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I finally select one of those restaurants which looks down upon the bay. None of the blues in Sidi Bou Said, on the doors and windows, are as mesmerising as the rich blue-greens of the sea. The miracle of the sea’s colour is that it does not appear to come from exactly anywhere: it does not reflect the flat blue of the sky or point to anything discernible in its own depths. If only the workmen who had painted all of those doors could have dipped their brushes into this remarkable colour.

I turn to the menu and decide to have the pasta with fresh shrimps. The shrimps, when they arrive, are monsters, the plumpest, juiciest fruits of the sea.

Tychy’s Tunis: Sidi Bou Said” (2016).