PC630 Time to thank all those people who helped me in this years travel
Internet Black Hole
..thanking all the people who helped me is on my list of jobs to do .. but I see I didn't get around to it yet Since I've been back in the UK it's been doctors dentists .. - Feed the cat ..walk the dog, feed the dog etc..that takes tike ..and then every time I use the internet it turns into a time blackhole cos as soon as you read one thing you find some fact that needs checking cos it's obviously wrong anfd that search leads to another and another etc.. and it's the end of another day.

Thanking - TUNISIA
- I started off in Sousse halfway down the east coast ..a bit of internet came up stayed at the Youth Hotel (kind people) ..so while I was there I met up with a few CSers, then there was ..Soussoumag who showed us around Kairouan.

- I moved on down the coast ..in Sfax I met Muneer who I later met up with in Zaghouan. In Gabes I met up with Soussoumag again and 2 other CSers. I stayed in the Youth Hostel in Djerba and met up with Adel the teacher a couple of times and he showed me around the Jewish suburb and I met him again in Tunis 3 months later.

- I moved further down to the Sahara (Getting collective taxis was often like a scene out of Monty Python) and saw all the clay castles from the Star Wars movies and even stayed in an underground hotel off the tourist track.

- I hitched across the northern part of the Sahara with Italian tourists. onto Douz & Tozeur .. where I first heard of riots ..After New year when all the transport was full of people going home I managed to ge a hitch hike with Slim and his mates
...a few days later I accidentally passed through Sidi Bou Sid. I knew this was the scene of previous "riots" as the place looked like it was a huge police picnic party.. A few days later I saw a riot in Thela, but I knew to stay well away and not stay like a dumb tourist taking photos. (The police and rioters are just as stupid as each other). I passed up the west .. visiting many Roman city archaelogical sites .. to the hill town of Ain Draham.

- In Beja at the Youth centre I met up with Kaysar. Met Hytham and his family ..and very kindly they invited me for dinner

Thanking - TUNISIA
- When I reached Bizerte and metup with Cser Challouah Kais countrywide "riots" started off countrywide. I say "riots", but it was more like crowds gather someone smashes a supermarket or bank window or starts a fire and everyone runs away except for young hoolighans. Agent provocateurs had come out from the south to lead the uprising. We couldn't understand why attacking a supermarket or bank would help the people ..but it turns out that the ruling family had monopolised foreign joint venture businesses so that's why they were attacked.

- I knew from being in the war in Yugoslavia in 1991 that war and revolution are not like it appears on TV ... the action is usually a few sporadic incidents whilst 2 streets away normal life goes on. Since there was to be the weekly meeting of Tunis City CS in La Marsa beach suburb I went there bizarrely whilst checking directions I accidently walked into the office of a Cser Amine I had already emailed cos he had organised it and he got his driver to take me to the ruins of Carthage. As I took a shortcut from one set of ruins to another, suddenly there were 2, 4, 8, 30 police, secret police grabbing me.. it was otherside of the motorway from one side of the presidents palace and they were a bit jumpy. The first time of about 7 timesI was detained by army and searched. I continued sightseeing, now I could see there were quiet a lot of army around these streets... but on the way back to the hostel before going to the CS meeting someone told me that theere was a sudden 7pm curfew. Bit weird walking back with APCs outside the shopping centres etc. ( later people like Amine were not in a good situations cos their main business was probably with the old corrupt families)

- I moved into the medina in the centre of Tunis, which was safe from riots cos off the narrow streets.. we could hear stuff going on outside the medina . I met up with some other travellers at the hostel including the German long distance walkers Judit and Pascal. Curfews continued so on the Wednesday I went to a small beach city Nabeul where it should be calmer. I met Harvey a 127 country traveller from Chicago. That day The president resigned and me and Harvey saw some weird stuff over the next week as we travelled together..ending with the smashed up and looted house of the someone from the ruling family. We thought it could have been worse, about 200 people died over the whole country, but that the Tunisians could have done the revolution peacefully by boycotting the presidents family businesses.
- Various times we met people who were secret police ..still low key spying on us..but afraid of the change.

After the Revolution

- I travelled around a bit more, but didn't share the local youths enthusiasim for the revolution as I knew their expectations were far too high and that in 1 years time the economy would be not much better. (Surely the Tunisians have messed up their own economy and made themselves poorer ?)
- A French trader gave me this T-shirt

- I met Muneer again then I went back to Tunis, Beja and Sousse in the end after 1 month I decided to stick with the original date on my ferry ticket and leave to Sicily as no work opportunities were coming. I stayed with Cser Connie & Judit and Pascal in Tunis centre. On the day I left the protests peaked again as people were annoyed with the interim gov, and others wanted to loot more beer etc.. And strangely all kicked off outside where we were staying so I had to make my way past burning cars and army trucks to get a taxi to the ferry.

Thankyou All

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- There are 4 blogs ... this one travel and then I eventually edit and filter off material into
Current 502 Ideas and Opinions Blog, ideas index 2, Irrational World Blog .. but editing can get delayed a long time.

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