Richard and I decided to go right when it opened because the last time we went we were overwhelmed by the crowds. I am not sure it made a huge difference...by the time we were leaving the crowds were becoming oppressive again.
The Carrefour does remind me of Costco in some ways....but in others it is in a class of its own. It sells absolutely everything and more. There are special spice grinding stations, coffee grinding stations, cheese and olive bars, a bakery with an attendant passing out fresh loaves of heavenly smelling baguettes and more delicate pastries than we could possibly imagine. There are also areas to get your internet and cell phones set up. And there is the blessed 'cave' avec les vins Tunisiens which will go nicely with the beautiful turkey we have for our Christmas meal.
We found the aisle of 'christmas' and 'new years' decorations (including the "fete des chocolats" as it is also known) and bought our very first artificial Christmas tree. We had hoped that our air shipment would be here before Christmas and that we could decorate from that but we are starting a new tradition this year! Kaitlyn is very busy crafting and decorating with all the things we brought home. We did also buy some umbrellas but one of us somehow left 2 of the 3 in the taxi....luckily we soothed the pain of this loss with fresh hot coffee and beaucoup de pain au chocolat.
Since it is a rainy day we have decided to make a big pot of chicken soup to help with the colds Richard and Terrena are fighting and to bring some comfort to the homesickness that is starting for Kaitlyn and to a lesser extent Kellan and Keegan. There is something about a rainy day and a pot of simmering soup to make you feel cosy no matter where you are in the world.
Our cats are feeling more and more comfortable in our house. They have found some favourite sleeping areas and have convinced us that they need to be fed a least 4 times a day (plus sardine snacks) to deal with the time change. It does not help that when we are up in the night dealing with our own jet lag - we feed the cats when we know that they don't need it. They are not complaining....but there are the litter boxes to deal with... (as Kaitlyn has been joking incessantly, "le chat shat!") BD also left us a small gift on the table. We don't know if it was sardines or what! He had to go outside and finish his business.
We have not let them out again without leashes. We hope the 'free' neighbourhood cats are not hiding in the bushes mocking the Canadian cats who can only venture outside with people holding onto them.
We still have not properly explored the city and the primary points of interest in Tunis. We hope to rent an embassy vehicle next weekend to drive ourselves around (if we can book one in time). In the meantime, taxis are cheap and plentiful and with Christmas coming up we have lots to do in the house to prepare for the holiday.
Last night we had a lovely but likely too expensive Indian meal at a local restaurant (which we could all walk to). Kaitlyn and Keegan were having some stomach upset during the meal and returned home early. For Kaitlyn, I suspect homesickness as she was very sad and missing the snow (yes she is!) and for Keegan he should avoid eating all the great gluten filled foods available here as a former French colony.
Once we are decorated we will post some photos of how we will be celebrating Christmas this year. There is a plan to hang the stockings down the staircase with some care!! This is also the first year that we will not have fireplace and chimney....but I suspect Santa will find us anyway as I asked Canada post to put a forward on to Santa.
Love from Tunis!!! Enjoy the snow and ice Canada - we do miss it more that you can imagine!