October 16, 2001 - Chc and Slim: When we moved to Tunisia in 1976, the PLO was the terrorist group du jour

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tunisia: Peace Corps Tunisia : The Peace Corps in Tunisia: October 16, 2001 - Chc and Slim: When we moved to Tunisia in 1976, the PLO was the terrorist group du jour

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 1:43 pm: Edit Post

When we moved to Tunisia in 1976, the PLO was the terrorist group du jour

When we moved to Tunisia in 1976, the PLO was the terrorist group du jour

This feature of Chic&Slim le Website is dedicated to keeping you au courantwith tips, links, events, places, and advice so you can look chic and stay slim à la française.

PREVIOUS Bonjour! 13 OCTOBER 2001

16 October 2001:


Last Friday the FBI issued a warning for those in the Washington D.C. area especially to be on the alert for more terrorist activity. Since my son lives in the D.C. area, I was happy when he emailed that his plans for Saturday were to help Uncle Phil (that is Uncle Phil's squash recipe in the Bon Appetit section of this website) erdicate the kudzu weed that had infected the grounds around his home. That sounded safe enough.

Uncle Phil has a lovely home overlooking the Potomac. It happens to be located on a major thoroughfare of the Washington, D.C. area. Saturday afternoon Uncle Phil, his son-in-law, and my son were busy applying weed killer to the kudzu on Uncle Phil's grounds when the police arrived.

No less than three calls had come in reporting "suspicious looking individuals" spraying along the roadside. The police left laughing, my son reported.

But you know that people are on edge when three calls to the police report as suspicious a man and a couple of his relatives who are doing nothing more than gardening in the man's front yard.


Two email have arrived from Chic & Slim Women answering the request I posted from a woman who wanted information on where to find Sauce Perigord. One reported that though they weren't specifically called Sauce Perigord, there were other truffle sauces available for sale on igourmet.com.

Another Chic & Slim Women sent the link for a recipe for Sauce Perigord. You follow the link and then scroll down the page to the recipe. There are several recipes given on this page.

Link to SAUCE PERIGORD recipe.


By necessity, the lifestyles of those of us here in the USA (and elsewhere) have undergone certain modifications since 11 September. If I am remaining free from some of the stresses that are plaguing others, it may be that I have been living carefully for decades.

One week after I went abroad for the first time, to Africa with Peace Corps, there was a coup d'etat. In fact, I had a front seat for the action because I was living one house down from the vice president they were overthrowing. During the first day of the coup, I unfortunately found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. By the second day, one of the Africans who had been at that place at that time was reportedly in jail; the Peace Corps directors decided to hide me to protect me. (Peace Corps Volunteers do not have diplomatic immunity.) So I spent a couple of weeks in a back bedroom of one of the PC Director's homes. This, by the way, was the room where they housed (uncaged) their bushbaby, a small lemur.

Sharing a room with an active, nocturnal primate was an adventure in itself. When I went to sleep, he would settle himself on my chin and try to open my eyes by grasping my eyelashes in his tiny fingers and pulling. And you would wake up and find yourself nose to nose with this big-eyed, furry little creature.

In my time abroad, I have been through more coup d'etats, a war, a political insurrection. When we moved to Tunisia in 1976, the PLO was the terrorist group du jour, (Though now we have the PLO leader Arafat pledging support for the American cause and lining up to give blood after the 11 Sept attacks. Don't times change?) My husband and I were told that at that time they had never targeted a child, but that did not mean they would not. That meant explaining to our 4-year-old son how he must not accept any packages from anyone who might come to the gate, it meant watching him carefully when we went out, teaching him to be cautious of strangers.

In many of the years I was traveling a lot internationally, there was high security on international flights, particularly on certain airlines on certain flight routes. During the Indo-Pak war of 1971, Airport Security always made me take off the hairpiece I wore in those days. Security would stab and poke into it to make sure I was not hiding a weapon. Trying to put the hairpiece back on quickly and board a flight, sometimes meant it was listing to one side.

Anne BaroneI looked through my photos for one that would show that much -suspicioned hairpiece. The only one I found was this somewhat pensive one of my son and me taken about a year before we moved to Tunisia. (Yes, I really look like a possible terrorist, don't I?)

By the time this photo was taken, the hairpiece was beginning to show that it had a few too many security checks. But for a busy mother, it was an easy way to maintain my hair. That particular hair piece had been bought in Sweden. I bought several others through the years, but never found another one that matched my own hair as well.

Note on this photo: This snapshot has faded over the years distorting the colors. I promise you my hair really was not as brassy as it appears in this image. And I did not dress my 3-year-old son in a pink shirt. The shirt was actually a dark red.


It takes a bit of getting used to. But from having to live cautiously abroad, I assure you that you soon incorporate the precautions into your daily routine. (For instance, it just takes a minute or two to pop the hood on your car, check to see that someone didn't put a bomb under there during the night. Then you head on out to drive the kindergarten car pool.)

So while it is new and different at first, the new things you do as precautions become as automatic as brushing your teeth -- which you do as a precaution against your teeth rotting and looking unsightly, hurting, and possibly having to be extracted.

I read that stress over growing security threats have increased the demand for prescriptions for tranquilizers. I recommend a nice cup of tea and something interesting to read as a good way to deal with stress. I recently received a new order of teas from SpecialTeas.com. The Keemun Special Grade is an especially lovely tea for these days when there is a bit of a nip in the morning air. Keemun Special Grade is a China black tea that is great for breakfast with milk as well as with afternoon tea. And because it is the season, I made a pumpkin pie a couple of days ago. Pumpkin pie goes well with the Keemun.

You can check out Keemun Special Grade on SpecialTeas.com.


As for something cheering to read, I do NOT recommend Chocolat, the novel by Joanne Harris on which the Juliette Binoche film was based. I haven't seen the film yet, but I understand it is a comedy and wonderful. I found nothing comic about the novel. In fact, I was annoyed all the way through. As someone who has a fair amount of insights into French culture, I could not imagine a French village so populated with Puritanical souls with so little sense of a joie de vivre. And the ending was SO depressing. The characters ended up dead, run out of town, or pregnant and the father living with someone else, pets dead. . . Good grief!

Did the reviewer who called this novel delightful actually read the book?

If you want cheering and delightful, read the novel version of DADDY LONG LEGS on which the Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire film was based. It is an old book you would probably have to find at your library or on abebooks.com.


Soon I have more reading suggestions to share with you that have recently been recommended as Chic & Slim reading.

Until the next BONJOUR! update Soyez Chic Restez Svelte Be Chic Stay Slim. à la prochaine -- Anne
PREVIOUS Bonjour! 13 OCTOBER 2001

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