Today is Thursday, so I was told approximately 3 hours ago, it did answer all my thoughts as to why the shops were closed and why the Arab's within Tunis were not clogging the streets as per usual at 10am; reasoning, this Thursday is the one of religious significance with the sacrifice takes place; which also accounts for the sheep within the centre of Tunis and why there is this head in front of me now.
Family preparations for this evenings feast.
Dad has done his work, four heads on the wooden board, smoke time; Mum continues with the intestines and spices and salad, looking particularly smart in the skin decorated the way it has been with the tattooist ink, not to mention the gold and cotton scarf, all whilst she sings a little ditty to pass the afternoon away.
The wind blows, the clouds scatter.
Times are changing, summers coming.
Who knows when the water will turn to salt.
- it is actually 5pm and the district of Sad Bou Said and Carthage has been walked, lunch has been had on the rocky outcrop by the waters edge looking back over the beachfront buildings of the Arabic world all whilst the youth practice/play soccer on the sand, women stroll and young stars scream at each other whilst getting up off the ground from the last round.
The lemon juice washes down another cake, can't help myself at this stage of the game, it being the first quarter at time on.
This breather takes place in the local cafe where in the backroom the cards are played with more pace than the hash smokes or the coffee consumed, but above all the movement of smoke, racket of cards and voices the music usually reigns supreme, on this day, the religiously inspired holiday, the man plays cards.
(this is all wrong; but, generally the idea maybe there; I don't like to draw, at this stage with the crowd around. Plus the time involved - hours required.)
another day seems to be coming to completion, or at least dark has hit dinner has been eaten and the ice cream consumed, now the pen hits the paper with short breaks for the coffee, all prior to the lemon then water, pre lights out reading of the French dictionary before the next days planning, and, then the lights go out. All hopefully prior to the suns rising in the morning which will then require stretch run weights before the shower and then fruit. The holiday continues and before I continue, or, should I say, head off to the southern lands of desert and the pristine oasis I need to purchase a sketch book, which they do not have in Tunis, I have eventually convinced myself of this after Two Days of searching, but an appropriate purchase has been located so this will hopefully be able to be obtained in the morning allowing a long trip south, otherwise I will have to undertake a day trip and then purchase on Saturday morning.
The full moon is pending - so I noticed on this afternoons run, this dictates the need to get into open space where the moons light has greatest effect - so the desert is needed.
I do look forward to this adventure
It is now 11.35am, next day and the runs completion still feels good. The train has been booked, to Sfax I go at 1.05 for the initiation of An African Arabic Adventure.
so now it is time to complete, then forget, Asia.
NB no sketch book found, purchased some blank paper, hope to get a book in Sfax prior to departure to the inland sea/oasis.
Thailand - the North, where opium has taken control, has been destroyed, the local culture is dictated to - the men are non-compos, the women beg with the children.
It is all quite unfortunate. The children once old enough are shipped off to the cities where a greater income can be obtained and therefore many can be sent back to the parents.
I would say it is getting worse. The cities are becoming large, so more buildings are needed to house the people, roads are required for movement - if at all possible. Problem is the governments revenue is spent on the Armed Force and not the people's requirements
- such as a sanity system
- development of the economy into value added industries.
The southern beaches are palmed watering holes for the cheap tourist from overseas. Their landscapes are in place fascinating and therefore the tourist will increasingly thrive, this will generate grater development and the movement of two to five star developments.
This is probably good for everybody / everything.
Greater infrastructure / facilities / education.
In Thailand we have population growth, where there is such, if these newborn are to survive then economic growth must go hand in hand. If there is to be an advancement of the economy in western industrial terms then the indicators must grow faster than population.
Bangkok has too many people already, it does not require population growth, economic growth, what it needs is development
- it waters are disgusting
- it's sanitation ???
- it's roads are overcrowded, what it needs is an effective transportation system - underground rail, they say they can't do it - bull shit, it may cost, it may take time but it is the only long term solution; short term - more large buses.
Thailand was very interesting, (cheap) but generally a disappointment. The landscape is ruined, there is no wildlife: they have eaten it all, or sold it off.
The West needs to help them.
They have cheap labour, it should be utilised productively.
Malaysia: didn't explore it / see it / I can't comment.
though of what I saw in Penang - interesting / different architecture which I enjoyed, though once again overcrowded
polluted => hell.
but interesting / not too western.
Sumatra : basically untouched - this place has potential though already the government is selling / giving land to Javanese who will move with their families.
Population is growing, they are spreading inland, the vegetation is becoming scarcer as is the wildlife.
Transportation : roads and buses are pathetic but it is basically untouched => potential, if the Indonesian Government can realise it's problems in Java, and not let Sumatra end up in the same overpopulated / polluted / corrupt state.
Sumatra is beautiful - well worth two months of exploration - language is a problem, so travel with a friend :
mountains are great
southern / eastern beaches
and a great deal more; but spend time in each place since getting there is hell and NB - do not do the usual, as there will only be a tourist resort with coke, Germans and what your name, where you from, and the reason for Sumatra is to get away.
learn a new culture
- they will ask you into their house, to stay the night ...
just learn some of their language
which is generally the same everywhere
put in to learn and the
offerings are more than
Java - countryside is great; Jakarta - basically hell, though the city center is well spaced / greened and ok.
Jogja - return to and northern city - instigator of batik.
Java is diverse, though nearly always crowded / happening, which generated interest / satisfaction, or no boredom. very religious - noise at 5am => 6pm due to the Hindu mosques, this differentiates it from elsewhere and to I, makes it increasingly difficult to come to grips with, though the people are not too religious.
Bali- great - though I didn't see the countryside or stay in the locals as per the rest, so my understanding of the people, way of life, culture is minimal, though what I saw indicated beauty,
peace of mind
Finale:- the people will continue to have larger families so that eventually those parents will be looked after because presently the government does not do so. So population growth => increasing population growth and problems.
The government, which needs to put in place programs to rectify health and population induced problems
is unfortunately too unstable, too insular to consider the long term requirements of the society. Too much is spent on internal stability. The government needs to spend on birth control - investigate legislation and act with flexibility.
use the people to build the required infrastructure - not more highways - railroads - the people are poor, accommodate to their needs, not the rich car owner.
The government should ask for investment from the West - governments and companies for pollution control equipment
- be prepared to sell off assets
- sell off land
- allow 100% ownership
There is hope but that is about all,
it will take time
NB - they don't have to become western
just civilised : not destroy their assets
- the land they live from.
They are better off to remain subsistence
- they are better off without consumerism
don't need commercial advancement
is it too late?
NO, the people have remained basically the same
so restore their desire to exist,
not to advance financially, BUT provide the basics of advanced life :
Transportation, and equal opportunities.
(pages of French words I should know
..... and pages ...)
Just as I've got out the pen & paper the : my friend has arrived with a friend of his. Here we sit by the cascade to listen to the water pounding upon water, watch, and consider the life of the frogs that exist within this mass of 20 square feet, all which is surrounded by the rock face which moves upwards smoothed by generation of movement.
To tell the truth I feel, both, uncomfortable on the rock that I have positioned by the wall, and with the state of the stomach which has been harshly affected by last nights food which had something - maybe the sardines, who knows, but there has been a great deal of clearing done this morning and I know if the offered lunch was consumed matters would only deteriorate, so the lethargic depression I now posses will be relaxed to as best as possible.
Yesterday afternoon after climbing and observing the surroundings it was decided at 5.45pm to walk and hitch a ride if a car passed by (which is no certainty in these districts), to Tamoza which is 15klms. So off I set in the setting sun to follow that road to Tamoza. One car passes, not stopping to pick up the fellow tourist, then another car after an hour, they pass on to no great concern to me as I have concluded that by 9pm I will arrive in Tamoza content with the effort, which after the firs hour, is enjoyable and I consider the next to be so also. Though a ride is always excepted. os the truck tames the pack in the tray as I hope in the front wit the three road workers. After another couple of km's we start to work our way up a hill, and then a hill upon that hill, and then a mountain and another hill. For the next hour the truck winds it's way, sluggishly along the road which after a period of time deteriorates so greatly that my pack is about to bounce off the back. So I hop out and stay in the tray for the rest of the journey, which after consideration would never have been achieved by foot by 9am, let alone pm.
Thank those workers of Arabic nations.
NB the noise of the truck.
=> expensive hotel - Cascade - kid on bike - eventually after shopping - expensive - shop floor - oasis - house / food / stars.
(lazy Sat arvo, by the cascade, feeling queezy / drawing)
It is now 6pm and in the local restaurant I sit, the Berber owner speaks little English like all, even the travelers, who all seems to be German.
The stomach is not improving so medicine will be taken this evening and to bed at dusk, hopefully this will remedy the problem, whatever it is.
No food - that is the hardest bit - I am just so accustomed to eating.
Now for some depressing poetry.
Red and Mauve
Out of the dirt they grow
Next to the street
Pavement in one
To the house
Unless the concrete
Has set yet
But even so
The block in not complete
In the dirt
As the winds blow
The desert sands
across the streets
Through the city
Through the clothes
All the time.
They build a new town
Within the mountain
Within the desert
They must do something
For they have the time
There is a new school
Though the children beg
Walk the donkeys
Guide the tourist
There is a new restaurant
Though there is no food
For the water is bad
The soil is sand
So take a puff
Pull the pipe
Sign that song
I'ii dance along
For I have a day
In this land
There is no haste
For there is
The birds will sing
The children will smile
The men smoke
Whilst the women (work)
The birds will sing
The children will smile
I sit here
My thoughts are bad
In this torrid heat
That makes me sit
I wish to walk the mountains high
Though all I do
How I would love to be a child,
No time to think
Just time for play
- great landscape
Tamerza - but do in a car & be prepared
Chebika - walk in morning - 5am (cold)
rock -> 15kms bed (expensive hotel => cheaper camping - kid on bike - house - food & sardines & tomato's => shit's.
Desert and depletion - building and drawing
water / waterfall / drunk / Berber / draw / write / sleep
- water bread medicine
- single man unable to communicate!!
good / bad chickens - policewoman / car dealer / Kerrouine.
Walk and walk hotel good / exercise / bread water wash sleep
- wake exercise leave hitch
- unknown to station
- 5D not like English language - confusion - police ... shat off, try to find hotel, asleep, cafe, Tunis, No medina, hotel, but found better, walk write, NOW.
NB morning walk, roman ruins and man with one leg - on the bike!!