Exploring Dizerte and Cornish and then traveling by bus to Tunis, I've noticed piles of trash and garbage, more and more all along the way. Also, talking with the receptionist at Hotel Atlas and gal at the internet both who spoke reasonable English, I learned that since the revolution laws have not been enforced w.r.t. land ownership. Their opinion was that people have taken advantage of the situation and built on land not their own or w/o permission or permits. Likewise, because the revolution began due to a vendor not having a license now the pendulum has swung the other direction entirely so no vendors need licenses. I was amazed at all the street vendors - clothing, electronics, cheap Chinese plastic stuff, shoes, just like every 3 world country, a preponderance of all the same cheap consumer stuff. I was told this was not allowed pre-revolution since the government always wanted it's share. It seems to me like a libertarian's or teaparty's paradise, little or weak government therefore total freedom from any restraints. The price being environmental degradation...unrestrained/unregulated construction, zero waste management (piles/mounds are growing everywhere there is public space, rivers/lakes/washes, along roadways and in parks), mining allowed with no regard for runoff eg. phosphate mine, etc.
Another frustration expressed by the gal with 3 years in university studying media and languages was the impact of technology, especially the internet on the youth. She said many no longer care about learning, only playing games! Sound familiar?
We ended up in Tunis at rush hour - major traffic congestion! On metro (we attempted to get on 3 different times w/o success - jammed full) there simply was not enough capacity, and the auto traffic was bumper to bumper going in every direction. Although we ended up in a taxi (Mari has been suffering with her cold all day), it took a half hour to get to Hotel Salammbo where we took a recently painted room for 3 @ 55dinars just because we were very late in the day (6pm)!
Comment on Metro...it operates entirely on the trust system. The ticket vendor is usually in a hut at the entrance of a station but it is very easy to just walk past. There is no attempt to check if you have a ticket and I would say the majority of people I saw bought tickets...they are very cheap, around 60 cents US to go almost any distance.
Hot bath felt great last nite...this am we headed to Sidi Bou Said
Wiki Info Sidi Bou Said
Very touristy, but pretty and lots of nice walking...
While we were there Bon & Mari went into a private home/museum/view spot while I sat on the street people watching. An older fellow who was tending the tourist store across the way was a very interesting study. He obviously felt he was good looking even at what I would guess was in his 50s because he always made some remark to every pretty gal who went by. This would have been a good time to know French but the intent was obvious after he was able to get at least 2 gals to stand with him while their friend(s) took pictures. One very pretty gal perhaps in her early 20s, posed with him, his arm around her waist and even allowed him to kiss her. She was laughing the whole time obviously enjoying the compliments and attention, not at all put off. After she/they left I gave him a thumbs up and he said very seriously, "Yes, a very beautiful girl!"
I must say the Tunisian gals by in large have very beautiful features and dress appropriately.
Another observation thruout Tunisia we see men of all ages in cafes (almost all men!! in fact, I have never seen women except when we went to a restaurant where most were students), sitting at all hours and drinking mostly very thick coffee or very sweet tea.