The flight from Newark to Frankfurt was late, but thanks to the Lufthansa folks sweeping me and others with tight connections under the airport by minibus, I still made my connection to Tunis. Then, a few of the airport tests. First, could I get a Sim card? No; my phone is locked, and they do not rent mobile hotspots. So I signed up for AT&T’s “passport” scheme, and turned off my cellular data. I got money out of the ATM no problem. Then, to find the #635 bus to the center of town. It turns out you need to go across all the parking lots and across a busy multi lane road with no crosswalk. Then you come to an unmarked standard issue bus shelter. I asked five police on the way. We then waited for longer than a half an hour for the bus, during which time I made friends with a man who proposed sharing a taxi. (He gave up his shade under a palm tree to come join me in mine.) We were about to hail the cab (for about 4 dinars each – much less than 20 dinars I would have paid myself from the airport) when the bus finally came. The bus cost Gamel ½ a dinar – I say Gamel, because since I only had big bills he spotted me the fare. We had a great talk all the way (in French!), ranging from the techniques pickpockets use to his work as an engineer.
I made several attempts to call my bed and breakfast host, but I have not quite figured out the numbering system for Tunisian telephone prefixes yet. No worries, though; I did what I wanted to do anyway which was wander the Medina until I found the place.
It was locked, so I asked the bakery across the street, who sent a child to go and run and get someone else, who made a phone call, and then who knocked hard on the door. I was welcomed by my wonderful host Karima and her sister.