Tunisia is bright – with sun, flowers and the sudden flicker of hope as tourists start to return

by Rashmee

Posted on July 19, 2017


August, so they say, is the hottest month in the Tunisian capital, with temperatures averaging 27°C (81°F) all day, every day. Did they forget about June and July? Average temperatures seem to have hovered around 34°C (93.2°F), a guesstimate, of course, but then it’s been so infernally hot. Infernally hot and incredibly bright. With sun and … Continue reading “Tunisia is bright – with sun, flowers and the sudden flicker of hope as tourists start to return”

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In Tunis medina, a house with a view – of Tunisia’s past and present

by Rashmee

Posted on June 28, 2017


In the medina of Tunis, built into the wall of the Zitouna Mosque is a darkly sparkling gem, Eddar. The antiques shop Ali Chammakhi’s runs from his family’s 400-year-old home is one of its kind. (N.B.: The Chammakhis themselves have lived there a mere 250 years, as Ali wryly explains. But the house was standing … Continue reading “In Tunis medina, a house with a view – of Tunisia’s past and present”

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Is this Tunisia’s first real Libyan restaurant?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 27, 2017


Tunisia is teeming with Libyans but Libyan restaurants are a strange and unknown quantity. The Tunisian friend who invited us to dinner at the Najaa Restaurant in El Aouina said he rather thought it was the only one in Tunis and possibly even the only one in all of Tunisia. I have since discovered that this … Continue reading “Is this Tunisia’s first real Libyan restaurant?”

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Were gondoliers and gondola-makers of yesterday’s Venice the coal-miners of America today?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 17, 2017


One of the last gondola workshops in Venice is to be found near the Ponte San Trovaso, on the Fondamenta Nani. It’s the Squero San Trovaso, just north of the Zattere Vaporetto stop. I looked at the men in the boatyard, busily engaged on a site that is said to have opened 400 years ago, … Continue reading “Were gondoliers and gondola-makers of yesterday’s Venice the coal-miners of America today?”

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It’s worth visiting world’s first ghetto, where the very word came into being. Especially now

by Rashmee

Posted on April 14, 2017


If you’re visiting Venice, look away for a few hours from the beauty of the bridges, the light on the water, the poetry in stone of the city’s buildings. Head for the Ghetto, the world’s very first (known) experiment in organized exclusion of a whole community based on religion, race and fear-mongering. The word “ghetto” … Continue reading “It’s worth visiting world’s first ghetto, where the very word came into being. Especially now”

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Venice may be only city in which centuries-old paintings remain hyper-real today

by Rashmee

Posted on April 13, 2017


The truest line ever written about Venice may be from Peter Ackroyd’s biography of the city. “A Venetian of the 16th century, if not earlier, would have no trouble finding his or her way through the streets of the modern city,” Ackroyd writes in ‘Venice: Pure City’. “That is true of few other cities on … Continue reading “Venice may be only city in which centuries-old paintings remain hyper-real today”

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The economics of having a dog. Or why subwoofers sometimes make sense

by Rashmee

Posted on August 13, 2016


Leave it to The Economist to tell us what we suspected. The average British person is picking smaller dog breeds. They’ve been doing so in the past decade, according to data from the Kennel Club. (Click here to read The Economist explainer). We are past the Hound of the Baskervilles age. The whys and wherefores … Continue reading “The economics of having a dog. Or why subwoofers sometimes make sense”

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‘America, I sing you back’. Musings from a naturalized American in age of Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on August 10, 2016


As a naturalized American, I think it’s fair to say that one is deeply fearful about the state of the US right now. It’s also fair to record the difficulty of explaining to a lot of puzzled people in many places that the US is not really a bigoted country (Donald Trump and his supporters … Continue reading “‘America, I sing you back’. Musings from a naturalized American in age of Trump”

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A walk to Parc Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia’s capital: peace, flowers and Labib

by Rashmee

Posted on March 28, 2016


If the rain holds off, March is really good walking weather in Tunis. It’s about two miles from La Marsa, Cite le Pins to Sidi Bousaid. The sun was shining. The air was clear. The flowers were brightly in bloom. Labib, once the Ben Ali regime’s official mascot of environmental awareness, stood at the start of Avenue … Continue reading “A walk to Parc Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia’s capital: peace, flowers and Labib”

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Why every city in the world doesn’t think tourists are a jolly good thing

by Rashmee

Posted on February 16, 2016


There’s an interesting backlash against the ceaseless urge to seek out authenticity in foreign parts: cities are trying to keep out visitors. On Bloomberg View, Leonid Bershidsky described attempts by cities like Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon and Hong Kong to limit the number of overnight visitors they receive every year. He said that the problem is seen as … Continue reading “Why every city in the world doesn’t think tourists are a jolly good thing”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.