LE COLLISEEʼS RED CARPET
Do not be surprised that the famous red carpet treatment you find at the prestigeous Cannes Film Festival in France is also here at the Le Collisee Cinema in Tunis. The only difference is that, while the red carpet in Cannes is reserved for superstars and famous directors to strut on as they enter the theatre under the glowing lights from sophisticated cameras, the red carpet at the Le Collisee in Tunis is for everybody and no cameramen on the track, except this reporter.
RICE WITHOUT SOUP!
If you do not visit another farm belonging to another personʼs father, you will think your fatherʼs is the smallest. After eating snacks for some days and being told that the Hotel La Maison DorĂ©e where I am staying does not operate restaurant on Sundays, I settled down for what I thought would be a nice meal on Monday night. Alas! When my order; rice and chicken, was brought there was no stew! After waiting for a while, I asked the waiter for soup; lo and behold, he gave me a tray containing salt, vegetable and another grinded God-knows-what! Rice without soup? I suddenly realised I have travelled far away from home. I was forced to check Tunisia on the map of Africa, and I realised the country is at the end of Africa just before the Mediterranean Sea!
FRENCH AND ARABIC ONLY
All films here are in Arabic and French without English sub-titles. The few literatures published on a daily basis are also in French and Arabic, so are the notices of events, including press screenings. The organisers do not seem to have any apology for this. As a lady in the JCC coordinating team, Yamina, told me: the participants and jury are either Arabic or French. My friend, Olivier Barlet, of Africultures France sympathised with me, while I have resolved to work more on my French lessons beofre JCC 2007.
ONE DINAR FOR A DINNER
Having shunned rice without soup, I decided to visit snacks joint for my dinner. The special meal of egg and pastery I was told, was one Tunisian dinar. It sounds poetic to my hearing: One Dinar for a dinner. However, Dinar as a currrency is very strong against the US Dollars unlike Nigeriaʼs naira. 130 Tunisian dinars exchange for 100 US dollars, whereas about 14, 500 naira exchange for 100 US dollars in Nigeria.
THE OSHODI IN AVENUE DE PARIS
If you think the crowd of heads at Osodi-Lagos are too many you need to come to Avenue de Paris right here in Tunis. You will marvel at the sea of heads that move to and from the most popular street in Tunis. The only difference however, is that there is little or no traffick jam as whistle-blowing police officers are available to control the traffick. By the way, why is the giant protrait of Tunisian President doing everywhere? At the eateries, hotels, public parks, cinemas and so on. The portrait seems to be more important than the red and white national flag of Tunisia.
By Tunde Oladunjoye, Tunis, Tunisia