Boat Maintenance and Tunisian Foods

It rained more throughout that night we woke the next morning (yesterday) to dark gray skies, intermittent light rain, and cool temperatures. It was almost cool enough to need a thin long sleeve shirt, but not quite. Shorts and tees are still comfortable, but barely. We are so happy about the change in the weather. After a year and a half of perpetual summer, we are ready for the cooler temperatures of autumn. We are most happy for those celebrating Ramadan. Life without water will be so much easier with it being relatively cool out.

Since our trip to the desert had been long and exhausting, yesterday was a quiet, relaxing day aboard Kosmos. Our big adventure was going to eat. We tried the Tex-Mex place. Turns out there were a few Mexican food items on the menu, but they hadn’t posted them outside for some reason. The rest of the menu was pretty standard western fare, with pasta, seafood, steaks. The Mexican items looked a bit scary. Fajitas and burritos were listed under the “cold appetizer” section. The main courses were totally non-descript, such as “Mexican Fiesta Platter”. Christi decided to stick to normal western fare. Eric, ever the optimist, ordered a burrito. Out came a full size burrito wrapped in a grilled flour tortilla. The contents inside were hot. Eric bit in. Inside was chopped steak in a cream sherry sauce. The “salsa” on the side was chopped cucumber with some chopped red peppers. The salsa definitely added to the tang of the sherry sauce. Not quite Mexican, but delicious none-the-less.

Today, the skies were still mostly overcast and it was still cool (cool being relative, of course). We took advantage of the temperate climate and devoted the day to chores. Eric changed the fuel filters and the oil and oil filter on the main engine. Christi polished metal, dismayed it needed to be done again so soon after we had it done professionally. Chores are so much easier when it is cool.

For dinner, we tried barley lamb soup, which the waiter told us is a popular Tunisian dish, especially during Ramadan. It tastes basically the same as beef barley soup, though it had a little bit of a kick to it. At every place that we have eaten at, Tunisian style means with eggs and tuna. Whether it is salad, crepes, paninis, pizza, or anything else, you can count on eggs and tuna on it.

Oh, and on the topic of food, one of the gifts that Kaanan’s sent us off with was a box of assorted cookies. The diamond shaped sweets are baklava. We suspect the rest of the cookies use the same basic sugar cookie dough, each with something different added to the dough to make them all taste different. The ones that look like plain bagels have rose flavoring and are not particularly sweet. You can eat a lot of those since they aren’t rich. The ones that look like plain bagels with pistachios do not have the rose flavor and the pistachios vs the rose give the two similar cookies a distinctly different flavor. The bagel looking ones with nuts rolled in sugar don’t have the rose flavoring and are obviously sweeter than the two not rolled in sugar. The scalloped ones that look like stuffed mushrooms are probably the least sweet. They are topped with a thin layer of chopped nuts, probably pistachio. The round colorful ones are the sweetest. They each have a nut in the center, probably an almond, and have some sort of flavor added that we don’t recognize, and are rolled in sugar.

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So, on to a random topic”¦ money. In many countries around the world their 1.00 and 2.00 currencies are coins instead of paper. We are the kind of people that generally like to pay in paper bills. At home, we never worried about change falling out of our pockets, like for example, when we sat on a couch. What would we lose, maybe $1.00 at most? But with the 1.00 and 2.00 coins, a few coins in your pocket may very well add up to some serious money and you have to watch dropping and losing coins much more carefully. Well, in Tunisia, they have 5.00 coins. We are now a bit more worried about losing our change because four coins could easily be 20.00 (roughly $18.00 USD). A few coins fell out of our pocket in the rental car and fell into a crack between the seats where we couldn’t get at them. In America, we would have said it is too difficult to get, we won’t bother. Here in Tunisia, we spent a good 10 minutes trying to dig them out before giving up.

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