…you know, that time where you find yourself moving from Tunisia to Thailand via the USA (where, incidentally, you will be popping out your first mini Wonglet), and you feel the need to reflect. It’s easier to move forward with contentment when I’ve properly articulated where I’ve been.
In no particular order, other than the order in which I thought of them, here are 10 (of the many) things I’ve learned from/during my time in Tunisia:
1. Bombay Shawarma is the bomb—-ay? Ha. I think it’s the fresh naan they use. Bombay, I’ll miss you. Any chance of opening up a shop in Bangkok?
2. I like to knit and listen to NPR. At the same time. I guess the bigger lesson learned is how pleasurable I find tranquility and simplicity. I’ve come a long way since my Vegas days.
3. Transience has given me the ability to determine quickly who/what to spend my time and energy on.
4. I feel at home in wide open spaces…i.e. The Sahara. I suppose I have my eastern Montana upbringing to blame for that. The Sahara is a special, sacred place, which I hope to visit again someday with my children.
5. I love dancing salsa, in an insane, I need a fix kind of way. Not having it in my life for 2 years has been painful. It’s difficult to explain, but dancing Cuban salsa brings me a sort of wild joy that I’m hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
6. I find the call to prayer beautiful and haunting, especially when two neighboring mosques coordinate their prayers to be a tritone apart. Seriously, though, I will miss it.
7. I find stray cats revolting. Kind of like cockroaches. I blame this abhorrence on the cat that likes to puke on our front doorstep.
8. The longer I live this lifestyle, the more I learn about relationships. For some, friendship is something that lasts until you are out of sight. For others, having a friend that lives out of sight means more interesting conversation and one more cool place to visit in the world.
9. Moving from one country to another is about flexibility and grace. Trying to force your life to assume the same pattern as it did in the previous country is a losing battle, and, anyhow, that’s not really the point of living like this, is it?
10. I chose my partner well. Corbet has demonstrated a strength and a flexibility that I’m not sure I’d have had the opportunity to see if we hadn’t moved here. Through the darkest moments he’s supported me selflessly, during the good times he’s been strong enough to allow me to witness his excitement and joy, and through it all his silly antics and spontaneous, solo line dance parties in our living room have only deepened my love for this crazy sweetie of mine.
Oh, Tunisia. We will miss you. You were our first home together as the Wongs, you are where we created our first two children, you gave us wonderful friends and experiences and travels, and you charmed us with your history, your beautiful blue sea, and your stunning landscapes. These photos sum up (almost) two years in Tunisia better than my words can.