Sousse, Tunisia
35° 49' N 10° 38' E
May 15, 2007 11:00
Distance 125km

Text written in: English

Gypsies, tramps and queens...

"Vous allez à Sousse ? C'est beau, Sousse. Profitez-en ! " These words of encouragement from our hotel receptionist in Tunis seemed to confirm that we had made the right choice in choosing Sousse as our beach destination. After all, in Europe, Tunisia is mostly visited for its resorts rather than for any cultural reason (in fact, most Europeans expressed disbelief that we crossed the globe to go to Tunisia when we have the likes of Bali on our doorstep...). Well Sousse was nice, and the hotel block we stayed in featured three swimming pools, a couple of restaurants, two bars and a marble lobbly, all for about 120 New Zealand dollars per night. We also had a lovely view of the sea.

We were also delighted to discover that there was an unusually high number of extraordinarily friendly, unbelievably attractive boys hanging out on the beach. It took us about a day and a half to work out that they were all hookers. Great.  Then we noticed something about the other white tourists in Sousse - they fell into two classes. 1. Euro-trash package holidaymakers (see evidential photo), or 2. Seedy old men in their 60s accompanied by at least two of the friendly characters we had met earlier. Yes, we had unwittingly stumbled upon a gay-sex resort. Oh, the irony. At least we weren't on honeymoon, I guess.

Needless to say, it was most distressing in the extreme for Daniel and I to be associated with either of these groups. So while Sousse was nice, and we did enjoy most of our time there, we decided to cut our stay short. After all, we can enjoy beaches anywhere in the world, and at least in Europe or Latin America you can get a decent mojito from the cabana service. We also wanted to speak to some real Tunisians who weren't after some fast cash (incidentally, one Tunisian school girl approached us with her friends to declare her romantic interest in me... that was quite funny). So we went back to Tunis for a more authentic experience. After all, who wants to be greeted with "Guten Morgen" at every other occasion when you're supposed to be in AFRICA for crying out loud?

Photos / videos of "Gypsies, tramps and queens...":

The Port el-Kantaoui tourist development which was entirely plastic and hideous. View of Sousse from afar Me looking and feeling incredibly patronised at Port el-Kantaoui This cafe terrace was in front of our hotel, and was the principle hang out for the male hookers (colourfully referred to as sharmoot, or "mansluts") An authentic pirate ship cruising up the coast and two fellow tourist chaps cavorting upon the seaside. Me being piss-elegant on the beach International man of leisure Close up of sexiness. Daniel is now incredibly brown, by the way. It's great. Daniel on the Corniche, before and after being harangued by sharmoot Some lovely fellow European tourists, of the type A. Me posing Cadinot style at the entrance to medina. Nothing came of it. The impressive Medina walls. Boys playing football in the medina. One of the few authentic-feeling experiences we had in Sousse. Part of the view from our hotel room (was going to make a panorama, but ran out of film), with medina in distance