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Making the Weight for the Tunisian Sojourn...

...and Jewellery Smuggling into the Arabic World...

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View Hammamet, Tunisia to Sao Paulo, Brazil on PiandLi's travel map.

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Short but sweet was the visit to England. After having spent a couple of days meeting family and shopping for ‘’Copacabana clothes” at Primark with the masses of the the Merry Hill Centre, it was time to prepare for our trip to Tunisia, North Africa...

We had managed to catch up with family but unfortunately no such time to meet old friends, some of whom I had not seen for almost 30 years. Jet lag had knocked a day off what was already a short visit home and we were just unable to do all of the things that we had planned to do.

Wednesday morning of the 28th November, was spend insulating ourselves from the extremely cold Midlands weather, and embarking of a last minute shopping spree in Stourbridge town centre.

Having weighed baggage on the bathroom scales by balancing suitcases on my head, and suspecting that we may be ‘rectally compromised’ by the high excess baggage charges that budget airlines charge for oversized and overweight baggage, we packed up the hire care and, with my Nan in tow, headed off to Birmingham airport for the flight to Tunisia for a 7 day family break.

I say ‘family’, although my sister, Charlotte, and my niece Ava, were unable to join us as planned due to the passing of Charlotte’s father. It was a sad time for the family, and there was re-consideration of the trip, but in the end, and through Charlotte’s reassurance the trip went ahead, albeit sadly, not in the way that it had been planned….

The journey to Birmingham Airport was smooth and uneventful. We arrived at check-in. Both Lilian and I looked conspicuously like a couple of overweight Eskimos fully prepared for an Alaskan Winter with each of us wearing two coats, sweaters and numerous layers of clothing under and over each other. We shoved as much additional material as possible into our hand luggage and prayed to the gods.

Like two boxers struggling to make the weight we checked in spot on our joint allowance, although we had my Nan to thank for that, given that she weighed in a few kilos short of her ‘fighting weight’… … As a group, and excluding the amount of clothing we were wearing we amazingly managed to check in on-weight, and after removing a few layers and buying a few extra bits for the journey boarded the plane to Enfidha Airport, Tunisia…

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The flight to Tunisia was thankfully short in comparison to our flight to the UK. Tunisian customs took a little while to get going, and Lilian was singled out for a wee bit of attention. Not sure if it was the fact that her Brazilian passport was mistaken for Columbian, or for the fact that she was carrying half a jewellery store in her luggage but she was stopped and checked twice before we managed to escape the airport.

Lilian was truly living the moment, this being her first visit to an Arabic country. In her inimitable Brazilian way, she enjoyed a moment engaging in a discussion with the Tunisian customs officer on which piece of jewellery he felt was the most beautiful…. … Whether this did the trick or not, I don’t know, but the officer reached the conclusion that she was not a jewel smuggler, and allowed her to proceed into the country…

We had arrived in Tunisia, a couple of family members short, but nevertheless determined to enjoy the next few days and to experience as much as we could of this small but colourful part of North Africa…

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Posted by PiandLi 08:35 Archived in United Kingdom

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