On my second day in Tunisia, I took my first louage from Monastir to Sousse and then to El-Jem. I'm so glad I took a louage early, because I quickly realised they are one of the best transportation methods and used them virtually every time over the next two weeks.

Monastir was OK, but I really fell in love with Mahdia. Mahdia was my first introduction to a real medina and I fell in love with Place Cairo. Having my first Tunisian tea shadowed by old olive trees and ancient minarets was wonderful. I just didn't want to leave. The medina is really quiet and I was able to wander around slowly and I found it truly relaxing. It was also my first introduction to beggars. I think Tunisian children are programmed at birth to shout "Donnez-moi stylo" (give me pen) at every sighting of a white person. It doesn't really bother me, I almost never give anything in these circumstances. The one thing I found difficult is that many people have infinite time. Most young Tunisian men are unemployed and spend the entire day sitting on the steps with their mates hanging out. A single white guy walking by is the most exciting thing to happen that day. These people have all day to dick around. Now I may want to chat for a couple of minutes, but I'm not prepared to spend the entire day talking to these guys.

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