Ah, unfortunately, Linda’s prompt didn’t work out for this week’s travel instalment. I hope you enjoy it anyway.
I want to mention one thing though: The story does live in an alternate universe where we do not have to bother with COVID. There are political and environmental issues that are similar to our reality but all is made up. Please forgive me 😉
Please check out here if you missed the previous Stream of Consciousness virtual travel adventure instalments.
Mallory Travels the World VI
The man whistled after them.
Mallory & Bianca walked along Tunis’s souk to explore and find a restaurant for lunch. Mallory looked at Bianca in a long colourful dress in a Beduin style. She wore a black light scarf over her hair and wore a ring against her habit. Bianca shook her head, annoyed.
Mallory, who had dressed similarly to Bianca but wore a dark blue scarf, laughed: ” Didn’t you tell me in Algeria, I can’t change a culture just because of my “fight” for equal rights?” Bianca looked at her and sighed. “I did. But it gets to me sometimes when men think I am a piece of meat they can devour as they please”. They found a little restaurant that didn’t look too touristy.
Just before the man had whistled another tried to coaks them into going with him to his “very cheap but very good restaurant”. Bianca had spoken with the man in French and then explained what was going on in English. She didn’t even look at the man. Just kept walking and said: “Not today. We know where we want to eat!”
Both women sat down under the honeysuckle glad wall and waited. “I feel your pain,” said Mallory, who looked over the French style tables towards the other wall. There was a little arcade that led into the kitchen. She smelled a waft of sweetness coming from the Jasmin that grew over the arcade. “I have to admit I did enjoy Francois’s and his friend’s chaperonage in Algeria,” Mallory said.
“It is so much easier to enjoy the landscapes and people if you do not have to think of where to go next or plan where to stay!” Bianca nodded. “It’s nice to be spoiled now and then!” Bianca grinned. “Well, I told you before: equal rights doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own and keep men out of your life. It means you have a choice.” A waiter came to their table. Bianca asked for the best dish in their restaurant and ordered mint tea for both of them. Then she went on: “If you choose to have a man support you, that’s fair enough. If you don’t, that’s fair enough too”. “I can see your point,” answered Mallory. “But I cannot see why men should always expect to be our “saviours”. We have proven more than enough over the years that we can fight our fights.” Bianca sighed. “I guess that needs another Millenium to get that out of them. Be patient, my dear, be patient!” “I have no Millenium”, scoffed Mallory. “I know”, Bianca interjected, “but not one man whistled at us when we were with Francois and Helene” “True!” This time, Mallory sighed. “It’s just not all black & white, I guess”, she then said.
“No, it isn’t”, answered Bianca. “Which begs the question: “How are we going about our stay in Tunisia?” The waiter, dressed in white with a black apron, came back to bring their teas. “That blogger… I think Haley was her name… said, the public transport isn’t that great outside of Tunis and to hire a driver. Maybe that sorts the “men need another Millenium problem”?” said Mallory. “Maybe we can contact her and find out where she got him from.” “Ok!” was all Bianca said to that.
“And what do you want to see?” she went on. Mallory looked up from her phone on which she had frantically typed. “Definitely Djerba. Those graffitis were beautiful. And that lake, that suddenly appeared. And the desert. We haven’t seen the desert yet.” “You haven’t!” Bianca laughed. “For an ex-travel agent, you haven’t seen much of the world!” Mallory made a face. “Yea, rub it in, old lady”, she countered, grinning. Bianca rolled her eyes. “I was never courageous enough to leave Europe behind. It’s dangerous out here… sometimes!” Mallory sighed. “It’s fine” Bianca tried to calm Mallory down. “It’s not a bad thing to be cautious!” she went on. “Well, it is if you want to see the world!”, Mallory threw in. “No, it isn’t!”, Bianca disagreed. “You can only enjoy an adventure when you know what you are doing. And not take unnecessary risks!” “That is something I always told my customers.” Mallory mused. “Maybe we do the same tour that Haley did?” Mallory went on. “That sounds like a plan.” Bianca smiled at the waiter who came with their food.
“We need to go to the CAFÉ CULTUREL LIBER’THÉ (sorry this link is in French), Francois said. That’s THE alternative place to encounter new Tunisian culture.” she then said. “Fair enough!” answered Mallory with a mouth full of couscous.
Thanks, my dears, for staying with me until the end.
I appreciate your presence.
Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!
Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow some same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.
Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. So far the campaign has raised about half the amount needed: £451,104 of £800,000 (July 2021).
Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.