Monday, June 16, 2008

something New

Europe, for all its cultural history and magnificent beauty is, i feel at times, all the same.
Its not to say that each country doesnt have its own unique cultural differences and quirks but, as one coming from Australia is nothing really new.
Tunisia, on the other hand, is, and i realised how much so when i stepped off the plane.

A little nervous as i was out on my own again, a little bit more nervous as i was staying at my first couchsurfing hosts place that night, made only worse being stuck behind immigration slowly getting my visa arranged (although tunisian immigration people may be the friendliest in the world, even more so than the aussies, so that was nice) but wondering if my host would wait around or think I had given her the wrong details, it was ticking past 1am.

Just walking down the street the next day i realised how far out of the norm i was. I have found that walking down the streets of a European country, even though i dont know the language, is no problem, I dont wonder if i will do something wrong or offend someone by accident or provoke a fight... nor in asia, I know these cultures, they are part my own. But here, here it was a little different. Everything was so alien, the dusty streets baking in the hot sun, people wandering about, speaking french or arabic. Its just a place i have never been. Delighfuly, everyone is friendly, so much so you wonder if they are wanting something from you but it seems that all they desire is a chat, to know whereyour from and be helpful if they can. I think im a bit of a prized posession over here, special treatment all round, a glass with ice in it at a restaurant (normally its just a straw in the can) people inviting you into their resaurants, people just going out of their way to hunt down someone who will peak a little broken english so they can help you! its great, its strange but i love it.

SEems as though theres much more to tell, about Pamela our wonderful host and about the adventures me and will have had, sitting and drinking coffee by the road watching chickens fight, stray cats, old carthage, and an awesome taxi driver (probably got a little ripped off though.. but its ok... ) but im out of time, internet cafes are like that...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Life after...

After leaving everyone behind in Norway, each heading off in their own direction, most towards home, I've had a bit of a whirlwind tour of Denmark and Czech Republic.
Traveling with family that wants to see as much of europe as possible in the few short weeks that they have to spare doesnt really lend itself to a relaxing time. Especially when traipsing through large cities, full of history and monuments. Not to mention having just spent 9 months in a small out of the way town in the north of norway amongst the mountains the the fjords.

It was strange to say Goodbye to everyone, one by one they trickled off at different times and by different means, the base got bigger as we became fewer and it started to feel a little surreal. It doesn't really hit you that you're leaving 20 odd people behind, 20 close and amazing friends, maybe to never see them in person again, until, i guess, you're sitting at your gate, alone, waiting to jump on a plane. But even then it doesn't seem all that real. Now it does though.

So, Prague, ill skip copenhagen as I was kind of exhausted and spent alot of the time snoozing or hoping i could snooze soon, lovely city though. But prague, amazing. I dont really know what to say, its great. Old buildings, like older than my country {most of europe seems to be that way though, i should get used to it!} the archetecture is amazing, the food is cheap and good {that's one yay for not being in Norway anymore}, the beer is cheaper than water. Sun was out, soo hot, i think I've lost my tolerance for the heat, Tunisia is going to be a killer, as is melbourne this coming summer. But its nice, I guess it spells the end of my perpetual winter.
Did i mention I've been travelling with my family for the last week? im not sure and too lazy to re-read what I've written... They came to base for the last few days and graduation, it was nice, one good day of weather, the others were horrible, i guess they got lucky though, 1/3 days being good in Engavaagen is pretty decent at times! Well they left a day before me, giving me a chance to pack my stuff finally and say goodbye, and i caught up in copenhagen with them, we parted company again today...
Been in chesky cromlov for the last three days, old medieval town with a nice running river and castle. It's nice, check it out some day...
well... i geuss the Beer from dinner is getting to my head, hence the disjointed blog... nice and lethargic...
and probably full of mistakes {crazy czech keyboards...}