Having lived in the States and traveled abroad for a while I feel like I’m one lucky Tunisian women. But at the same time I find it difficult to explain some of the things I live,tried,experienced or saw to some of my friends or family members back home. Some of those things are stated in the list below :
1. No matter how hard I try to explain the awesomeness and pure deliciousness of Peanut butter (also know as PB)to people who never tired it before I fail big time. I usually get “who cares about PB, we love Nutella “.
2. The concept of Sour Cream is also super challenging especially because in Tunisian part of our day to day food includes cheese and dairy products. I still can find the best way to explain the taste and texture of Sour cream so until them I’m gonna eat all the sour I can every time I’m in Europe or the States because we can’t have it here.
3. Registering for wedding gifts! I explained this to a friend who was about to get married and the look on his face was priceless. He did not believe that registering the things you want to buy and have people help get you some of them as gifts was okay! He kept on saying it is such an embarrassing thing in the Tunisian culture and the conversation ended with him telling me chances are zero to none for me to marry a Tunisian guy and live a happily ever after life !
4. Weddings and the unnecessary hustle of having to worry about feeding tons of people and spending so much money just to show off! I always find it insanely irritating to see people waste so much money while they can use that money to travel or avoid having to be in debt for sometime after the marriage. I have to give a shout out to my buddy Ahmed and his amazing wife Eftikar for being the first Tunisians I spoke with and they said they had zero debt wedding because they only dos what they wanted to do! They did not give in to family pressure and I’m so proud to see them happily married with two cute boys!
5. The importance of being on time. I go to meetings always 15 minutes earlier and I make sure I text,call or email in case I’m going to be late. However that’s not a common thing in Tunisia as people would think that’s okay if they come late! I had to stop meeting with someone once for all after that person came late more than once and did not apologize for it.
6. Asking about how much money does someone make at work. That is a very rude questions for non Tunisians who do not know the culture but once you get familiar with it you would understand that people think that’s okay to ask. However, I still that question is not appropriate and I feel no shame saying “I’m sorry that’s a personal question ” and leave it there.
7. Why are you still single is one of those questions that people and mostly married friends and relatives will never stop asking you. To be honest my answers depend on my mood so sometimes I can be nice and sometimes I’m not nice at all. I will write a longer blog about this point:)!
8. The importance of having some solo time and traveling solo. I have a lot of that and I usually get asked what pleasure do I find in that. I answer that getting to know oneself is essential and I always end up meeting amazing people during my solo trip and that it is actually one of my favorite things to do.
9. I don’t like Tunisians beer or any beer for that matter. All beers smell nasty and they remind me of the smell of mud. So people will be surprised when I say that and they always think that I wouldn’t know what I’m missing until it is too late.
10. The concept of the survival of the fittest in big malls of Tunisia especially in Carrefour on a Saturday night and Sunday morning. After making the mistake of going there to get some groceries on a Saturday evening I took a promise to never go there in the weekend. It is the worse thing anyone can do to his/herself. It is like a huge zoo where people act like there will be some zombie apocalypse! Don’t go during the weekend and you can thank me later !