We left the hotel around 9am, grabbed some pastries on the street, a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, and headed back to our car. Marie drove for the section up to El Jem. It took us about 30 minutes to figure out how to get out of Sfax. Street signs really are bad there! We finally did it though and got on the road to El Jem. In El Jem we stopped at the Coliseum, went inside and looked around for a while. There was an American guy with two girls, one of them American and the other one probably not. Both of the girls were Asian. It was like this strange parallel universe similar to the one that Xiyun and I had been in at Monastir when we saw a tall white guy and a short Asian girl walk by. This time though the guy had two girls with him.
At a roadside grilled sheep stand.
Roasting marshmallows over the fire. The guys running the stand thought we were nuts.
Back on the road and with Maciej at the helm we drove north to Tunis. We discovered that it was now impossible to take the car above 110 kmph. It appears that we royally fucked that poor Peugeot over. We were a bit worried that the rental company might find out and charge us for it as they had a blank credit card imprint with my signature on it as a deposit. It took us a bit longer to get to Tunis than we had expected but we finally got there. Just as we were getting to Tunis it got cloudy and started raining. It was so appropriate for Tunis to be cold and rainy! We pulled off at a gas station to get the car cleaned. It really needed a bath to make sure the rental company didn’t inspect it too much. I also pulled off a few dangling plastic pieces from under the gar that I was concerned might peak their interest.
We all trucked up to my place to download the photos onto Maciej’s computer. We looked at all of the photos and the videos I took of the trip. Some of them are pretty amazing.
Back in the car, we went out to the airport to return the car a few hours early. We didn’t want to be hassled with having to return it the next day or store it somewhere so we decided to return it at night. It was nice and dark and rainy when we got to the airport. We had called ahead to make sure the rental agent would be there. He was staying late just for us. We parked it in the parking lot, walked into the airport, found our man, and went back out to the car for the inspection. He looked for any obvious body damage, peaked through the window, and walked back inside! He didn’t even bother to open it up and go inside to see all of the sand all over the place! We were very lucky in that regard. I got my blank credit card imprint back, ripped it up, and we were on our way. Marie went back to Carthage to her place and the other three of us went downtown to Avenue Bourguiba. Maciej went to his place and Xiyun and I went out to eat at Restaurant Sfax. We had some couscous and lamb. After that I hopped a taxi back up to my place. It was only 830 but I was so tired I immediately passed out and went to sleep without even taking a shower. It had been a monumental trip.
My hair in the mirror after a weekend free from washing. People pay good money to look like this!