The image on the home page is of a beach near Telaga Papan, in Terengganu. Its a place I love to spend hours reminiscing, reflecting about my life and those around me. Sometimes I catch glimpses of fishermen bring in their catch of the day. But wait for the sunset. Its fantastic mix of colors.
Storiesfromtheeast.com this time brings forth a story about my trip to Tunisia with my eldest daughter. We flew from London after abandoning our initial plan to travel to Morocco.
Check out my article “Tunis in 2014” under Tunisia. It is about a trip we took to Tunisia, way back in May 2014. The Mediterranean weather and Sidi Bou Said will lure me back to Tunis and Tunisia someday in the future. The simplicity of life…
“…….As we left Zaytuna Mosque, we scoured the area for a restaurant to have a much-needed drink and perhaps, lunch. We found a number of cafes and restaurants that are for men only, forbidding women patronage. These men-only cafes are popular among Tunisian men. This kind of cafes form an integral part of Tunisian traditional lifestyle, almost like a community centre where men gather to discuss politics, sports and everyday subjects. Women complain that stares and verbal harassment kept them out of these male-dominated cafes. In a society where the national unemployment rate was about 15%, these cafes form an outlet for ‘letting off steam’. They serve a similar function as the “coffee-shop” back in Malaysia except in Malaysia, women (even in hijab) can sit down and have a teh-tarik without stares or harassment.
Since our thirst became unbearable from the endless walks around the souks, we decided to take our chances and walked into one men-only café to buy two bottles of coke. We greeted the bartender with an Assalamualaikum and ordered two bottles of cokes to take away, fully conscious of the penetrating stares from the entire ‘flock’ of men, some seated and others standing , looking on in complete disbelief at our trespass. We were lucky to be spared the embarrassment of being ignored. The bartender obliged us our drinks. We paid him and left the premise. As we left the men-only cafe, we wondered if being foreign women, made all the difference in their tolerance.”……..
Tell me what you think…..have you readers had the same experience in Tunis?