Leaving Algeria

I’m writing this blog post from the Algerian international airport. I’m not going to post it until I get on the train back to Nottingham from London though, if I make it in one piece. So you are reading my thoughts from earlier, way earlier, today. I have been here for a while because my dad was afraid we wouldn’t find a taxi closer to the time of the flight. Anyway, I’m here and a little bit bored so I thought I might as well write this now and get it out of the way. This way I might be able to do some work on the train. I haven’t really been able to do much work in Algeria.

So I thought I would tell you about my time here in Algeria and what it was like for me. I arrived in the early afternoon and was pleased to see that my father looked a bit healthier. He’s lost a bit of weight and seemed to have a little bit more life in him. Last time I left him he looked a lot more ill. I don’t want to be too morbid, but I always wonder if this is the last time I’m going to see him. He’s been ill for a while and has been living alone in a decrepit apartment for a while now. It’s always a bittersweet thing when I see him.

My days were very similar and monotonous in Algeria. I spent them between rereading Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and getting online, checking the news. From day two onwards getting onto twitter and facebook became near impossible. At first, I thought the government might be blocking them, seeing that social media played an important role in the Tunisian revolution. Although it would be wrong to credit twitter, facebook, youtube, and other new communication media with being responsible, they have clearly played a role in disseminating information that was largely ignored by mainstream media. The reason for that near blackout is quite simple, the West liked Ben Ali, and although he was a ruthless dictator who curtailed all private and public freedoms, he kept Tunisia stable and was a strong ally to them.

Anyway, I quickly realised that the sites weren’t blocked though and the reason for my difficulty in signing in was probably due to the very high traffic on them. People were clearly using them en masse and that put a strain on the still young Internet in the country. It was quite frustrating though and I found myself not having anything to do and not knowing what to do with myself for long periods of time. It was very boring.

I did go out on a daily basis with my dad though. I needed to get some money to pay my fees. So we needed to go to the bank, withdraw the money, and then go and change it into Euros. This meant that for a few hours a day, I was able to be occupied and feel like I have been useful. We also bought a few things for him, which again was a nice reprieve from the flat. But other than that not much happened. I was trying to get as much information about Tunisia, and my stay was very much beating to the rhythm of the Tunisian revolution.

Towards the end though I started really missing my own life. I just wanted to go home and back to my life and routine. I have a lot of work to do, but also I just really like my life in England. There are ups and downs there, but on the whole I think I have a good life there. I’m a bit depressed sometimes, but I would be a lot more depressed if I lived in Algeria or Lebanon. However, I did feel a little bit guilty for wanting to leave, because as I said this might well be the last time I see my dad. It’s sad and I feel a little guilty for not using the little time I have left with him to enjoy his company as much as possible. Anyway, I think it is enough with my self-loathing and morbid thoughts. My flight is going to start boarding soon, so I will leave you now and go get on my plane and additionally the web master.

 

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