First day of work! I am soo excited. I got up earlier to be sure that I would have enough time. I know they find it very important to look spotless here. Looks are everything, you have to look professional. Personally I don’t really get why. It is a bit old fashioned but I will go with the flow and try to dress up.
I ended up to be the only foreigner of the group. We are working with ten people at the administration. The bureaus are placed two by two so you end up sitting with someone else next to you. The others are look kind but I feel a bit lost, whether this comes because I am the only foreigner or because my Arabic is not that good yet. Thankfully my neighbor ends up to be speaking English fluently. His name is Rashad and he looks like a nice guy. He asks me about The Netherlands and he even tries to learn some Dutch words like hallo (hello) and hoe gaat het met u? (how are you?). He asks me to go to the café in the night what looks like a good idea to me. All with all I had a good first workday. I met good people and really enjoyed the company of Rashad.
In the night I meet Rashad in the café. He is with some other guys, I guess his friends. The other guys look a bit anxious at me. As Rashad explains that I am from the Netherlands I see some guys look a bit disgusted. It makes me feel uncomfortable but what can I do? Politely as I am I try to get into some discussions but they let me feel like they don’t appreciate me talking with them. They even tell me that I can’t get what they say because I am just from the Netherlands where everything is different. I drink my filter and question myself why did I need to go here? Rashad sees that I look a bit irritated and tries to drag me a bit into the conversation.
After the rest of the guys are gone he tells me that they are not really used to foreigners. I tell him that I'm Tunisian too but he tells me as long as you come from Europe you are not really Tunisian in their eyes. He asks me if I want to go to a nightclub but I tell him that I am not into that lifestyle. You life in Europe but you are not into that lifestyle he says while he can't stop his laughter. Okay lets have another filter then.
The week goes by. Rachel didn’t ask me again to go to the café and I am don’t blame him. I like the rest, the time I have for myself. I enjoy being in other surroundings. Comparing to Amsterdam I feel like I can fully life. Every day I can see the blue sky and I have lovely weather. In general the people are very nice.
Rachel calls me and it is Saturday night. He asks if I want to go to the café with him. I think why not. It's weekend and I've nothing else to do. Ones I arrive in the café I see him sitting with the same guys. I am a bit disappointed but decide to join them anyway. His friends act like they don’t really notice me until one of them suddenly asks if I want to get a joint. I tell him I am not into drugs. He keeps on pushing but I insist him that I'm really not into the drugs. The guy next to me comes up with a package and tells me that I can get it for just one hundred dinar. I tell them again I'm really not interested. The guy suddenly gets a knife and insist me to get the package with me. You can pay Rachad tomorrow at work they say and they leave. I am too surprised to react. Nobody around me in the café seems to react, even the staff just carries on with their work. I decide to take one filter before going home so I can think of what to do. How could Rachad do this to me? He looked like a nice person. I really didn’t expect him to have this kind of intentions. It is already midnight and I see another police car pass. The security is on high in Tunis, especially since the Dutch minister is visiting Tunisia this weekend. This time the police car does something weird. It turns and stops in front of the café. Ten officers come inside and they begin to investigate everyone. I wonder why they do it? Do they know I got the drugs? What do I do now? I can’t hide it anywhere, I feel like I'm trapped. Why did I need to take that filter? Why didn’t I just go home I think by myself. The police officer looks at my Card Identity. Ah Holland he says and he makes a joke that there are a lot of drug dealers in the Netherlands. I try to laugh but don’t really succeed at it. I tried to hide the drugs in a pocket inside of my jacked but into my greatest concerns the officer starts to search my jacked. I feel frozen when he finds the drugs. Well, well my friend I see you got some from the Netherlands with you? We might need to investigate this. They tell me to follow them to the car and I got sentence to one year in jail.
Know who your friends are,
They make you
They break you