Posts Tagged “Baby”
Feb 16 2013
This Carnaval season I was able to cross off item number 99 on my “to do” list, and join my first parade, rather than simply standing on the sidelines. Hayden and I joined our local childrens’ cortège (procession), filled with all the locals from our neighbourhood dressed up in bright colours. We started at the Town Hall and danced our way down the main streets, accompanied by a marching band and the Clowns Sans Frontières.
The air was thick with confetti, and the street cleaners and their mechanical gluttons followed behind us, trying to clean up the mess as best they could. Despite their efforts, I could still spot little circles of colour between many of the cobblestones for the next few weeks.
Jan 02 2013
When searching for a winter getaway, we had four main criteria:
Looking at our options, it appeared that Sousse, Tunisia was our best choice. It also had the following perks:
The day before we left, I quickly scanned the web to make sure that I had everything covered. Smartraveller.gov.au had given the country a yellow light (the same level as Mexico, Costa Rica, and India), no major incidents in the news, and Brussels airport was looking snow free. Though when I checked that no visa was required for UK and Australian citizens, I started to panic. I couldn’t believe that I had been so cavalier as to not check this earlier.
Having previously teased JT about not checking if he needed visa to Australia, and Adrian for Romania, I was now facing the same crisis myself. The Tunisian embassy was already closed for the week, so I had to do some quick googling to try to come up with a last minute solution. Most official websites stated that a visa must be obtained well in advance, but someone called BigBurp claimed in a 2010 web forum that Australians and South Africans were able to get a visa on arrival at Tunis airport, as long as they were able to pay in Tunisian Dinar. It wasn’t much to go on, but I exchanged some cash in Brussels and the next day boarded the plane with my fingers crossed. I had visions of Adrian using his UK passport to spend a week in our pre-paid hotel room by the beach, while Hayden and I were cooped up in our small apartment in rainy Brussels. However, a very friendly team of officials at Tunis airport happily created tourist visas on the spot, and we passed smoothly through immigration before our luggage trundled down the conveyor belt. I was so grateful for this stroke of luck that I promised myself I wasn’t allowed to complain about anything for the rest of the trip, and I would be much more careful about checking visa requirements in the future.
Indeed, it was a terrific holiday. For the first couple of days I did very little apart from send Hayden to the kids club and then nap, read, and relax at the spa. Mid way through our break I had regained some vigor, so we spent the remainder of our time visiting the World Heritage Medina of Sousse, city of Kairouan, Amphitheatre of El Jem, Archeological Site of Carthage, and the Medina of Tunis.
Hayden seemed to enjoy his first time in Africa – playing soccer, climbing up the stairs, eating sand, throwing food off the balcony (“uh oh”), waving to everyone, refusing vegetables, and indulging in the many treats brought to him by the waiters. Having a kids club made things so much easier for us; it was fantastic to be able to take a complete break for a few hours each day and then spend some quality time together. It was a fitting way to end the year and return to Brussels filled with sunshine and renewed energy for 2013.