What is surprising for tourists in Tunisia
Tunisia - the country is amazing and contrasting, much here is unusual for Russian tourists. When summer of 2016 for the Russian tourists were inaccessible to Turkey and Egypt , many decided to choose a place of rest Tunisia because of low prices and visa-free regime.
Some of the travelers were surprised by Tunisia, and some were even shocked. On the shocking phenomena in this country, read our separate article " that shock tourists in Tunisia, " and on this page we'll talk about what's just amazing.
Everywhere grow date palms, and dates from the ground no one picks up
In Tunisia date palms grow almost everywhere (an example in the photo on the right). On the territory of the hotel tourists find not only palm trees with dates hanging down, but also fruits lying on the ground. These dates no one picks up and does not eat.
Here it is worth explaining a few points. Cultural date palms, giving tasty fruits, are all in private territory, and the harvest from them goes to the owner. Palms that grow in free access are either uncultured varieties, or treated with chemicals from insects.
Even if you try these dates, they will not taste like it and will be very tough. In some cases, they will also cause harm to health. Do not eat these dates, do not risk in vain. Remember the main thing: if they were edible and safe, they would have been cut short by the locals .
Tunisian men all day sitting in a cafe and drinking coffee
Tourists notice this phenomenon during excursions, when the bus passes through towns and villages. Dozens of Tunisian men just sit at the tables in the cafe, chat and drink coffee. It begins to seem that in this country people do not work at all.
The photo on the right is made in the city of Tunis on Avenue Habib Bourguiba , on the right is just such a cafe full of people, despite the weekday and working hours. Take a closer look.
The second interesting aspect of this phenomenon is that there are absolutely no women in these cafes. Is there such an inequality in the country?
Of course, in Tunisia there is no law prohibiting women to sit in a cafe next to men. It's just not accepted, such traditions. For Tunisian men, gathering in cafes is a traditional way of spending time. They communicate, drink coffee, what is surprising?
Tunisian can sit in such a cafe all day off, and coffee costs only 0.5-0.8 Tunisian dinars . They are sitting in the open air, as the premises of such cheap cafes are not equipped with air conditioning. Women in cafes also go, but already in other cafes, where the premises are air-conditioned, and coffee costs 3-4 dinars per cup.
Traders rarely take dollars and euros
This is a feature of Tunisia - here street trade goes exclusively for local dinars (pictured on the right), and euros and dollar merchants prefer not to take at all or take on a "predatory course."
This situation greatly surprises the Russian tourists, who are accustomed to paying with dollars in the shops of Egypt and Turkey. And in Tunisia you have to change money.
Money in Tunisia is changed in almost every hotel, the rate is fixed, no problems with this tourists do not arise. This phenomenon can be called unusual for many of our travelers, but it is not inconvenient to call it. Read in detail in our article " Currency exchange in Tunisia ".
Beer is everywhere only non-alcoholic
In shops in Tunisia, tourists notice beer and are happy. This joy does not last long, exactly until the moment when the inscription 0% on the label is found.
In Tunisia, alcohol is not freely sold. Only in hotels, cafes and restaurants that have a special license, and in special shops "Generals", on the right photo of alcoholic beer from such a store.
If you want to buy alcoholic beverages, we recommend in advance to inquire about the location of this store in the locality of your stay. Usually, the store "Generals" is only one for every major city. Another option is to say the word "Generals" to the taxi driver, most likely he will understand where to go.
Very cheap taxi
If we are talking about a taxi, then tourists are often surprised by the cheapness of a taxi in Tunisia . Landing in a taxi - 450 millimeters, kilometer of the way - 500 millimeters. In the photo on the right you can see a counter from a Tunisian taxi, we photographed it right after landing, the counter shows 450 millimeters.
For comparison, the way to 10 kilometers in Moscow costs about 300 rubles, and in Tunisia only 180 rubles.
Especially surprising are such low prices in the light of gasoline prices. This article is written in October 2016, in Moscow the 95th gasoline costs about 38 rubles, in Tunisia 1.7 dinars (50 rubles). And all the same, travel by Tunisian taxi is cheaper.
However, Tunisians "rescues" contraband gasoline from neighboring Algeria and Libya, which costs about 1 dinar per liter. Cars are often also smuggled from France and cost taxi drivers cheaper.
Each large hotel has a playground for playing balls
Russian tourists watch with interest the French, throwing balls of gray color on a rectangular sandy area (pictured right). It looks interesting, but nothing is clear.
This game is called "petanque", it is very popular in France and its former colonies. The tourism industry of Tunisia was originally oriented to French tourists, and the petanque field can be found in every self-respecting Tunisian hotel.
By the way, this game is not as simple as it seems to most Russians. Weight of a metal ball - 700-800 grams, throwing it is not so simple. The rules are simple: you need to have your ball as close as possible to the wooden ball (called "koshonet") by the end of the game. Whoever is closer, he won.
At the buffet, a lot of dishes with tomatoes and tomato paste
This surprises the Russians, since we have tomatoes - a rather expensive vegetable, and to serve tomato paste dishes - the pleasure is not cheap. In Tunisia, half of the dishes in the hotels are cooked using tomato paste. Remember at least shakshuku - Tunisian fried eggs.
The reasons for this phenomenon are simple - very low prices for tomatoes in Tunisia. When Russians see prices, they experience almost shocking emotions. Tomatoes in Tunisia cost 1 dinar per kilogram (in 2016 it is about 30 rubles). Read more in our article " Food Prices in Tunisia ".
Not surprisingly, tomato paste is used in Tunisian cuisine in many dishes as a cheap filling sauce. Use the moment, eat tomatoes, good at the Swedish tables in hotels they are present in any form: fresh, baked and as part of salads.
There are many spicy dishes on the buffet
Tunisia is a hot country, and spices have always been used for long-term storage of food in hot conditions. Tunisian cuisine is not called acute, but there are a number of sharp dishes in Tunisia.
To sharpen , a sauce called " harissa " is used. It is prepared on the basis of hot pepper and olive oil. By the way, harissa in a jar is an excellent gift from Tunisia , it is inexpensive and colorful.
In hotels in Turkey and Egypt, they prefer not to cook spicy dishes. In Tunisia, on the contrary, they do it with pleasure, which surprises the Russians. We recommend first try the dishes on the buffet, and only then put yourself a full plate. It's very unpleasant to watch Russian tourists leave the mountains of food on plates only because they did not understand immediately that the dish is sharp.
By the way, the severity of the dish is a relative term. Comparing with Hubei noodles or Sichuan dishes from China , even the sharpest Tunisian dish seems neutral.
We wish you a pleasant stay in Tunisia and do not be surprised at anything, read our helpful reviews about this country ( links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website