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  • Writer's pictureaymexume

#LivingInAlgiers – Settling in

It’s been two weeks since Hubs and I landed in Algiers, and we’re slowly getting into a routine.

We’ve done this before. We’ve packed our lives and moved to another country before. We were in our mid-20s then, and we started from scratch. This time around, things are different. Yes, we’ve uprooted our lives, but we aren’t really starting over. If anything, our lives are merely continuing their course … with a minor change of location.

And what a location!

Algiers looks and feels very familiar – it’s probably the bougainvillea and the laurels – while being foreign. We do not blend in with the population. While our lack of knowledge of Arabic limits our ability to interact with the locals, we are able to get by using French. People are nice and welcoming.

Sometimes, the city is a dead ringer for Port-au-Prince. Some of the streets. A wrought iron gate. A hibiscus tree. The aggressive driving. In those moments, I feel less dépaysé.

Sunday is a workday. It wasn’t hard to get into that rhythm. We aren’t churchgoers; Sundays do not hold a special place in our lives. What has been challenging is remembering that our friends and family are off on Sundays and that we don’t have to wait for the end of the workday to call them.

We’re still in the process of exploring our options when it comes to getting groceries. So far, we prefer getting our fruits and vegetables from the street vendors who operate from the back of their truck, or from the small shop near our house. We enjoy getting fresh bread from the local bakery. The butchers never seem to run out of meat. We get other kitchen staples and cleaning products from supermarkets and superettes (similar to Quebec’s “dépanneurs”).

We’ve hired a cleaning lady/cook. She’s a petite Algerian woman with a bubbly personality. In addition to Algerian Arabic, she speaks French, English and Swedish – that I know of. She’ll be coming over once a week. She promised to teach me how to cook Algerian food. I’ll share my progress with you.

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Julie Badio
Julie Badio
Sep 16, 2021

I used to have a pen pal from Algiers back in the 80's and the way she used to describe the city was appealing to me and always somehow wanted to visit....maybe one day, just for the fresh bread😍

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