Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First impressions

1. Extremely glad I did not come here alone, everybody looks at me like I'm a piece of meat.
2. Am doubly-glad I no longer have blond hair.
3. Two men have already told me "I wasn't speaking to you, I was speaking to the Man (ie, my male co-worker)
4. There are some pretty sketchy neighborhoods here. While stopped at a red light, we saw a gang of men try to rob the French semi-truck in front of our car. When they couldn't get in, I thought for sure they were going to turn on us. Luckily the light changed and we sped away.
5. I definitely do not feel safe here.
6. Our hotel is nice so far, and our balconies overlook the beach/water. None of the male employees however will speak to me, which makes things difficult since my co-worker doesn't speak French. And none of the female employees speak French, so I can't speak to them either.
7. Last night we had to stop on the TOLL ROAD to let some goats pass by.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile



Blogger Milk Jam said...

LOL goats.... :-)

November 12, 2008 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Wow Sam! Stay safe!
Then suggest some cultural training classes for them if they want to work with foreign countries in the future!

November 12, 2008 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Alison said...


November 12, 2008 at 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's got to be a proactive response to, i was not speaking to you.
like, we're both here to do business. i alone speak french. if you wish to do business, you will have to deal with me. and the 21st century, motherfucker. big smile.

November 12, 2008 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or let your colleague say it, and you translate.

November 12, 2008 at 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 12, 2008 at 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Argh, well strike Tunisia firmly off my list of places to see before I die.

November 12, 2008 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger joy suzanne said...

Ugh, f*ck.

This pisses me off.

November 12, 2008 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

sounds like my trip to Morocco.

November 12, 2008 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

The people of your company seem like they are brainless. Surely, they must have known what they were getting you into. If not, then they need to be educated in the REAL world. Be safe!

It's too bad you delete the nasty comments, I'd like to see what garbage can spew from their minds.

November 12, 2008 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Fned said...

Dude!! You really are living the life of a "Routard"!!! ;)

Hang in there and stay safe. Think of how this will be one of those stories you'll tell over and over in the years to come!!


November 12, 2008 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Yeh... GOOD thing you DON'T have blonde hair for right now... You'd be followed everywhere!!! Maybe even sold to a harem or something... Sounds like an adventure... that's for sure... Great you didn't go without a male counterpart... Stay safe....

November 12, 2008 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Starman, what do you mean "It's a good thing you delete all the nasty comments"? What nasty comments are you referring to?

November 12, 2008 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger misplaced texan said...

Oh, man. What a shitty place to do business. Seriously, men don't speak to women? WTF?! I'm sure the beach is nice, but I guess this answers any questions you had about future business trips to Tunisia. When do you get back to Paris?

November 12, 2008 at 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about being a piece of meat. I have been to Tunisia (Djerba island) and Egypt and they don't see a lot of "free" women if you know what I mean. They love blond women especially. And if you are wearing revealing clothes (that's what I mean by free) run away! As soon as I stepped ou of the airport in Egypt, our guide looked at me with scary eyes and said "ouh, la belle gazelle". And in Tunisia, some guys tried to "cure" my big eye, even though my husband was with me by attracting me in their house.
These men are crazy and sexually frustratd it seems.

And to the one who said he doesn't speak to women, kick in him in the nuts! lol

November 12, 2008 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Susan in Lille said...

The think that sucks is that you can't really change any minds in a few days. This thinking is centuries old. Just do your job and come home girl. Come home quickly and stay safe. I'm sure your bosses here will know you did a kick ass job.

Course...make sure and pat them on the shoulder with your left hand when you leave. That's your poop wiping hand they consider dirty. :-)

November 12, 2008 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

haha i love susan's comment :)

i agree though, just try not to let it get to you too much, and when you come back have a nice long talk with the company about not sending you there again!

i do remember having a talk with a friend of simon's in montpellier whose family is from tunisia, and he did tell me that even though the government tries to give this image of a nice, welcoming country, it's really quite rigid in muslim tradition and not a fun place to want to go. his opinion, at least, and it seems like you're getting the same one...

November 13, 2008 at 2:15 AM  
Blogger Global Librarian said...

If you have time you must go see the ancient city of Carthage, most famous for being the home of Hannibal. (That guy who marched his army and elephants over the Alps to attack Rome.) It's about 15 minutes outside Tunis.

It's on my list of places to see, but as it isn't the safest and we have a child now, it will be a long time (if ever) before I can see it for myself.

Take many pictures so I can live vicariously!

November 13, 2008 at 5:41 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Girl, you be safe. When your in a country with this kind of mentallity, I think it wise not to comment back. But if you were elsewhere and a man said that to me. I would come back with "Well, I'm speaking to you...You M***er F***er... OK maybe I wouldn't swear outloud.

November 13, 2008 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the author.

November 12, 2008 6:14 PM

November 13, 2008 at 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starman- It means the author of the comment, not the blog ;)

November 13, 2008 at 7:28 PM  

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