Day 4 The Cooking Class
Tunisian Proverb: If my belly is of glass, I will fill it with bread and chicken; if it is a closed cellar, I will fill it with cockroaches.
We arrived in this narrow street in front of a very neat looking house with no signage indicating that this is the Guest House Dar Omi. The minute we step through the front door we are welcomed like old friends or family. Before you have put your bags down you already feel as if you are at home.
Day 4 The Morning: Kairoun
Tunisian Proverb: If the full moon loves you, why worry about the stars?
DAY 3 Testour and Dougga
Tunisian Proverb: He who spends a night with a chicken will cackle in the morning.
DAY 2 TUNIS
Tunisian Proverb: If someone hits you with a stone, hit him with bread; your bread will return to you and his stone will return to him
Day 2 promises to be a highlight. We are visiting the Bardo Museum.
DAY 1 TUNIS
Tunisian Proverb: He ate one fig and he thought autumn had come.
On this day I had breakfast while looking down on The Nile!! My party of three arrived in Tunis just after sunrise. Everything went smoothly and efficiently at immigrations, baggage claim and customs. We were met by Austen Hand and our guide for the week.
We normally do all our travel arrangements and actual travelling ourselves using public transport but the amount of ground we wanted to cover in a short week in Tunisia made that impractical. So we employed Engaging Cultures Travel and Austen Hand to help us out. They did a sterling job. We did not regret our decision for a moment.
Confucius Said: Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
My first typhoon in Taiwan
I tried to make a booking for accommodation on Green Island (using a student who is fluent in English) but the lady on Green Island says there is a typhoon approaching and I may want to postpone my trip. That’s the first warning I get of a typhoon. I start doing the internet searches and find more evidence of this typhoon. It will be my first typhoon ever and I have no idea what to expect. I’m nervous but also a little excited, and there is a lot of adrenaline pumping in my body.
The 660m Longlin Mountain, locally called Monkey Mountain, has several hiking trails. Here is my experience of hiking a 12km circular trail with Grade 6 students.
Never trust a nun with with a date
Confucius said: Think of tomorrow, the past can’t be mended.
You will often hear me talk about the caring and friendly attitude of the Taiwanese. That is how my friendship with a nun started. She heard me battling to order a latte in a coffeeshop and stepped in to help as she speaks English fluently.
I mentioned to her that I was planning on going to Tainan to watch the Dragon Boat Races and she kindly offered to take me there. We set a date and time and in my mind, its settled, I do no further research as I’m now in the hands of a local who will (should) know everything.
One of my favourite places in Tainan is the Literature Museum. The building is built in the European style of the early 1900’s when Japan colonised Taiwan. It served different purposes during its lifetime and since 2003 it is the only museum dedicated to literature in Taiwan.
Confucius said: The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.
5 April is Tomb Sweeping Day in Taiwan and it has been for 2500 years. Its a public holiday too, to remember the death of Chiang Kai-Shek in 1975.
In Taiwan filial piety is an important virtue. Respect for your parents, elders and ancestors is a beautiful characteristic of the Taiwanese culture. My personal experience of this was when a boy in the Grade 6 class was called out by my fellow teacher, sent out of the class to go and brush his teeth and mouth, and on his return was made to apologise to me. I accepted his apology and later asked the teacher to explain all of that. She said he had said my name in a disrespectful way while talking about me in the class.