Tuesday, December 06, 2011

is tunisia a warzone

So, a few weeks ago, the Brit and I got onto the Information Superhighway in a bid to find a:

1) warm
2) close

place in which to spend a long weekend. Burn off the rest of our leave.

Last year we went to Austria, did the whole Christmas market, gluhwein and gingerbread thing and proceeded to get stuck there for a whole week because of dire levels of snowfall across Europe.

This year - it's all about finding some Dry. Heat, Motherfucker. And we don't have time want to fly to Australia, and so conveniently remembered that: Dude. The Sahara Desert is like right on our doorstep. It's closer than London is to Liverpool. Virtually. Well. Say.

Morocco looked good, but it involved me having to queue for a bastard visa. Obvs. So based on what the top of Africa was looking like, I figured:


Just a week before, Colonel Gaddafi kicked the bucket and Libya exploded, and there was this giant Arab revolution and/or uprising. While I heard smatterings and murmurings about it everywhere, I never really followed the story. Like a good PR person should. If I am truly honest here.

Tunisia sounded nice - and besides, there were these fucking amazeballs deals going down it seemed. Don't mock post-revolution deals, dog. "Craig" the awesome travel agent got us a five star hotel, flights inclusive, 300 quid each, on the edge of the desert in some place called Hammamet (which kind of sounds like hammock if you chop the 'mock' off.)

You see where this is going.

Turns out, Tunisia is in the middle of some kind of stand off involving a fuckload of turbans and machine guns.

Look, I'm all for adventure. Driving around four ex-communist countries in a Skoda with my mother? No sweat asshole. No sweat now that I'm still alive, asshole.

Backpack around the Ukraine wearing a fanny pack? No. Problaymo. (Haven't done this. Yet. Only a matter of time, only a matter of time.)

The issue is, I'm not actually prepared for a fucking warzone. And trust me, when my boyfriend finds out, he's going to be well pissed. Because he definitely wasn't up for driving around eastern Europe in a shit car, and tends to prefer first world countries even if he refuses to actually admit this.

"You do know that there's still a war raging on there?" someone from work casually asks me.

Peas: No it's all done dude. Gaddafi died.

Person: Yeah...that was in Libya.

Peas: yeah...that's next door dude. We are going to Tunisia.

Person: You're going to die. They hate Western world.

Peas: No we're fucking not. [Defense mechanism]

Person: Best you don't leave your hotel. Can you even drink?

Peas: Yes we fucking can. [Defense mechanism]

Person: Whatever you do, don't be British or American. Or carry a flag.

Trying not to appear visibly rattled, and wondering whether "Craig" the call centre agent offered refunds to the Ukraine - I did my own investigation.

Want I want is a little less of this:

And a little more of that:

So here's a profound question: is the internet a lying bastard?

And, is our holiday perpetually and unwittingly taking place in the midst of an Arab uprising?

And, why the fuck didn't we just go to Dubai?

3 comments:

Flarkit said...

Becos, aside from a little heat, Dubai has little offer IMO. Perhaps a a 1st-time visitor you might have a little (pricey) fun, but otherwise it's just another hole. If you must head to the Emirates, do Abu Dhabi instead. Dubai's just too commercialised, fake and unfriendly. Just saying.

Heck, just come back this way and go to Swakopmund! It's cheap and friendly :D

Pebbles said...

The thing with warzones is this: your life/health/travel insurance might not cover it. You'll probably be just fine, but in case the pawpaw does hit the fan...

I agree with Flarkit though, Swakopmund is THE BOMB!!!!! How about South America? Or Zanzibar? Or the Maldives?

Colliwood said...

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/tunisia

...could be a notable read. That said I wonder what a site like this would have said about traveling to SA around the 1994 elections or around 1990 for that matter. That all turned out pretty well.