December 22nd, 2007 – by: tj1777
The medina show some signs of life.
morning I try to go back to the medina again the holiday is over hence it
should be coming to live again. But when I get there it is still slow going. The
medina in Tripoli
does not wake up until 11 in
the morning. But I walk in and the first thing I meet is a fairly old man -
Saladin. He has studied French and English at university in the 60ties or
70ties and wants to talk. I can see he is holding some postcards hence I assume
this little chat will end with him asking me to buy a postcard. But we start to
talk and he tells me about his trips to Scandinavia
back in the 1970s. And so forth. Then he reach for his postcards to give me one
- now we come to the money part he wants me to pay - but no he just give me a
postcard with his address and ask me to tell all the ladies I know in Denmark
that there is this bloke - Saladin who want one wife or four.
So if anybody is
interested let me know Saladin is an independently wealthy man making 100
Libyan Dinars a month in disability pension which is approximately 80$.
The backside of the medina
incident was the first of many where I met some Libyans who just want to talk
and not sell something. I have gotten so used to travelling to places where the
only reason people comes to talk to you is because they want to sell something
to you. But Libya
is different. Here tourist is such a novelty that it is an interesting event
when you meet them and the people is generally so wealthy that they don't need
to sell stuff to the tourist.
progress and my sightseeing are slowed down by randomly meeting locals who
wants to talk a bit.
It is quite different personalities such as one of the
local priest at the only Catholic Church in Tripoli who tells who The Leader (Gaddafi)
invited the entire Christian clerical community to his house the year before. Where
the bishop of the church had impressed The Leader by quoting the bible in
Arabic by heart. Other stop where a completely random meeting with the local
dope dealer who told me it was a lot safer to smoke in Libya than drinking
because the penalty for drinking in Libya was one year in prison whereas the
penalty for smoking hash is less and you are less likely to get caught. Whether
he was right or not I don't know he could be slightly biased towards hash.
the sea at the backend of the medina
evening I want to try to find an internet place. I know there is several but
suddenly I just can't find one.
Hence I try a place which has a photocopier in
the room and several PCs it look like an internet place. Hence I walk in and he
asks if I can use the internet. The man in the office tells me well we don't
really offer this service but ok you can use the internet - I thank him for the
offer and send a few e-mails. Afterwards we start the usual talking and he
tells me this is a translation service and not a internet provider but he don't
really wants to work and offers to get a cup of coffee and it is impolite to
say no - so even though I should meet my tour group this evening I say yes and
we talk a bit - it turns a bit uncomfortable for me when he wants to talk about
the Mohamed Cartoons - but ok we can do that as well.
The side of the medina.
I get to meet the rest of the tour group - it is pretty big with 17 in total and we go out for
a nice meal at a Moroccan style restaurant.