Kerouan, Tunisia, 2023

This is the first time after my escape from Bangladesh in March 2020 that I ventured outside the EU. Tunisia is inbnorthern Africa, on the Mediterranean coast roughly south of Italy on the other side. I had to go in early January because I had four unused weeks of vacation left from 2022 and HR wouldn’t have it. Use it or lose it. Tunisia is pleasantly warm even at that time of the year.

Still, I wanted to take advantage of a law that makes vacation operators responsible for getting me home safely in case of trouble. Didn’t want a repeat on 2020 when I sat in a dingy hotel room near the airport in Dhaka trying to find a flight home. I hate tour vacation operators but I got their all-inclusive package, having no intent to make use of it but still checking it out. Free breakfast, free lunch, free dinner. It was truly awful. Bland overcooked buffets with very little variety, and all clearly cost-optimized. Why do people do that? Free is still too expensive.

Anyway, first I took off for Kerouan, an old royal city in the center of the country. Unlike the all-inclusive tourist ghetto it was a beautiful ancient town, all white and blue and sand-colored, with city gates, shops, markets everywhere, and mosques. In Tunisia, non-Muslims can go no further than the mosque courtyard, but the artwork there was truly stunning. A good start!