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Rainy Intrusions

January 20, 2010 2 comments

The walls at Sybel are shaking because the techies are testing music. I have a office filled with cigarette smoke from my coworkers and clients. I’m sipping on a toy cup of instant cappucino. My feet are propped up on the chauffage. I’m drafting my travel plans for Morocco. I’m talking to a friend on Skype video. I’m blogging. I’m tweeting. I’m definitely not working.

I’ve perfected the art of feigned work too well actually and I get slight bursts of anxiety each time I start to wonder how I will manage once back in the good ol land of opportunity. I have transformed into the world’s worst worker after being the world’s most anal worker. Tant mieux.  

 But I’m kind of edgy these days. Slight bursts of anxiety also hit when I think about how I have less than two weeks left in Tunisia but so much left to explore! This weather certainly isn’t helping my efforts to venture into the unknown. While we aren’t getting the snow blizzards of Europe, it’s pretty darn cold and rainy these days, which means you’re constantly cold to the bone and reluctant to move from the warm spots electric heater generates. 

It’s actually quite the debbie downer. Anna, Lavi and I had been planning to make a trip to Sousse and Kairouan for over a week. We decide Friday that if the weather stays bad, we won’t go anywhere. I guess we all had it in our head that bad weather was a guarantee. Friday night I go out salsa dancing, come home late, and wake up late to sunlight streaming in my studio. The first thing I think is “Oh crap. I’m now committed to travel.” I call Anna, turn up the tired voice, and say, “Anna, it’s sunny”. She say, “Preeti, I know.” In an instant, we both realized neither one feels like getting out of bed. 

We cancelled all plans and chose to go to Sidi Bou Said instead where we could sit high above the ocean, smoking a sheesha and drinking tea. I met up with Omar, Marion, Lavi, and Anna at the train station and from there, we took a leisurely hour strolling to the Cafe des Delices. We walked up the streets lined with orange trees, poked our noses in trinket laden side stores, and posed before every blue & white painted door for a picture. Much better than being jostled in a louage, the reckless private mini-buses of Tunisia. 

Actually, this was one of my favorite times at Sidi Bou Said, and the change is plan was welcome. After everyone had had their fill of sheesha, I stayed behind for a few extra minute to relish the ocean dotted with fishing boats and mountains layered with the cream colored Tunisian homes. 

When  I got home around 4, I found myself exhausted. I’m like a sun-powered vehicle: take away my sunshine and I turn off. I cuddled into my warm blankets with book, a hot water bottle and a mug of black tea with rose petals. A few pages into my book, I dozed off and woke up to the heavy drizzle of rain. Merde. I was definitely not interested in going anywhere in the rain because here, when it’s cold here, central heating will not find you and thick sweaters will not save you. 

So I stayed in and cooked a spicy jambalaya, aubergine tapenade and stewed fruit which I topped off with cream. After eating, I turned my phone off, did some journaling, a gentle dynamic yoga routine and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up at 7 am and it was still raining. Merde! I refused to budge from my bed and instead slipped in and out of sleep till 11:30 am. I finally realized this is a ridiculous way to spend a Sunday so I decided to see the famed Bardo Museum. I bought some stuffed dates and met up with Omar at Tunisia’s Eiffel Tower. Together we went to explore the best preserved Roman mosaics … and the worst preserved Roman statues.

The architecture of the museum itself was just as incredible as the mosaics themselves. I had never imagined a mosaiic could boast such fine detail! Omar and I were as usual those most obnoxious pre-pubscent teen wannabe’s in the area and kept touching all the mosaics that dated 5 BC and laughing at the big bootied statues. 

I popped over to Anna’s apartment afterwards and then went back to Soukra where I had fresh juices made my company’s partner’s girlfriend (mouthful!) She owns a juicebar and restaurant in Ibiza and is at last, bringing an ounce of healthy mindfulness to Tunisian restaurants. We talked for ages on the difference between bee pollen and royal jelly and the best ways to get enough chlorophyll.

But come Monday, healthy mindfulness was out the window (and so were travel ambitions). Thameur came over for dinner and I made him french fries and he made me omelets doused in full fat cheese. We stayed up late watching movies, sharing our latest designs for work and thoughts about his upcoming exhibition on a 3-D interpretations of Kandinsky. I waltzed into Sybel the next day one and a half hours late, shook my umbrella out in the foyer, and sat down at my desk as if nothing at all was out of the ordinary. I need a time-out with a dunce cap on.

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