torsdag 21 juni 2012

Private clinic instead of E.R. or L'hôpital d'urgence

Yesterday my daughter had fiever. I already knew that she had fever the night before, but it was not until late in the evening that she got 40  °C  and I got a little bit panicked. I had already, a couple of months ago, been to the emergency at the hopital of Marsa. It took very long time, and since it is 40 °C outside and also inside the building I really do anything not to go there. Then my brother-in-law got the idea to get her to the private clinic in Marsa. It is the same clinic where my son had been circumcised eight years ago. Normally we go to two doctors. One is a female doctor, Dr Arjoun, and she had told us to go to Marsa Clinic and then call her if it is an emergency. So we went there. 

When we arrived and stepped into the clinic, the first thing we noticed was that the air was fresh and cold. We sighed. Alhamdolillah. The next thing was that it was very calm. It was not many people there. It is of course more expensive, about 45 TND (28 $) and the tests costs too, but for us foreigners it is worth it. At the hospital you can find specialists. At the clinic only generalists. But the generalists are also good. We were helped by a woman and she was very good. She examined my daughter thouroughly and found that she had another infection in her throat. She also found that she had bacterias in the urine. 
The pharmacy is open 24/7. That is not the case in Sweden. If you want medication or any drugs after 22.00 pm, then you have to go to hospital and wait for hours, sometimes up to six hours. So the medical care here in Tunisia are very good, even though they use antibiotique more than they do in Sweden. That is the only negative part. If you have money in Tunisia, you literally live like a king (or a queen). 


onsdag 20 juni 2012

Zoo in Tunisia

When you think about Tunisia you normally think beaches. Nothing could be more wrong. There are plenty of other things to do and see. Like this for instance. We went to the Zoo. Yes, you heard right. The zoo. Even Tunisia has a Zoo. It is situated in Belvedere Ya Hasra in the capital of Tunis. It is on a mountain and you have to be prepared to bring water with you because you have to climb very high. I saw old people too, fighting, panting, to get to the top, were the bears are. But when you get there, ohh, how wonderful is not it. At the zoo you can find really every kind of species: Tigres, camels, turtles, a lot of different birds, snakes, hippopocampus, rhinoceros, and many more. 


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The gas and the smoke-detector

This morning I woke up at five a.m. chocked by the alarm from the smoke-detector. I did not found any smoke, nor did my mother-in-law. She ran up to me to help me, exhausting, panting. It seemed like the whole house were filled with gas. We have recently installed tubes from the society of gas here in Tunisia, and yesterday I did not close them. The flame in the Chauffe d'eau had been blown out of the wind and the gas spread easily that way. 

So I am very happy that I did something really swedish, putting a smoke-detector in the house, even though everybody are annoyed when the alarm sets off. 


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tisdag 19 juni 2012

Lovely to have friends and family in Tunisia

I have always had friends and family in Tunisia. My husbands family. My children, though had a hard time before they found somebody living close to them with same age and character. This is now reality. The summer is here. The school is over. The final exams are written and done. 

Today it is seriously hot outside. +35 °C. You do not want to be in the sun today, until asr-prayer in the afternoon. Then I am going to the mosque with the girls and my sister to learn the Qur'an by heart, inchallah. 

Tomorrow the weather is going to be even hotter (+40 °C). When is the proper time to go to the sea? I think the mornings at seven o'clock, when it is only +20 °C to +35°C and the evenings when the temperature goes down too. The sad thing is that it is really hot the evenings too, and the wind is not cold enough. You have to swim to get cold.  


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måndag 18 juni 2012

Marriage in Tunisia

It took me years to know how a marriage in Tunisia is arranged. It is not the same for every family. It differs a little from every one. But there are some stages that all go through. 

1. The first thing is to find a girl or a boy to marry. When the boy or girl have met and accepted, then there is a fiancé-party for everybody. It is not a big one, sometimes it is in the house of the woman's or the man's family. Like for these two. They married relatived young. They are both not 25 and that is rare to find today. Most of the female and male marry much later, after age of 25 up to 40 for some. 

2. The next step is to get to learn eachother better. Today there are two groups of people. One group meet their fiancé/e alone, without a matron. The second group have somebody with them always. Because islam teaches that when a man and a woman meet alone, Shaytan is the third party. This can go on for months and even years. 

3. The third step is to announce to everybody that there is a marriage. The couple meet and prepare invitationcards to every family they know. That is in fact many. When european families arrange a wedding they exclude many, many people. Here more than 1000 can come to eat, celebrate and share the good tidings. 

4. The fourth step is to go through the marriage week. It contains several days of preparationstages. One day both families, separated, prepare a meal to everybody from their side of their family. They come to the house, sit downm, eat, talks, listen to instrumental group and give money. Most of the time the music is very loud, so you cannot speak to eachother at all. The interesting thing is that you can choose a sol-e-mia-group that provides you with halal-music, but many people uses instruments that are haram, I am sorry to say.

One day there is henna. Henna is given for every girl on their hands and feet, during the day or night. She even sleeps with it during the night, so that it turns black. This is part of tradition, and the using of henna is sunnah. The man has a little tip of henna too, but only on the top of his finger, as a symbol.

One day there is the visiting. This day the girl's family move every item that the girl has saved for her house to the house of her future husband. It is normally to take all things in a caravan of cars and trucks, and then drive to the other house in a row, blinking and making a lot of noise. 

One day there is the big fiesta. That is what is shown up here in these images from a private marriage from my family. The woman and the man are sitting on chairs, looking at all guests and the guests are looking at them. They are really the center of attention. The woman, if she wears hidjab, has a lovely white hidjab with matching dress and shoes. Most of the time, this dress is only a loan. Not many girls have bought their dress. The man, on the other hand, follows not the tradition, or wear traditional clothes. Rather they choose a suit or something similar. During this day most of the time you are served sweets like baklawah and something sweet to drink, only. At another marriage there was dinner during this day. Another marriage there was baklawa at the contract signing at the maire. So everybody can choose.

The contract signing can be at the house of the lady or the gentleman with a municipal councillor. It can be arranged in the mosque or at the official municipal or civic. It can be done the same week as the marriage, or even months before the marriage if the girl or man is going to live in Europe or somewhere else. 

Which day to start with or finish with, is very much due to the taste of the couple. 

Summer vacation in Tunisia - June

This is the first day of vacation in Tunisia for the children. Some of the children, who were sick last week during the final exams have to do them tomorrow, tuesday. My children are 5 and 8 and both of them have final exams. This is the third trimestre and the two first ones went great. 

The sun i shining. The children are outside playing freesbee with their second cousins. 
During the siesta i.e. after dhohorprayer at 1 o'clock, most people do siesta. My children don't, but I do. My mother-in-law do siesta if she has time to do it. She is taking care of her grandson since both parents work all week from Monday to Friday. The normal workweek for everybody is from Monday to Saturday. Because I am used to five-days work-week from Sweden I remark these things. 

My mother in law makes really tasty stew with green beans and lamb. I do not eat the lamb, but I like the taste of it in the stew. Normally we eat a lot of chicken everyday so it is nice to change sometimes. 
Khadija-mosque, Kram, Tunisia

When I am writing this I can hear the adhan from the mosque of Khadija in Kram, Tunis. It is wonderful to hear the adhan everyday. Yesterday, me and my children did all prayers together at home. Normally they do not pray as it is difficult with school and a lot of time-pressure So I skip it. But now, during the holidy, we can do everything that we want to do. 

I hade planned to go to the sea today, but I and my children all got sick last week (I have been sick for a month now) and we have not recovered yet. The local doctor costs about 30-40 dinars or about 19-25$  (15-20 Euros) and because nobody in my family work here in Tunisia we do not have the right to a price-reduction. That is a bit un-fair I think. Everybody that lives in Tunisia should have the right to have every advantage as everybody else, but that is not the fact. 
The first part of summer is very beautiful.
When august arrives later on, a lot of these flowers and greenery are dry or yellow because of the heat. 

fredag 27 april 2012

Friday prayers and school


Today it is salatul-jumuah. That means that there will be a lecture and prayer in the mosque.
Here in Tunisia, not everybody prays in the mosque at fridays, even though it is obligatory for every muslim to do that. There is several causes why they don't.
For about sixty years ago the country was independent from France. From that point nothing is the same as it was before the colonization of Tunisia. The presidents that came after were all corrupt, more or less. There would not be any freedom to be muslim and pray in the house of God. The people surrendered. They were spyed on, tortured if they show any interest in the muslim religion. The children and women were not allowed to wear hidjab, the muslim veil. If they did so the shorta, i.e. the police would grab them and pluck it away. So every woman that wanted an education in the schools or a job, had to get rid of the hidjab. The same for the men. There is sunnah, recommended for men to grow beard. But during the time of these corrupted presidents with systematic spying of the people, the men who did have a beard were put to tremedous problems, losing their jobs and tortured. The journalist and media were also corrupted. If a journalist wanted to write the truth, they would be put in jail and tortured. You can't imagine how.

So, today, the fear has not totally gone, because there are several generations that have lived under suppression all their lives. Young kids do not dress the islamic way. They drink alcohol and do much bad things, as taking things from cars, etc. I saw three teenagers go into a car just in front of our house. They took things and then left. My husband who was present, did not do anything, because he did not want to be abused. He only took his own car and put it in the garage for not having it being stolen or hurt. I just feel sorry for the fear you can feel here in Tunisia. The police do not have the respect of the people and they only come after the dispute or do not show up at all. They have been with Ben Ali, the president in exil, and everybody hates the police here. After the Jasmine-revolution everything is changed. You can go to the masjids, the mosques, and there is two-times prayer. One at 1 o'clock pm and one at 3 o'clock pm. This is for the people so those who cannot quit their job at noon, they can join in in the afternoon. There are women in the mosques, and more and more girls and women have the choice to do what ever they want to do. There is a lack of islamic knowledge here in Tunisia, and many children do not know much things about islam, but their minds are getting bigger. Those who want to be muslims and live like muslims have several media to watch and read. They can join classes in the mosques to learn more from the Qur'an.
I do not attend these friday prayers.

My son and daughter have their pause at maktab, school, at 1 o'clock to 3.30 pm. I could join if I wanted to, but it is not obligatory for me to do that. Today it is also very hot outside, so I prefer to stay at home. I also have troubles sometimes to gard my woudho, the washing of my face and hands, and that makes me somewhat perplex, because I want to be tranquile, calme in my mind.


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