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Readers' Comments about Tunisia

Shoe cleaner on Avenue Habib Bourguiba

Donald from Montreal, Canada visited Tunisia on an organised tour in mid 2002. He reports . . .

"We visited Carthage, Sidi Bou Sad, Tunis the capital, the souks, El-Medina and the famous Cathedral on Av. Habib Bourguiba. In addition we have spent few days visiting the coastal touristic zones, i.e. Hamamet and Sousse where I was very impressed with port el-marina at El Kataoui.

Overall my stay in Tunisia was very rich in culture, experience, discovery and of course full of sunny days. My next vacation will definitely be Tunisia, but this time I'll take my wife with me. Don't be fooled by the media, we all know that they show you ONLY what they want to sell.

I was overwhelmed with the warm welcome we had from the local people, I felt very secure during my whole stay at any of the places we visited. This was not just my personal feeling, but all other members of the group felt the same thing."

Alina from Australia visited Tunisia in June 2002 - she writes "The holiday was OK. The weather was great, but we found the sea a bit dirty especially by Australian standards".

Thomas K of USA writes: "I was stationed near Kairouan with the 82nd. Airborne Div. in late 1943. It was hot and dry. There was lots of olive trees there, large cactus rows there also. We would go to the coast and enjoy the water. We left there and went to Bizerte."

Margaret from UK visited Tunisia in 2004 and writes: Having recently returned from Hammamet from an 'all inclusive' fortnights holiday, I can honestly say it was the worst holiday I have ever had. I was there with my friend (another blonde female) and we were scared to go out of the hotel at night, as there are men everywhere. You very rarely see a female, probably because they seem to be the ones who do the majority of the hard labour.

Constant harassment, physical and verbal, the men would not leave us alone. This was not flattering, it was very threatening and intimidating. Every shop we looked at, never mind went into, was constant harassment. You could not just look around, they were shoving their wares in your face and physically grabbing you! Even getting a taxi back to the hotel after going out to a restaurant, the driver was suggesting we go back to his brothers for some 'hubba bubba'!!!

The cultural differences between the Tunisians was stark and quite disturbing. They are either rich or abjectly poor, with the rich ones rushing towards being westernised, while still appearing to be disparaging towards tourists who provide much needed income.

It is a country I will most definitely never visit again. For those parents taking children, of either sex, all I will say is keep your eyes on them at all times, and don't be taken in by the 'smiles'.

Send your comment to:
rcdobbie@alphalink.com.au

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