The seafood restaurant we went to had a view of the castle, which was really just a fort, but I kept calling it a castle because it sounded more exotic. The fortress dates back to Byzantine times, and like any fortress, is boring inside. It sure did look pretty all lit up from down below, though. Just as I was snapping a picture, Sweet D’s dad, who was sitting on my left because we’re both left-handers and that way we don’t bump elbows, came roaring in the frame! 

      The seafood in Tunisia was delicious and fresh, especially the octopus. I had been hearing about Tunisian octopus for a while, ever since I got hired at Job #2 and the charred octopus on the menu is imported from there, and was dying to try it.  The only octopus they had on the menu at this restaurant was served in a seafood salad. 

      “Are you sure you want that, Papi?” Sweet D asked, knowing all too well that I normally don’t like the texture of mollusks such as oysters, mussels, and clams. It’s like when a 6 year-old wants to order her own drink at a restaurant and she chooses passion fruit iced tea and the mom says, “Are you sure? Why not a Sprite?” because she knows her daughter isn’t going to like it, but the little girl insists and sure enough doesn’t like it and ends up with a Sprite. But I’m no little girl, I’m a big girl, and promised myself to eat whatever was in front of me.

      It was served in a leaf of cabbage and seasoned with olive oil and herbs. The flavor was delicious and the texture of the octopus was meaty and perfect. Sure enough I picked around all the other stuff, eating only the octopus, leaving behind a healthy pile of clams, mussels, and oysters. Like a good mom, Sweet D waited until I was finished, offered me some of hers, then finished the remainder of my seafood salad that I was too picky to eat. I was happy with my order, though, and the octopus was phenomenal. 


     The beach house we’re staying at is in Kelibia, a small beach town located on the Cap Bon peninsula, which is so close to Sicily that you can see the city glow across the sea. Last night we drove to the center to do some grocery shopping.

      The streets in Tunisia are pretty chaotic. Pedestrians, motorcycles, and cars all share the road, while the sidewalk is taken up by tables where men sit and smoke and gossip (I never saw a single woman sitting with them). If you’re not careful, you could get run over by a car, as the pedestrian NEVER has the right of way, which I secretly like because I think pedestrians in America are too cocky—expecting a semi to stop the minute they set foot on that crosswalk. 

       There aren’t many street signs and even less street numbers, so finding your destination is difficult. People mostly rely on the kindness of others. Either asking for directions or in one case, another driver yelled out his window, “I’m heading that way. Follow me and I’ll take you there.” At first I thought, “Great, Hostel Pt IV,” and the idea of getting my achilles tendon sliced made me cringe, but I quickly came back to reality, and sure enough the driver in front of us pointed to our destination, gave a honk, and drove off. It was a nice part of the culture, but more times than none, we got lost, which made me really appreciate Google Maps and how easy we have it in the States. 


     I was curious what a hardcore Muslim woman would wear if she wanted to take a dip in the Mediterranean. Would she just walk in with her burqa and float like a jellyfish, or be forced to stay on land, or maybe for one second Allah would turn his eye so they’d be allowed to expose their shoulders in a one pice. Three minutes on the beach and my question was answered: it’s called a burquini. It’s like a full length wetsuit made of swimsuit material instead of neoprene. It’s definitely not what Sweet D was wearing— she was rockin’ the California grrrl bikini. Breasts spilling out from all sides, sun on the skin, fun in the buns. As we played volleyball, a group of guys gathered around us.
      “I hope they’re not looking to steal this new volleyball my dad bought,” she said right before she dove in the sand to dig a hit Z sent her way.
     ”Uh, no,” I said. “They’re just waiting for one of your titties to fall out. This is the most action they’ve seen since the revolution.”
      The boys stood there and stared as she repeatedly dove in the sand, tits flying in every direction. Sorry boys, but the puppies never showed.

     I was curious what a hardcore Muslim woman would wear if she wanted to take a dip in the Mediterranean. Would she just walk in with her burqa and float like a jellyfish, or be forced to stay on land, or maybe for one second Allah would turn his eye so they’d be allowed to expose their shoulders in a one pice. Three minutes on the beach and my question was answered: it’s called a burquini. It’s like a full length wetsuit made of swimsuit material instead of neoprene. It’s definitely not what Sweet D was wearing— she was rockin’ the California grrrl bikini. Breasts spilling out from all sides, sun on the skin, fun in the buns. As we played volleyball, a group of guys gathered around us.

      “I hope they’re not looking to steal this new volleyball my dad bought,” she said right before she dove in the sand to dig a hit Z sent her way.

     ”Uh, no,” I said. “They’re just waiting for one of your titties to fall out. This is the most action they’ve seen since the revolution.”

      The boys stood there and stared as she repeatedly dove in the sand, tits flying in every direction. Sorry boys, but the puppies never showed.


For their honeymoon, they rented an apartment 2 hours east on a beach known only to natives. It’s where Tunisian’s go to get away from the tourists. The happy couple finally get to be by themselves on the 23rd, but until then they have to share their honeymoon with us! Talk about the strength of a couple.



Diego From The City

     I got excited when I saw Diego and friends show up to the reception. I hadn’t stopped thinking about him since he was sitting on the couch four nights earlier. I greeted them with a smile and nod then kept my distance since they didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak French/Arabic. I pointed him out to one of the sister-in-laws and she said, “Oh him? He’s a city boy.  City boys are, how do you call them, Playboys? They don’t have jobs and aren’t serious.”  Was she aware that I was on vacation? When I saw Patrick, D’s loud co-worker from Savannah GA who earlier made a joke about gayness when he saw me and the sister-in-law (whom he later tried to hit on) posing for pictures in the pool shower, talking to Diego and friends, I started to investigate.

     “Does that douche bag speak Arabic?” I asked. “Or French?”

     “Who?” Sweet D asked.

     “That idiot,” I said nodding towards Patrick. “How is he communicating with Diego?”

     “I don’t know,” she said. “He was born in Egypt, so he might speak a little something.”

     No-fucking-way does he speak anything more than English. His oafish head and slow moving eyes suggest ignorance. I moseyed over to the buffet table, which was next to their table, and pretended to graze as I eavesdropped on their conversation. Sure enough, Patrick was blabbing some story about how he broke his arm while riding his bike, and it was all in English. They laughed then asked questions back in English. Those bastards! I waited for Patrick to leave, then saw my window of opportunity when one of them pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels.

     “What’s up, guys?” I said as I pulled up a chair. “Do you mind if I have a little? It’s hard as hell to find whiskey around these parts.”

     They poured me a glass and we started talking.

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      Here it is! The video from the wedding. The officiator said that this was the first time he’s married an American and a Tunisian.

      I know this is a bold statement, because I’ve been to many amazing weddings before (Rosie’s, Jazz’s, Adele’s, Baloney’s) and will get shit for saying this, but Sweet D takes the cake for Best Wedding. The melding of two cultures, where the cutting of the cake almost didn’t happen because the police showed up with guns under arm to shut down the party since the homeowner didn’t have a permit, all added up to make this a one-of-a-kind!