So, after nearly three years of living and working in Tunis, it’s time to say goodbye to the city – and goodbye too to my crumbling but somehow comfortable old flat in the downtown district of Lafayette. Here are a few pictures I took before I stripped the place of my belongings.
This shows the high-tech entertainment centre of the flat – powered by candles and whisky.
Every civilised abode should come equipped with a library. Here’s my library, although admittedly it’s a rather compact one.
In the hallway, I hung this Hand of Fatima pendant before the entrance door to ward off bad luck and negativity. As nothing bad has ever come through that door, the pendant has evidently worked. Unfortunately, when my flat was broken into on the night of August 3rd / 4th, the burglar got in through the back door.
This is the flat’s bathroom. It’s a sort of Tardis-in-reverse, being smaller on the inside than it looks on the outside.
Here is the kitchen, as viewed from the outside back court. (The rear doors hanging open on either side were repaired after the night of the burglary.) At ground door, the kitchen looks reasonable enough. Unfortunately…
…When you look upwards, at the kitchen-ceiling, you see how its proximity to a hundred-year-old and ultra-leaky system of drainpipes on the building’s outer wall has resulted in a profusion of mould and damp. No wonder the surface of the kitchen-ceiling has been quietly flaking and peeling off during the past three years.
Also looking upwards, this is what you see from the back court – a four-storey shaft of masonry, windows, shutters and piping that rises to a square-shaped gap in the building’s roof. When I showed this picture to a friend, she said it reminded her of the giant chimney that Christian Bale had to climb in order to escape from the Central-Asian subterranean hellhole prison in The Dark Knight Rises.
Finally, this flat will always be associated in my mind with all manner of animals – with cockroaches, spiders, daddy-long-legs and slugs, which seemed to wander everywhere; with worms, which during the wet season somehow came burrowing out of the bathroom ceiling; with rats and pigeons, which occasionally found their way into the back court; with lizards, which lived in the cracks in the back court’s walls and obligingly ate a few of the cockroaches; and with cats, dead cats – once, some heavy rain washed the decayed carcass of one off the roof and down into my back court. But here’s a picture of a more aesthetically-pleasing creature that inhabited the flat.