Blogs from Algeria, Africa - page 5

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Africa » Algeria November 16th 1983

This morning we went to the market place as Habib wanted to show it to me. It was a colourful place selling everything from piles of spices to carpets and goats. Then we caught the bus to Ouagla, which was a two hour trip. I slept most of the way, but just as we were entering Ouagla, Habib gave me a nudge and told me to look out. There I saw clean yellow sand dunes of the Sahara interspersed with date palm groves and minarets. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 17th November After breakfast it rained and flooded the streets, but we managed to run around the corner to the Saharien Museum, despite my shoes filling with water. The two guys who looked after the museum were extremely helpful. One took us right around the place explaining everything in great ... read more

Africa » Algeria November 14th 1983

The alarm went at 4am and we got up and packed. The bus was really dirty and crowded, and I kept falling asleep and waking up again as the scenery changed from mountains to desert. It grew hotter and hotter as we headed south. We saw bedouin tents, camels and oases, and passed through the odd village until we arrived at Ghardaia at 3pm. It is a pleasant and clean place with plenty of character. We went up the the hotel on the hill "Les Rastimes", which was a huge posh five star hotel decked out like an arabic palace. We had a drink downstairs and looked around the hotel a bit, which was like a museum. We then went out for dinner and found a little restaurant where the food was really delicious, and spicy. ... read more
Ghardaia - the closed village

Africa » Algeria November 12th 1983

We didn't get up until 10.30am this morning then we went over to Claudine's house again and I went for a walk with Soraya. A lady came up and handed Soraya three pink roses. After lunch we went up to the mountains again, to 2000 metres where it was very cold, but had incredible views. We could see other mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and forests. We got back to Claudine's and the men prepared dinner while the women relaxed and talked. It wasn't ready until 10pm and by then I was very hungry. But the wait was worth it; we had squid in a spicy tomato sauce with steamed rice and herbs. After dinner we watched some TV, then I did the dishes and we went to bed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 13 November Habib is going to take ... read more

Africa » Algeria November 11th 1983

Today is like sunday for muslims, so this morning we went for a really nice drive into the mountains to a place where there are monkeys to feed. We took some bread and watched them. They were so funny, especially when little Soraya shared her bread roll with one. We had a beer in a restaurant with arab style decor, then went to Claudine's houses again for lunch. In two cars, everone went off for another drive along the coast highway to the beaches for a walk. We stopped and had a coffee in a restaurant and when Kamel ordered I followed the conversation with the waiter in arabic and it went like this; Kamel; "Six coffees and one coffee with milk." waiter; "We don't have coffee with milk." Kamel; "Do you have any milk? Waiter; ... read more
Soraya feeding monkey in the Kabili region of Algeria, near Algiers

Africa » Algeria November 9th 1983

After breakfast this morning, Halima happened to see a blouse I'd bought in France in my suitcase, so I brought it out and proudly showed her. When I went to put it away she looked offended, then she asked me to return the arab dress she'd bought me. Bewildered I looked at Habib who had burst out laughing at yet another cultural misunderstanding. After some discussion in arabic he explained to me that in arab culture, if you show someone something and they admire it, it's their's! Thank God Habib was here to sort us out! Habib then left to see his parents in Sidi Kada again and will be back tomorrow. We had the usual odd collection of children and women for lunch. As usual they were all staring at me and watching every single ... read more

Africa » Algeria November 7th 1983

After breakfast, Habib, Halima and Mami and I took the taxi to Sidi Kada, 20kms from Mascara, the little village where Habib had grown up. I was decked out in "disguise" LOL. Before we went Halima had a great time dressing me up. She had said that I couldnt' go looking like a European as it would be too outrageous for the villagers who had never seen anything like it. I was first dressed in a lacy blue dress, then a scarf and the burqa which went from my head to the bottom of my dress. She finished me off with jewellry. Habib was laughing so much, saying "if they could see you now back home!" We found a taxi straight away and soon we arrived in the village and walked into the one roomed house ... read more

Africa » Algeria November 5th 1983

This morning I went with Halima and Mami to the markets. What a PLACE! It sold all vegies, lamb and beef and goat's heads, which made me feel sick, spices and long arab dresses for women. One place sold arabic music and their stereo was playing full blast, adding yet another dimension to the atmosphere. All the women are covered from head to toe in a white burqa. Most only show one eye by folding the material over their other eye instead of under their chin. One such lady, who was huge, stood in front of me and stared at me with this one eye. Next she ran at me and I thought she was going to attack me, but it was only a burst of affection in the form of a hug that was so ... read more

Africa » Algeria November 4th 1983

When I opened my eyes this morning, the three little girls were already sitting cross legged next to me, waiting for me to wake up. We cleared and packed away the mattresses and had breakfast of bread, butter, jam and black coffee. There was some discussion in arabic between Habib and Halima, and my coffee was taken away and replaced with a new one with milk and no sugar. Meanwhile all the cracks in the doors and windows had filled up with eyes again. Habib then left me there until tomorrow while he visits his family in Sidi Kada, the village further on. gulp All day neighbours streamed in to pay visits to speak to Halima, all the while staring at me. At first they looked wary, then, as if bursting to make contact with me, ... read more




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