he kind of knew Boys 2 Men. But Shaggy?

“Everyone knows Shaggy!” I tell him, blinking silently.

He laughs. That incredulous laughter.

For a moment I just watch him. How is this possible? How could I find and marry the one person in the world who has never heard of Shaggy?

I stare into the distance. This is our Achilles heel. Where other couples are puzzled about their partner’s child rearing ideas, we pull our hairs about music and movies.

Everyone knows Cold play!

Everyone knows Jackie Brown!

He has told me in the past to my utter astonishment.

The day we found out that we both knew Bob Marley, we toasted to each other, delighted at the miracle of that revelation. When we found out that we both liked Sade and Tupac Shakur, we kicked it up a notch and treated ourselves to a juicy steak, at the fanciest restaurant in town. 

                                     Tunisian hawkers

“Two for the price of one!” A man thrusts a packet of peanuts at my face and jolts me back to reality. He has a wisecracking husky voice, that is both warm and desperate.

 I don’t speak French but from the way he is dangling the two packets together, I conclude that that is what he is trying to say. He is fiftyish, short, scrappy and with an I-am-not-giving-up kind of eyes. It is a look that I have seen so often that I am now beginning to believe it to be typical Tunisian.

“No, sorry” I tell him in English shaking my head slowly in a way only a tourist can.

“Let’s get some!” Hubby declares springing from his sunbed.

“They are pink!” I whisper back. He takes that as a nod of approval  and pays for two packets of pink coated peanuts. I watch as he throws the peanuts in his mouth, oblivious of the travel agency warnings.

‘Don’t eat food sold by locals on the streets!’

‘Don’t touch any food sold on the beach!’

                                     Paradise?


We are lying on sunbeds under a palm tree, just like they have it in cliché holiday magazines. The Mediterranean stretches before us blowing a cool breeze through the scorching heat. Is this paradise? Is this how paradise is supposed to feel like? 


Read previous posts about Tunisia here and here.

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