We came upon her waiting in the Algiers Airport terminal behind a cart piled with luggage including a truck-size suitcase and a red shopping bag of vodka and Compari. You brought this into a Muslim country? I asked? It's for the camel trek, she announced.
And where does the trunk fit on the camel?
The one thing she didn't have was even a glimmer of jewelry. Not a ring on her finger or necklace or earrings. She looked naked. This is a woman around whom we once organized a whole trip to a lake resort in Macedonia to shop for jewelry. What was wrong?
"I figured it's a whole new country so I'm starting fresh," she announced. We also immediately did go shopping.
Are there any places to get good manicures in Algiers?" she asked. No! to go riding on a camel? I asked. "Well, my cuticles are just going to be wild," she lamented.
And while she's bought a whole new desert wardrobe, she still needs a turban. "We'll get that at soon as we get to the desert," she announced.
Are you envisioning a shopping center in the sand? I asked.
She actually does have strong visionary powers. In the smoky battered little canteen near our newspaper she spotted the looking metal coffee urn with fancy handles and asked, "We should be able to get a coffee macchiato here, right?" Sure, we just laughed. With bittersweet chocolate curls.