The days start early here: the alarm clock sounds at 5.30 am. No, we don't want to be woken up so early. The "Maizena", as Gerd somewhat benightedly calls it in the morning, rings out in a chant-like volume. After a somewhat longer pause for thought, he remembers the right name: The muezzin calls to prayer.
We, however, turn around once more comfortably, because for us the as-salāt does not play such a role, as we do not pray Muslimly.
In Monastir, we can stand quietly at the harbour. The harbour guard keeps looking at us, we feel good. The sun beats down on our Felix, our office on wheels is like a sauna. At some point we move to the restaurant. It's a bit airy here, if it weren't for the noise. They can be loud here in Tunisia, that's for sure!
After two weeks we have to stock up on fresh food for the first time, we stroll into town, past a fortress that is constantly used as a filming location. ("The Life of Brian" and "Jesus of Nazareth" for example) But our attention is on the vegetable stalls.
Here we discover really good vegetables for the first time. Fresh fruit. All kinds of seeds, nuts, spices. Everything in "unpackaged" style. We zero-waste fans are in seventh heaven. Oatmeal is sold by the kilo. Arabic coffee (with cardamom, of course!), tea, dates and all kinds of other things we can't identify - and don't buy for now.
We buy fruit and vegetables, Gerd has a long chat with the spice seller. He tells us about his trip to Munich, where he was allowed to stay with an entrepreneur for six weeks. His eyes sparkle, he is happy to be able to speak German again.
We continue to the fish and meat hall. My stomach turns. So many killed animals, wow, that's not my cup of tea. Once across, that's a must, then at the back exit the stalls with live animals, somehow no better.
Finally outside in the fresh air, I grab a banana, try to swallow the gagging. And practice "ignoration". For me as a vegetarian, it was not nice at all. I don't want to judge, I certainly won't change people. I have to learn to deal with it on my own.
I was and am aware that Tunisia is a meat and fish-eating country. So far, I can find a veggie option everywhere, even if the waiters sometimes look at me very pityingly. I often lack the strength and also the language for a discussion. And, if I'm honest, also the motivation.
Because who am I anyway? The one from the clean high-level reform house world with animal ethics claims!
Merci for "travelling with us
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