Return of the Pink People

The one thing more gloriously beautiful than Tunisia in the winter is Tunisia in the spring. A profusion of flowers covers every field and patch of earth, and cascades down from whitewashed walls. The fragrance of orange blossoms drifts in the light breeze. Today I took a morning walk out on the beach, and could not think of a place in the world I would prefer to be. The Mediterranean sparkled in a thousand touches of sunlight. The sand stretched away in a gold curve, ending at the stone-walled fort of the Medina. And the water lapped my feet like the ripples of a gigantic, placid lake.

And yes, the pink people have returned. Mostly Germans, but a smattering of English, Italians, French, Irish, etc. They aren’t here in droves, but they are here. And there’s really no word to describe them but pink. Except perhaps bright lobster red. A woman passed me today who was sunburnt scarlet from head to toe, peeling painfully (at least it looked painful to me), and yet walking in full sun in a swim suit, obviously eager for more. I suppose it is probably as cold and snowy and dark in Germany as it was in northern Italy when we left, and they seem to be searching for some solar compensation.

For family home evening last night, we took a short taxi to Yasmine Hammamet, where we stayed when we first came to Tunisia. After songs, prayers, and a short lesson on the beach, we went inside of Saphir Palace, the hotel we stayed at and loved, for the activity that Dominique had chosen: riding the glass elevator. It was even better than we remembered it. And a white-haired man at the grand piano in the lobby was playing a Rachmaninoff concerto with consummate skill and passion. It was a lovely moment, and I think I enjoyed that elevator ride every bit as much as the children.

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