Sunday, January 8, 2012

Common Kindness

I moved into my apartment on the Monday after New Years Day.  Ever since then I have been spending a good part of each day running the routine errands that come with getting settled in.  In the process, I have been treated to the kind of generosity that many people told me to expect from the locals.

I get around by taxi a lot because it's incredibly cheap.  For example, my ten minute trip to the law school costs around 3 dinars, which doesn't even amount to $2.00. And the drivers don't even expect a tip!  I usually include one, but this past Friday, the driver simply refused to take it.  He was a talkative guy who, like a lot of people I meet, couldn't understand how someone who looks Tunisian doesn't talk like one. When I told him where I came from and why I was here, he said that God must be looking after me.  Considering what I have overcome so far, I wouldn't doubt that.

Just today, I had to go out to get some things.  I can usually find everything I need at the Monoprix located two blocks away. But today the tomatoes were all picked over.  So I walked to a vegetable stand a little farther down the road.  I picked up one tomato and asked the guy how much it would cost.  He just gave it to me.  Tunisia is not the richest country in the world.  If that's going to change, the merchants may want to consider taking my money a little more often. In the meantime, the people have got to rank among some of the nicest in the world.

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