Sunday, October 11, 2009

algiers: can i live there?

We didn't stay in Jijel too long and made our way back to Algiers. Once there, we only had a few days before Ramadan started. But unlike Saudi, everything remains open during the day in Ramadan.

We managed to get out and about a little before the month of fasting began but we did a fair bit during the month too (a bit like getting out and about in slow motion though due to the heat and longer days). Nevertheless, it was nice to get out and walk to the market, walk to the train station, walk up and down hilly roads, walk around the parks, walk, walk, walk because we know we don't get that much of chance to walk everywhere in Jeddah! 

Ben Aknoun Park

And the view from one of the rides!


Occasionally we were blessed with a breeze during a hot day and of course siestas are "in" in Algeria! I did miss Ramadan in Saudi though. 

Algiers Centre


The Monument 

I thoroughly enjoyed the colourful markets selling fresh vegetables and fruits. And when I was in need of that little imported goody, there were always the supermarkets! The hairdressers impressed me too!

When we needed some country air, we got that too ma sha Allah.
And fresh cow's milk while we were at it!  

One of the funniest things I watched while I was there, was a video recording of the streets after Algeria won the football match against Zambia. It's a football-crazy nation and they went all out to celebrate! Of course I could hear a lot of it while I was trying to get some sleep in the middle of the night! We'll have to wait and see if they make it to the World Cup!
Outside of Algiers

Another funny thing was that I saw more England shirts while I was there than I've seen in England! I also spotted lots of "ENGLAND" graffiti-ed on the walls AND quite a few GB registration cars!!!

One of the most important aspects of this trip, for me, was to pool together information about living in Algiers. I got to meet and chat with other women, foreign and Algerian, relatives and friends and all in all they gave me a a very realistic and well-rounded view of moving to Algiers. Algiers is not like Jeddah. It's harder to get things, but then you find alternatives (and failing that London is a 2 hour flight away!). [Sometimes little supermarkets in little places will stock the most surprising things, I discovered when one of my dear friends gave me a packet of Digestives her daughter had found at their local supermarket!] Everything is not air-conditioned, but then you don't get sick because of it and the heat doesn't last as long because the other seasons roll round. The streets can be quite dirty but you know that the people cleaning are not part of the cheap labour force from other countries that don't get paid a lot of the time. The culture is different and the mentalilty of people is as well but that doesn't mean it's all bad and you can do as you please in your own home which is the way it is here too! Life doesn't seem to be as materialistic there and I think that would be a welcomed break. Algiers is not AT ALL like Jeddah! But I think I can get used to it, for a while atleast. 


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