A curious place up some stairs between a very loud music store and a genuine fake designer clothes shop, the Alaya Bacha boasts great views over the, umm...bus station! The owner sits all day long in a dingy little room smoking chicha and generally being aloof. The shared toilets are really quite nasty, and are located down a corridor, to which you gain access by asking the aloof owner for a key to open the mid-corridor doors. Fine, if you have regular bowels...but imagine if you had diarrhoea? I couldn't quite understand why he had to keep this door locked...maybe he was writing a PhD on the frequency of toilet trips for infidels, or maybe it just brightened up his day to know that he irritated someone?
10TD a night. (April 2007: GB£1 = 2.5TD)
The unique quality was probably the little trick he tried to play when I was leaving. Tunisia switched to summer time during the night, so a plan formed in his head. I admit I was late rising, but not that late..."You pay, monsieur, one extra night. It is after midday, you must leave before 12". I checked my watch...it was 11am. "The hour go forward, now 1pm," he said. Nice try...I might have fallen for it, had my Tunisian friend not called me the night before to let me know about the time change, and had he moved the clock on just one extra hour and not two. But my watch was right...he was making it up to get more money out of me. We stood and argued for a bit, until I got tired and went outside to ask a shopkeeper what time it was..."11am Monsieur". The angry hotel owner ran out after me, but the argument was lost and he stood berating the shopkeeper while I went and got on a louage.
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