Friday, September 17, 2010

I am writing this from Tunis, having finally escaped the strange package tour world but not without having entered even further into its mysteries…

I had rather had enough of the Monastir Centre, so I decided to move, and found something which described itself as the HOUDA Golf resort , or something like that. In my naïveté, I though this boded well. A golf resort: perfect. It would be full of peaceful old fogeys in checked trousers who would leave early to play golf. Ergo, no one would be running around trying to recruit one to play darts or do the hokey-cokey. There would be no loud music at the pool side which would be left deserted for me to enjoy in peace and quiet. This turned out to be a miscalculation of monumental proportions.
As soon as I arrived I was given a pink bracelet which meant that ‘all-inclusive’ status was bestowed on me. I could drink as much bad wine or beer as I liked. And I drank quite a lot, having first sat down and cried, because I had booked myself in and paid for two days. There was no going back.

There was howling music and a break dancing competition going on as I tried to fight my way to the swimming pool through the beer swigging hoards. There was no one there who looked as if they were remotely interested in golf.
Every square inch of space by the side of the pools seemed to be covered in a heaving mass of pink flesh. A smell of cigarette smoke and suntan lotion permeated the air.
I surveyed the scene and the spirit of Dunkirk descended on me. I dried my tears and squeezed myself onto a sun chair in the shade of a palm tree.
A kind providence had decreed that the lady on the deck chair next to me, Lynn from Cardiff, was both funny and bright as a button. She became my companion for the two days, and we parted the best of friends, she for Cardiff and I for Tunis, our stay having reached a culmination with a Michael Jackson Tribute evening courtesy of the hotel ‘animation team’. It was actually quite good!

But the real news is the following: Keita is arriving on Monday morning!

He will go directly to the clinic. They will send staff and transport which will be waiting for him at the airport at 7 am. It proved impossible that he should leave earlier. Everything is sewn up without any room for manoeuvring, it appears.
Although I am disappointed that I have had to hang around here waiting for ten days on my own, it is of course not important- the amazing thing is that Keita is going to get his stem cell transplant!
I went to see the clinic and spoke to a lady who confirmed the arrangements. Until this point I had hardly believed that it was going to happen. She could not tell me much- not how long the treatment will take, neither if Keita is going to be able to stay with me elsewhere for a few days. She did say that I could stay with him at the hospital. Maybe this is how it has to be- after all we are not here for a holiday…


Blogger David said...

Well, dahling, if you really want to stay somewhere cosy and quiet, but not by the sea, don't forget the recommendations below.

Anyway, sounds like you'll be with Keita on Monday. But maybe it might be nice to take him to the de luxe place afterwards/between treatments for a night or two if that's possible, depending on how the hospital is.

Thought with you both. D&Jxx

10:00 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

hello best!
I DID actually stay in the Hotel Rue de Russie the first night in Tunis, and it was cosy, as you said. I have now moved to a place called La Maison Doree, a similar place just off the Avenue Bourguiba. Tunis is a lovely place! I have no idea if Keita will be able to stay in a nice hotel at all. Perhaps they want to monitor him all the time. I know it will be unlikely he will be allowed in a pool - there is high risk of infection for him and he will have to be really careful... anyway it is all a mystery which will be cleared up on Monday...

5:23 PM  
Blogger David said...

Yes, I was surprised by how interesting Tunis turned out to be. The medina is enormous and takes days to explore - those fantastic doors, not least.

And glad you discovered somewhere cosy. As I said, I didn't stay in the maison de charme, but it looked delightful - presumably not a pool-y kind of place, and access might be difficult, but as you say, who knows what's going to happen. Anyway, again our thoughts to both.


2:31 PM  

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