a brisky mid-morning in downtown tunis. the cafe a friend took me to was called “qahwet el 3inba (قهوة العنبة )” or, “cafe of the grapevine.” what i loved most about it was its nonchalant attitude: the cafe was not easy to find, and unlike many in the area, did not exude a touristy shine. it is essentially some chairs and tables on the sides of an alley with grapevines above. it was raw and rusty, but utterly charming – despite some noise emanating from the blacksmith next door. the server does not offer a menu as the cafe only had classics such as turkish coffee, espresso, and tea. following the coffee – wherein we discussed thomas paine, ennahda, zionism, and cyclical physics – my friend and i just walked around the medina. even though i have walked its narrow alleys countless times, the sun hit every thing quite differently this time.