|Thu - Djerba |
- First I stopped off at Mareth to visit the military museum giving the story of how the Allied tanks broke into German occupied Tunisia, best part was hitching with the friendly guys.
- bus to ferry and to Hamed Soug capital of Djerba. Checked into Youth Hostel in an ancient Furgon (courtyard house for camel traders). Walked around town down to the fort. No one else at hotel except a French tourist.
|Thu - Met up with Cser Adel|
- Went to big soug it was same as always, small museum.
- Afternoon CSer Adel came across and showed me around town including the Jewish suburb.
|Thu - Day that died|
Like today I set off to get info, change money, and hire a bicycle. First I went to the hire shop and it was closed, so I went back to info, who confirmed it was the only one in town, I called him, but he didn't answer. Then I read his scrawl on his opening hours seeming to mean he now opens after 12. So I waited, but he never came.
|Fri - Biking the island |
- Another irritating day. I hired a bike and went to meet Adel at his village. I hoped to see some interesting scenary and meet interesting village, but it was all pretty mundane and boring and a broken bike made everything worse. The scenary is a few palm trees in dry landscape neither lush enough nor stark enough to be striking.
My phone had switched itself off, so it took me 1 hour to find him. It wouldn't send texts, but didn't say why. I couldn't see it had gone off cos of the sunlight on the screen.
Then just before I met Adel one pedal worked loose, so I spent half the day fixing it.
The maps of the Island are all wrong . It took me ages to find Cedghiane and it was nothing when I got there. I ended up on the road to El May so I turned back onto another road, but somehow ended up El May meaning I had to cycle 9Km directly back before dark.
I waited, but he never came.
|Things go Monty Python in Tunisia
Life pissing me off again.
Take recent events
- I buy some soup I say "no chilli", he says OK, but when he brings it it has chilli on. He can't help it everyone has chilli.
- Bicycle farce - I try to rent a bicycle, but end up wasting the whole day, cos the shop owner didn't open that day.
- We never appreciate how nice it is for both pedals on a bicycle to work until we have to cycle on a bike with only 1 pedal. I hired a bike and it was OK for 8Km and then the next 25Km was mostly on one pedal.
- I go to shower at night and anticipate hot water from the hot tap, but it's cold cos it's on a solar system.
- Getting the louage out of Houm Souk was like a scene out of Monty Python . I got to the spot and people crowded on and there was no space for me. OK I had only just arrived so hadn't been mentally repaired. I'm ready when the next one comes in, but suddenly some people appear out of nowhere, and as I wait kindly for other people to board these people push past me and again there is no spare space for me. After another 15 minutes theres another louage, I'm going for one of the 2 front seats, someone is in front of me, but he blocks me saying he's saving it for his friend. I sat "tough" and shout and swear in Arabic. Except it turns out this guy is a friend of the driver and the guy he is saving a seat for needs to at the front, cos he's getting down early. I get backed into the back corner.
- the strap breaks off my bag.
- boat and next 2 louages are OK,
- but then a big louage farce. To get onward to Tataouine I think I need to at another station, but when I ask someone points me to a waiting louage. I don't realise the drivers are playing around a bit. After I put my bag in, he says no you need to be in that louage over there so I move. This one hurries to leave, but it's going back along the same road I just came in one. The passengers comfirm Tataouine is in the other direction I try to get down, but the driver insists s I stay on board. He drives 12Km further to the end of his route and comes back to the station. Then when I arrive he wants the fare for both directions and won't accept the 1 dinar I offer. He won't let me leave until the crowd intervenes.
- bus confusion ... The normal African thing - people are waiting, but no one is sure when it will arrive so I have 80 anxious minutes of waiting, then when the crowd surges on I end up crammed in the back and sit on the step of the back seats.
|Life pissing me off again.
- Well it's said that the key to happiness is managing expectations. Life gives us so many expectations, and when they don't come off or something gets in the way we get annoyed.
- Am I expecting too much. I rent a cheap bike, I use the most economic of transport. Isn't it too much to try to be economical and expect things to be reliable. If I spent more money things would be more reliable and I'd get annoyed less.
- Likewise Managing customer expectations is a key to good business. If the product doesn't live upto customer expectations they get annoyed. Displeasing 1 customer is more infuential than pleasing 3 customers