Saturday, July 09, 2005

Half of this post got deleted, and I'm pretty mad about it.

I wanted to begin by apologizing for the infrequency of my posts. Because we live outside of the city and commute to school, we have a pretty tight schedule on weekdays and have little time for internet cafes (and I don't think many people in Salammbo even understand the idea of a personal computer). There is so much to tell you and so little time!

On the average school day, we wake up between 5 and 6 am with the morning call to prayer which serves as a rather effective alarm. Our commune has a rule that those who go to bed first get to pick their beds since not all beds in our place were created equal. In fact, one of the beds consists two boards propped up on metal poles with a mat on top and another bed is the couch. Since I've been sick, however, I've been getting the good beds so I'm not complaining. Anyway, we eat breakfast together, usually bread, fromage, eggs, and/or fruit before catching the train into Tunis. We spend about 20 minutes on the train and another 25 walking from the train station to the school. After four hours of school (with generous breaks...praise Allah), Adam (our food expert) picks a restaurant and we eat lunch before setting off on our various afternoon excursions. Sometimes we have calligraphy class, while other times we have errands to run. Now that the first week is over, we will probably have more time to spend doing other things. For example, today Lea and I are going to an all-female bathhouse, or hammam, called Zitouni:

You haven't fully experienced Tunisia until you've been scrubbed down with an oven scourer by an enthusiastic elderly masseur... Often recognized by their candy-stripped red-and-green doorways, hammams feel as if they haven't changed for hundreds of years. It's an amazingly exotic, sensual and relaxing experience.

Sounds good to me.

I also feel as though I need to describe the fabulous characters with which I am living in order for anyone to begin to understand my current experience, and I will do so over the next four posts.

I will begin with Adam:

A 27-year-old graduate student in the history department, Adam gave up careers in both cooking and orchestral conducting in favor of becoming an expert in and professor of medieval history. He's also the only married person in the house. In short, Adam is an extremely intelligent, politically aware, clean Jewish hippy. He is also a wellspring of interesting facts concerning every imaginable subject, especially literature, history, music and food. Although we two are the most different in the house, we are quickly becoming good friends.

So more on Tunisia later...this post was twice as long, but these computers are terrible and mean and I was only able to recover this much. Sigh... off to the bathhouse to wash my troubles away.

Ma' as-salaama!

p.s. Mari-e is in London, and she's okay. Thank God.


Blogger mary b said...

hi adam, good to meet you.

3:58 PM  
Blogger galu said...

Cari, your comments are great. I met Adam in May at Yale but did not know 85%of your discription. Loved it.. Lea's Mom

6:00 AM  

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