DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

What do I notice here in Tunisia? It is both like Jordan, and like Morocco -- and in some ways, distinctivley not like either one!

 

What better way to visualized my initial impressions than a table? (I think it's been said before that sociologists love tables!)

 

ObservationsJordanMorocco  TunisiaHypotheses
Food StapleRice, think, flat bread called sharak, pita breadBread (thick round loaves)Bread (thick round loaves) and Tabouna (thinner pita-like loaves)North African vs. Levantine cuisine
Alley Cats?Very few street cats comparativelyTons of street catsOverrun by street catsMedina make up; cleanliness of streets? 
Shisha?Shisha everywhere! (but called argileh)No shisha in public (outlawed even)Shisha (called shisha) available in cafésDefinitely the Ottoman empire!
Café culture?No outdoor street-side cafésCafésCafésFrench colonization
Trees? Not really....Palm Trees(Real) deciduous trees lining streetsClimate? Urban planning? Trees = walkable French designed cities, but why palm vs. deciduous?
Foreign language?EnglishFrenchFrenchColonization
Walkable?Decidely NOT walkableWalkableWalkableThe Arab old medinas + French nouvelle ville
Open air markets?Nope. Supermarkets dominatesYes! Oh the joy of the marché centraleYes! In and out of old medina...Is this the French or is this simply the nature of urban development in different urban environments?
Street harrassment? Not a major problem...Lord help us.Stares, stares, comments, shouts, whistling...and it's only been 2 days!Perhaps it's religious conservatism? Or is it just the Levant vs. Mediterranean North Africa? Street harrasment was not a real problem in Syria either...
Well lit streets?Yes!Yes!No...eerily dark streets...What is going on Tunisia? Really street lights need to be more frequent than every 500 yards...
Public transportation?Do cabs count?The tram is now running...YES!!! Real, functioning, public transportation -- including a metro, light rail and buses! Established decades ago...Not sure, but I think the visionary urban planners of Tunisia get all the credit. Amman was clearly built after the age of the car. 
Roman ruins?Yes!Yes!Yes!Veni, vidi, vici. 
Spiciness? It can be added...We've heard of it....ON everything! Literally couldn't eat my tomatoes last night because they were half hot peppers...Where did this affection for spicieness come from ya Tunis? 
Tanks in the streets? Only in front of the Saudi embassy, guarded over by soldiers who spend their time secretly checking their cell phones...We think not. Yes! 4 tanks lined up on the main downtown street...along with barbed wire...Thanks, Revolution! But really, the tanks are COMPLETELY out of place...it's a strange sight. 
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.