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Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Tunisia as model


I thought I would accentuate the touristic nature of where I stayed in Tunisia last year, with this miniature style photograph.

I was interested to see Tunisia in the news recently for social unrest resulting from political protest.  While we were in Tunisia we met a young man who basically told us

You only live once. In Tunisia,
we eat what we want,
drink what we want,
**** who we want.
We just don’t mention politics.
Our rulers don’t like the people to be interested in politics.

According to the BBC, dozens of protesters have been killed by police. The unrest in Algeria and Tunisia may be linked, and protesters are using social media tools. One of the BBC articles also says the protests may have been partially triggered by unflattering revelations about the Tunisian government on Wikileaks.

Posted by bigblue on 11/01/2011 at 08:28 PM
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Sunday, 05 December 2010


While in Tunisia recently I (re)discovered the historical figure: Hannibal of Carthage:

One of his most famous achievements was at the outbreak of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy.

The word Punic is a form of the word “Phoenician”, which was a land in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, covering the modern territory of Syria, Lebanon and Northern Israel.

In his first few years in Italy, he won three dramatic victories, Trebia, Trasimene, and Cannae, and won over several Roman allies. Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years, but a Roman counter-invasion of North Africa forced Hannibal to return to Carthage, where he was decisively defeated by Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama. Scipio studied Hannibal’s tactics and brilliantly devised some of his own, and finally defeated Rome’s nemesis at Zama having previously driven Hasdrubal, Hannibal’s brother, out of Spain.

Wikipedia also informs us that Hannibal’s military exploits continue to be studied in military academies all over the world. Someone at a tourist office in Tunisia told me that Hannibal is the historical figure of whom Tunisians are most proud.

The photo above of ruins in Carthage, Tunisia, is by johnmuk, and I have reproduced it here under a creative commons licence.

Posted by bigblue on 05/12/2010 at 08:57 AM
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Saturday, 04 December 2010
African beach


As the snow melts outside I am reminded of those work meetings on the beach in Tunisia, last week.

Posted by bigblue on 04/12/2010 at 06:02 PM
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Thursday, 25 November 2010
Something old, something new


When we went to the meal and belly-dancing show I suspected there was a risk that someone might end up dancing on the table. Well at least it wasn’t me this time. One of my colleagues remarked that the belly-dancing almost made up for the poor quality of the food. There was also some male dancing as part of the show, although I suspect it has a different formal name.  If it had an equally descriptive name it would be something along the lines of “bare chested strutting with swords”.


This is the wall that surrounds the old town. It might not be as old as it looks. The cobbles in the souq have the well-worn look and feel of a Disneyland theme attraction.

Posted by bigblue on 25/11/2010 at 08:33 AM
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Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Mediterranean Moon


I watched the moon rise over the sea.

Posted by bigblue on 24/11/2010 at 10:28 PM
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Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Tunisian beach


The beach is beautiful and clean, and the weather is stunning, but one can’t help but feeling that there is an artificial air to the place. I have not seen as many cultivated/potted palm trees since Cape Town. This afternoon we’re going to the “old town” so we may find a more authentic Tunisian experience there.

Posted by bigblue on 23/11/2010 at 12:39 PM
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Monday, 22 November 2010
Mediterranean Sunrise


Here’s the same view as last night.  The sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea was quite spectacular.

Posted by bigblue on 22/11/2010 at 06:42 AM
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Sunday, 21 November 2010
Arrival at night


The view from my terrace is looking promising although daylight tomorrow will tell.  I can’t see the sea, but I can hear it.

Getting here was quite a palaver.  Apparently they called our names over the tannoy nine times at Heathrow and had removed our bags from the plane. The gate was closed when we got there, but we had only heard one announcement. Anyway, they let us (and our luggage) back on the plane. The thing is that it was delayed already and when they said we had 45 minutes our small party took them at their word and decided to go for a quick bite eat. You know how it goes.

We seem to have made up most of the lost time in the taxi from the airport to the hotel: the driver was exceeding 180 km per hour for much of the way.

Posted by bigblue on 21/11/2010 at 11:56 PM
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