We speak French fluently, which certainly helped us navigate the country. Unlike Morocco, almost everyone speaks French – not just people involved in the tourist business. Both old and young, educated and non, all had a working amount of French. It’s a really nice feeling to be able to talk to everyone – we met lots of people on louages, at train stations, restaurants, etc. and really got a feel for the people. Almost any time we walked anywhere, someone would always stop us and welcome us to Tunisia, ask us if we were enjoying it, and thank us for visiting their country. At first, we were suspicious with this attention, waiting for the inevitable ‘hook’. In Morocco, we quickly learned that whenever anyone talked to us – it would always end in a ‘come visit our carpet shop, I will take you to a great restaurant’, etc. But in this case, the ‘hook’ never happened! People were simply genuinely really happy to see independent travelers, and always went out of their way to help us. It’s a wonderful feeling to be this welcome – especially being Western tourists in an Arab country. I must admit something, however – we are Canadian, and we have Canadian flags plastered to us everywhere. However, I do not suspect that had much to do with the exceptional treatment we received. We met a backpacking American family in Matmata (the only Americans we saw the whole time!) who told us they were also having a great time and were treated well by everyone. I’m not sure how much of a problem it would be not to speak French – I suspect not much, since everyone is so ready and willing to help.