Back.

I am finally back in Hamburg, after 10 days in Tunisia. The vacation was fantastic, if a little… interesting. I went with my little sister, and we saw a lot of the country, were hosted by my sister’s lovely friend Isaac in Tunis, and met a whole lot of friendly Tunisians and ex-pats.

The upsides: Tunisia is beautiful, and really diverse for such a small country — we saw city, desert and sea in one short trip. I came back with a tan. Isaac, his room mates and his friends were really good to us, and showed us all the ins and outs of Tunis, which is a fabulous city. Tunisia makes it surprisingly easy to travel, so we were able to see a lot. The towns are gorgeous, and the beach was nice. And it was all pretty affordable, especially compared to Germany.

The downsides: When Chrissy (the sis) and I traveled on our own through the south and down the coast, we got harassed like nothing else. If anyone ever calls me a “Gazela” again, I might just punch them (and that line has officially ruined my love for my former favorite Portuguese wine). The food was not so hot — Isaac took us to some really good restaurants, but you definitely have to know where to go, and overall I have no love for Tunisian food (although I hear home-cooked Tunisian cuisine is much tastier than restaurant food). And we managed to embarrass ourselves. A lot. Highlights include a large gust of wind blowing up my (long!) skirt so that I flashed some serious butt cheek to a dozen construction workers in Mahdia; Chrissy wearing her ridiculous British-Air-issued sleep mask on the bus to Tozeur and almost falling out of her seat when they slammed on the brakes; some dude on the beach staring at me and then looking down meaningfully at his giant boner; and Chrissy coming upon another dude on the beach whacking off.

So, good stories all around. Overall it was a really fantastic trip, and I feel really lucky to have seen such a great country, especially when we were shown around and entertained by such welcoming and generous people. Now Chrissy is in Hamburg with me, laying in bed sick with a Tunisian stomach bug (I was woken up this morning by the little guy rolling over and saying, “Jill, I yakked,” followed shortly by, “and I think we’re out of toilet paper”). I have to return to school in half an hour, and she’ll be here until she plans the next leg of her month-long journey. I’ll post pictures tomorrow for Tuesday Travel Blogging.

A million thanks to La Lubu and Aulelia for guest-blogging — you two were phenomenal.

It’s good to be back.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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7 Responses to Back.

  1. Linnaeus says:

    Dare I ask what “gazela” is supposed to mean in that context? It can’t be good.

  2. Jill says:

    Dare I ask what “gazela” is supposed to mean in that context? It can’t be good.

    I’m not really sure. We asked some Tunisians, and I don’t think they really grasped what we were asking. “Gazela” just means “gazelle” in French, and they seemed to think that the dudes meant it literally — they were just calling us gazelles, which are pretty animals or something. I think there has to be more to it than that, but I don’t know.

  3. Linnaeus says:

    Maybe it’s kinda like “chick”, but with a more “complimentary” connotation.

  4. Henry says:

    They were probably actually calling you Gazelle’s. Most likely with the connotation of beauty and grace.

    Also, a Gazelle is a fast and elusive game animal, so there’s a element of the hunt as well. It’s as sexist as you thought.

  5. ChrisR says:

    Maybe “gazella” is the Tunisian version of “fox”.

    You said you need a more international focus in blogging, but I suspect a personal study of international harassment wasn’t what you had in mind.

  6. Hector B. says:

    Linnaeus reminded me: the current German word for chick is Maus. Are any guys referring to you as a Maus?

  7. Morningstar says:

    I’m hoping to see pix of you hopping Tunisian rooftops a la Damon in Bourne Ultimatum.

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