A few of my favorite things . . . about Tunisia

The beach. Yes, I’ve mentioned it before, but I just can’t get enough of it. Today we walked out to the beach nearest our new house (after several wrong turns and a minor detour through somebody’s olive grove). The water was so still it looked like a huge, shining lake lapping gently on the sand. The beach was utterly empty, except for someone walking toward us in the distance, who eventually turned out to be two someones: a man and his camel. We took a rain-check for the camel ride.

The call to prayer. A lovely, haunting thing, somewhere between a chant and a melody, reminding me to take a moment to be with God. Our house is right around the corner from a mosque, so I pretty much hear it five times a day. Church bells in Italy are beautiful too, but there is nothing like the call to prayer.

Our house. Ornately carved wooden Moroccan furniture, Phoenician-looking plates painted with fish, and an age-worn chunk of Carthaginian pillar with a candelabra bizarrely perched on top of it. Not to mention that my children now have their own bedrooms. Maybe I’m a parenting wimp, but it makes bedtime so much easier.

Our cleaning lady. She arrived promptly at nine, popped into the bathroom to change into her crisp striped uniform, and then spent six hours cleaning the entire house from top to bottom (NOT entirely our fault. We haven’t lived in it long enough to get it dirty, but it’s been unoccupied all winter). Yes, we will be inviting her back on a very regular basis.

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