7. A surreal wedding

 This post is the seventh in a series which starts HERE. (January 1997) In the village, Samir’s family home is crowded with relatives and neighbours. There are older women in tachleilas and headscarves, and younger ones in modern clothes, their heads uncovered. Young men in jeans and Hawaiian-style shirts, their hair slick with gel, chat with older men, some…

6. The first lie he told me

 This post is the sixth in a series which starts HERE. (January 1997) ‘That policeman told me you were only eighteen.’ Samir looks sheepish. ‘I’m sorry. It’s true.’ ‘You told me you were twenty-three!’ ‘I didn’t think you’d be interested in me if I told you how young I was.’ He’s right; I would have run a mile.…

5. Not without my daughter

This post is the fifth in a series which starts here (although they do not need to be read in order). (March 1999) My six month old baby is wailing in her father’s arms in Tunis airport. He jiggles her and kisses her head, and she quietens. She’s been fractious all morning; perhaps she senses the tension in the…

4. But she doesn’t speak Arabic…

This post is the fourth in a series which starts HERE. (October 2014) My mum, daughter and I are slumped on a seat at Tunis airport. We’ve been on a whirlwind three day visit for my daughter to meet her deceased father’s family for the first time since she was a baby. It’s been emotional; she is drained…

3. A village far, far away

This post is the third in a series which starts HERE (November 1996) I am sitting on a wooden bench in the back of an ancient van that is veering from side to side to avoid potholes. The catch on the rear door is broken so it flaps back and forth and the dust cloud swirling behind the…

2. Bottles in the graveyard

This post is the second in a series which starts HERE (October 2014) The graveyard is littered with plastic bottles. They are piled around the inside of the low wall. My sixteen year old daughter is crying at her father’s grave as she watches her uncle pour water from his plastic bottle onto the tomb stone. ‘The water…

1. About Trouble in Tunisia

Trouble in Tunisia is a serial blog about time spent from 1996-1999 running a water-sports base on the beach at Port El Kantaoui, near Sousse, and about returning there in 2014 to introduce my sixteen-year old daughter to her blood relatives. This blog series touches on life for a Westerner in an Islamic country and…