29th May – 1st June – Tunisia
After the INSEAD reunion and two days in Paris, I flew to Tunisia to meet Jill, a good friend from Remote Year Ohana, and her boyfriend Louay. It was my first time in Tunisia and I had an absolutely fabulous time. It was even more special because I went during Ramadan and got to experience the Ramadan culture. Here were some of my favorite memories during my 3 days there.
- Going around Carthage , a part of Tunis, at sunset just before breaking fast.
- The feast that Louay’s mom cooked every day for the breaking fast meal at 7pm.
Here is my level of excitement and anticipation waiting for the unfolding of pretty much the best meal of my life everyday. You might not be able to tell, but a lot is going on in that head.
- The full-on day 2, starting with going fishing in a boat in the middle of the sea.
After a lot of waiting and patience, I finally caught a fish, albeit small. I didn’t have the heart to let it die though so put him back into the water.
- Walking around in Sidi Bou Said, a neighborhood outside of Tunis, having coffee on a cliff with a gorgeous view.
- Watching a traditional Tunisian Hathra show in Hotel Sidi Bou Said.
- Experiencing fasting for a day during Ramadan including the preparation the night before consisting of a late night dinner after the Tunisian show and rushing to drink that one last sip of water before the fast starting at 3am.
My 3-day experience in Tunisia was really amazing. What a beautiful country, with the most lovely people, and some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had. I also appreciated so much the hospitality of Louay and his family and would definitely go back in the future to see more of the country.
1st June: 6-hour stopover in Malta
Malta was a nice little stopover for a morning on my way from Tunis to Palermo. I managed to get out of the airport to have coffee in Sliema, then took the ferry across to Valletta and walked around the city center and sat in a café for a bit before heading back to the airport.
Before coming to Malta I didn’t know much about the country and expected something like a typical island country driven by tourism. During my short time there, however, I felt that there was quite a bit of commerce and the city had a sizable central business district. It is also amazingly clean and organized, and feels like a very peaceful and comfortable place to live. When we later met someone who lives in Malta and who is from Singapore, she said the island, while much smaller than Singapore, has many similarities to it. Perhaps that is why I felt a sense of familiarity – almost like a Singapore with beautiful European architecture. I could have easily spent a few more days there, but for now I’m glad I got to do a short stopover and got a little glimpse of the country.