Saturday 5 March 2011

The Algerian Dream

Sidi Yaya (1) - I think Irban Irban covered most of EVERYTHING that is not right about that place. But I will try to add some facts, Sidi Yahya is the new boulevard to be and to be seen in, it became according to my brother a new “SOUK” Car Souk that is. Where people who want to sell their cars hitch up in their new rides and park them up to be drooled over and priced, I fear the same approach is used for women, women are drooled over and priced for the most part of the “ladies” (I used the term Ladies very loosely here) are there to hook up with some rich “beggar”(2) whom upon getting his hand on his inheritance told his family to jog on, promptly selling the cows, estate and lands in the country to purchase a large 4x4 and a villa in Algiers so he can live the Algerian dream. HA!
Sidi Yaya where everything is overpriced but undisputed, where else are you going to go for coffee, meeting friends or work lunch, no need to point out the average if not poor quality of the food and coffee served, appalling service, rude waiters, mind you, you would be served about a whole 20 minutes faster with a hint of a smile if you were Kabyle, because as you know ALL catering hospitality/catering staff are berber, funny story really, this is purely geographical as the Hospitality Institute is situated in Tizi Ouzou(3).

Moving on, so, le Shopping in Algiers, unless you’re talking about food shopping in the nice fresh markets then there is no shopping as we know it here in the UK or at least not to the same standards.

I always wonder what I would do if I were to go back to live in Algeria, I would miss Broccoli, apparently it used to exist but they dont cultivate it anymore! That’s it. I would miss Salmon so much, this might be news to you but Salmon doesn’t swim in the Med, its too warm I was told condescendingly by someone who knows better because Algerians always know better especially when they dont, so I asked him if he’d ever heard of importing? There’s a business idea for me when I go back, cultivate broccoli and import Salmon, I reckon I’ll make a fortune.
Other non available items or available in a STANDARD form are: Tampons, well they are sold but all of the same size! I choose not to go into this subject and it goes the same for buying them.

Perfumes, fashion and shoes, well as Algeria doesn’t really produce anything wearable or remotely fashionable, Algerians buy their fashion from Europe, we are a nation of fashion lovers, a bit like the Italians, more than the French in the way we match our outfits and colour code everything we wear (I say we but I really mean they). I often get the: you’re wearing red shoes with a brown bag?
Me: Yes and what of it…you’re wearing a Levis 501(*)! And that’s enough said.

As far as le shopping is concerned: Though some big chains have infiltrated the Algerian market they remain above the buying power of the average Algerian, people still prefer their local boutiques which sell items from H&M, Zara and other European high street shops at exorbitant prices, a pair of shoes could be priced at £100! The average Algerian MAKES £100 a month! You have 1 second to do the maths.

All that said, I am contemplating the idea of moving back to Algeria, maybe I could buy an allotment and farm broccoli and Brussels sprouts (also non existent in Algeria), start a business to import fresh or frozen salmon and in my spare time blog about it from Sidi Yaya and report my attempt at living the Algerian Dream.
(1) Sidi Yahya – Boulverad des champs Elyses d’Alger
(2) Sort of a sugar dady
(3) Berber Capital pronounced Tizi Wozou
(*) Levis 501: Algerian trademark – An Algerian sans Levis is pas normal


  1. "purchase a large 4x4 and a villa in Algiers so he can live the Algerian dream" HAhahahaaaaaa!

    LOL@Levis501, living the '96 dream people. 7 for all Mankind? I don't thnk so. Where you are 'le classe' if you match your shoes and your handbag *bleugh*.

    Lots of great produce that is really fresh UNLESS, you want anything that is out of season, requires importation or indeed wish to purchase all the above under one roof with a baby change and cafe thrown in for good measure. What's that you say? Do such places exist here? Well yes, for example WAITROSE!

    Also whilst I'm at it, that new DVD release, hard to find book in any language, weird and wonderful equipment for home and the techology all delivered to your home at a reasonable price all at the click of a button? Not available. Here it is called AMAZON.! Ha! As likely as the 'Gumshajarah' site I was told about.

  2. tonton david le moine6 March 2011 at 19:26

    i wanted to leave the algerian dream but that bitch wouldn't let me lol.
    btw, i would also definitely ask you whereabouts you're from.

  3. tonton david le moine6 March 2011 at 22:42

    *wanted to live

  4. what are you talking about girl ?? !!
    i think u took hachich this morning , anyway i can see that u are from dawar , u just came to uk (chab3a djadida) la dance salsa et tahalob macha alah .
    u r so small to talk about Algerians in uk , be cool and stay in your slacks !!

  5. @ Tonton David le moine: I am from Algeria...I thought that was clear ;)

    @ Anonynoum 2: Technically I would have taken Hashish on Friday cos thats when I posted the blog post. :)

  6. tonton david le moine7 March 2011 at 13:46

    oh and you forgot les caleurs dans l'autobus.

    of course it's clear, tonton david le moine is not that stoobid. i was referring to your 'where are you from?' post.

    And no, am not Algerian or Maghrebin.

  7. Ah yes tonton David...les caleurs need a whole chapter...I was au Lycee when I first experienced this...this really realy cute guy m'a callé...I couldnt beleive such a beautiful man would do be that perverted, at first I didnt know what was going on and then I turned arround to see that the whole bus was looking at me as if I was the perpetrator! I had to get off the bus and check my jeans...clean they were thank god!

    I am from all over Algeria actually :)

  8. tonton david le moine7 March 2011 at 15:37

    that sounds nasty.

    my best friend is Algerian and I am familiar with some of the Algerian folklore/goings on through my various Algerian acquaintances.
    it's interesting for me to have a sneak peek through the cultural lens as an outsider who's privy to insider knowledge.
    Cultures and traditions, especially with the right amount of context are fascinating.

  9. Tonton David: So who is this b*tch who wouldnt let you live your Algerian dream anyway?

  10. tonton david le moine7 March 2011 at 17:46

    just someone i know - am being mean, typical i know.

    she's just not into me. oh rejection rejection quand tu nous tiens. i probably deserve better though lol. maybe it was all in my head? i can never be sure.

    my not being Algerian could be a big factor i guess.
    generally speaking, what are my chances as a non-Algerian with an Algerian girl, all things being equal? also, am a bit young for you unfortunately.

  11. Life is unfair...
    "also, am a bit young for you unfortunately" unfortunaly for whom? ;)

  12. tonton dawood le moine7 March 2011 at 18:03

    hmm your guess is as good as mine ;p

    revenons a nos moutons, so what do you think regarding my question?

  13. while you reflect ...

    tonton dw is gonna be my less temporary moniker from now on :D

  14. Tonton dw: je préfère Tonton David le moine.
    In answer to your question "what are my chances as a non-Algerian with an Algerian girl, all things being equal?"
    If you have the cultural knowledge on Algeria that you seem/claim to have and posses the look (Algerian girls are into looks) and tolerance is one of your qualities, I don’t see why you couldn’t make any Algerian girl happy, of course there are other more personal factors; some girls are exigent religiously or financially…I am not going to pretend to give answers but generally speaking Algerian girls are not adverse to ending up with European men and usually make quite good life partners, hence they are sought after. Also what do you mean by “all things being equal?”

  15. i prefer tonton dw :p

    i have a bit of cultural knowledge (considerable maybe but limited nevertheless), am not pretending to know more than i do.

    what is the look? designer face/clothes/shoes/expensive watches? am not soooo much into those things so maybe am doomed.

    also you assume i'm european and non-islams lol.

    all things being equal: all things being fair and square hahaha (not helpful? hahaha)
    i guess i mean to say: taking out my 'non-algerianness' out of the equation, what criteria would be favourable to such proceedings?

  16. Well you do call yourself David so I assumed you were non Arab, perhaps a Semite but not Arab :)

    Criteria’s that would be favourable:
    Money, a good job, looks (as in tall, cute, built...etc), good family whatever that means, a certain educational level, culture...etc

  17. i like how money's at the top of the list. btw, what algerian would be best friends with a non-arab semite? (joking :P)

    cependant, am not arab non plus. what about religion though?
    how does a muslim girl tackle dating a non-muslim guy? i know they're cute, nice and all that, but i mean from a cultural perspective (i.e. with regards to dietary and hygiene requirements?)
    am not judging really, just asking, i've always wanted to know, if you know from your own or friends' experiences, si ce n'est pas trop indiscret.

  18. Money is sadly at the top of most lists Dawood.

    I sensed you wanted me to cover that aspect but playing oblivious…
    Well a lot of Muslim girls do date non-Muslim guys but this will not be plain sailing problem free, issues that may arise will be dietary related (halal or not halal, pork or no pork)
    Hygiene requirements could be to do with circumcision and definitely more washing after sex or not…etc

    So yes culture knowledge aside, religion is a major factor unless the lady in question is relaxed about her beliefs and pays no attention to the restrictions of our religion.

    Either way, it takes a lot of work, patience and a great deal of tolerance to be able to make it work.

    One of my readers Naima is an Algerian girl married to an English guy, maybe she would be kind enough to share her experience...

  19. lol @ dawood; we're on the net here and randomness is our friend ;-)

    anyway, i see the points although you're merely stating them matter-of-factly

    tolerance and 'open-mindedness': open-mindedness and tolerance having different meanings depending on whom you talk to.

    i'm sure you've sensed that too though ;).

  20. Matter-of-factly you expect me to give you specific examples of my own experiences :)

    You know what else I sense, that you're asking a question to which you have the answer but don’t like it and hoping to hear a different one.

  21. there again, you assume ma chere. i don't have the answer. well, i know the answer can be one of 2 things.
    am merely asking about the thought process behind, especially for someone with some sort of religious belief and affiliation.
    either way, it doesn't matter, am still none the wiser and thank you for your replies.

  22. Yes of course I am assuming...and told you so :)

    I am sorry I havent been able to help you get answers, this is frustrating me.

    Last attempt: Thought process is always: not to upset god, parents, family, society.

  23. Hey Dz-Chick,

    Well actually you sum it up all when you said it takes a lot of work, patience and great deal of tolerance to be able to work, for me it was and is always honesty (which is the best policy) in any relationship and if the relationship is successful it may lead to marriage.

    We took a good amount of time to learn about each other’s traditions/way of leaving, background and attitudes, and we adjust ourselves to live with each other in total respect and each of us knows each other boundaries, I do Ramadan and he does it to show me his mental support when he can (same when I do my Sunday morning jogging, he jogs with me to keep me company), I don’t ask him to change but he tend to try things out of curiosity, I don’t drink alcohol and he is not a big drinker either so in a way we are alike (as two peas in a pod) we celebrate Christmas together and I do celebrate eed and I invite him as my guest i.e taking him out for a meal to celebrate my eed.

    Best to put the religious differences aside as main point for me in my relationship is respectful loving husband and a stable home that ‘s all matter to me.

    Naima -

  24. no need to be frustrated my dear. our échanges have been quite entertaining for me, and i hope for you too :-).

  25. maybe you assume wrongly? i am being specific but vague at the same time. j'aime les oxymores.

  26. @Tonton dw: je vois ca oui...
    And yes the exchange was definitely fun.
    Did you find your answers or the research continues?

  27. the research is never ending. i guess it goes on until we reach l'au-delà ;).

    but yeah i definitely have more insight now. the thought process bit was helpful.

  28. Phew...thought you were hard to please Dawood. glad to be of service!

  29. héhé thanks. i suppose depending on personal criteria, the thought process ordering might be different for different individuals

  30. Salaam, another interesting post DZ chick. Having lived in Algeria 5+ yrs I'm still trying to obtain that DZ dream ... decent housing, earning a decent living and having where to spend this decent income LOL! While the situation in Algeria has gotten better Just in the past 5yrs great improvements have made ... there is still far ways to go! But I actually know of these "beggars" LOL coming up from Blida and surrounding farmlands LOL buying their "titles" and "nobility" getting married in the Sheration total nonsense IMHO.

    My Algerian dream would be being able to afford least 100 metres squared (200 would be better) build a villa that will grow with my family, have a little garden where I can grow my own damned broccoli LOL, be able to buy books in English or least be able to buy them online (and have them arrive safely LOL) drive a little KIA to met my friends for coffee (in a cafe opened to all or women only) LOL for a chat, walk on the beach with my husband and kids, find it clean and build a fire and enjoy Algeria! Ye that's my ALgerian dream! Can't wait to read more DZ chick!


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