Zeramdine (Al Munastir). The arrivalAugust 15, 2018 in Tunisia
Everything started with this nut.
The evening I arrived Walid, who would soon become my guide, my bodyguard and then my loving friend, drove me directly to “The Wedding”. The Weddings are the long awaited events in Tunisia and they mainly happen in August, when most of expat families come back from their hosting countries to spend their holiday home.
Should I change myself and wear something more appropriate? Walid answered to that question by shaking his head. Here, nobody cares. Not only do people wear what they want as if it was an ordinary day but they do not have a standard, meaning that if you want to dress up and wear the smartest outfit you have in your wardrobe, you can; you can wear a jeans and a T-shirt or, like most of middle-aged women, you can wear a traditional Tunisian dress with gold and burgundy or green and ivory or any other color combination you can think of. You can also dress in the “European” way with smart black trousers and a red jacket and high heel shoes at your feet matched with the perfect bag.
We are at Zeramdine, a dry and dusty village in the southernmost part of Al Munastir: the closest thing to a desert I have seen in my life. Indian figs plants and olive trees reassure you this piece of land is alive and there is water somewhere.
It was The Wedding day 6, that means I missed most of the celebration week culminating in day 7, when bride and groom and their families finally meet for the big feast.
Despite the tiredness, the flight delay, the missed exit on the motorway from the airport, despite the late hour, Walid and I finally arrived at the Grandfather’s House. Shining under a blind spotlight, at 1am the spacy court of the house was crowded with people. Men lazily lying on a carpet aside a sleepy groom waving hello at our entrance and women wandering about to offer nuts and candies in straw baskets. Their kisses and their looks penetrated me and unexpectedly triggered the start of what was going to be a journey into myself.
I took a nut from a basket but there was not nutcracker. I smiled and asked with a gesture how could I open it and they smiled back to me without an answer. That nut was telling me there isn’t always an answer to questions but also, sometimes there aren’t questions to ask.Read more