Thursday, September 13, 2007

Back in Algiers

So anxious was I to finally leave Tunisia I didn't blink at flying on 9/11.

Still, the trap was not easily slipped. I left the hotel -- or home as I've come to think about it -- at 3 to get to the airport for a 5:45 flight. We boarded the plane a little late but then we just sat for an hour. Then we were unloaded and bused back to the terminal because of some mechanical problem. And we sat and sat and sat. We finally did fly out 4 hours late.

While I was away the JDG operation has been relocated to a new place in the more secure Hydra section of Algiers. It's undergoing rewiring and furnishing so I moved into another hotel, the el-Aurassi.

It's an impressive huge white rectangular atop one of the highest points above the Bay. The view and the oblong pool are spectacular. But the rooms are of the soviet ilk -- thin, stained gray carpeting on the floor and one wall, ugly plastic and plasterboard furnishings and truly the worst art I've ever seen on a hotel wall. I think I have a picture of amoeba on one wall. It's unclear exactly how long we'll be here.

Also unclear is how we are going to eat. Tomorrow 9/13 is the start of Ramadan. For the next month from sunrise to sunset Muslims may not let anything pass their lips. How they take care of the infidels in their midst will be interesting. In the meantime we smuggled in yogurt and cheese to our rooms just in case.

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