Please note: Since the below hints are almost certainly also read by interested parties from and in Tunisia, they can only serve as examples - the reader will get the idea, though, and can then plan for a personal strategy.
- Never talk about your payroll, your personal property or situation - if asked, only give vague answers!
Ideally, you position yourself as a non-wealthy person living together with a roommate in a little apartment and the holiday is a result of many months of strict saving.
A tunisian man in Tunisia is, without any exceptions, required by law to provide for his wife. All enquiries by a tunisian man into the wealth and income of a western woman will only be made to estimate the "value" of this woman and of a possible relationship with her.
In the relationship with a tunisian woman, it is not so easy because, according to Tunisian law, the tunisian husband is obliged to provide for his wife, without any buts and ifs - if a woman then inquires about his assets, is does not have to be a sign of Bezness, but the woman only wants to make sure that he can offer a "secure existence". The man should, however, present himself as a "normal" worker with an income just sufficient to provide for a family
Note: Even when she is married, the Tunisian woman normally retains her salary for herself, the man is nevertheless obligated to pay for his wifes proper living conditions.
- Under no circumstances, tell the potential husband that you could or would contribute to the costs of the wedding ceremony or the ticket cost for the flight to Europe!
The woman should express her ideas of a wedding gift from her husband. The financing of the wedding party in Tunisia is the up to the man (in tunisian weddings, the costs are often shared, however, there will also 2 or more parties take place), he or his family will even take out loans for a proper wedding; the ticket costs for flights to Europe and obtaining the visa should also be solely be imposed onto him.
A Tunisian man who is serious with a woman, will never ask or even accept money from her, but save, even on a low wage, the money for the wedding. Golden jewelry Gifts (ring, bracelet, etc.) as a gift to the woman at the engagement AND the wedding are absolutely normal and fully expected by the bride and her parents, since they express to the wedding guests the value of the bride and reflect her, her husband's and their families status in the community!
In a relationship with a Tunisian woman, things are exactly the opposite - it is expected that the man pays for all expenses, because it is common custom - and, actually, he even has to provide the housing and the furniture.
A western man is here therefore at a definite disadvantage...
By the way, the man has to provide after the wedding the apartment plus the usual big household appliances, the women contributes only smaller items like kitchen machines, drapes, carpets and so on.
Especially women (but also men!) from precarious situations own often not much more than a bag of good clothes and belongings.
Please note: This is never the topic of discussions, because the knowledge is assumed - it is something that "everyone in Tunisia knows".
- Learn the Tunisian language!
And don't show it. In almost all cases, "Bezness" can be unveiled by simply listening to the conversations of the man with his friends, family members etc. when they are unaware that you understand what they are talking about.
- Never leave behind valuable items at the end of the holiday "until the next time"!
Which specifically relates to computers, cameras, telephones and personal papers. This will result in an unspoken obligation to return, something, that one later does not really want anymore - not to mention the risk that, even when one returns, one might never see the things again.
- Point out good relationship to your family!
It is absolutely normal in Tunisia, to counsel with the family and get advice from them. If you show that your relationship to your own family is very close, it gives the signal that you are not am "easy" target and it might not be enough for a man to convince you, but also possibly your father, brother or uncle.
In the relationship with a Tunisian woman, the man can always assume that the males of her family will ask for an interview and their recommendation for the woman will depend on this interview. Even though a woman in Tunisia is free to choose her husband (no forced marriage), she will, in most cases, follow the recommendation of her family - because that is where, in most cases, she will return if the marriage fails!
- Always, in a closer relationship, demand to see the ID card (Carte IdentitÃ© Nationale, CIN)!
Every tunisian citizen must have the CIN on them at all times. This offers the possibility of obtaining and verifying the real name and birth date - because both are used very flexible in talks in Tunisia ("Artist name", "Nickname").
If then, at a later date, a problem should arise, you will have at least the guarantee that you know the real name and date of birth.
Relationships to young persons: The age of adulthood in Tunisia is 18 years - relations to younger persons should generally be avoided!
Men below 35 may, and usually will, be drafted for a year of mandatory military service in Tunisia.
- If you have the opportunity, talk to other Tunisians!
Tunisians know their fellow countrymen quite well and in most cases, someone will feel honored to give you his opinion about a relationship.
And even if one should not rely on such an opinion, it might give you good hints and/or confirms suspiciouns and will help you to become more aware and cautious.
You should not talk with people, though, who are in close contact with the person in question (family, colleagues, friends, because they will tell what is the best and not talk about all that is bad). Rather consider to talk to Taxi drivers, apartment landlords, etc. - they see a lot and have lots of experience.
This also applies to the ubiquitous policemen, which might, on an explicite demand, even suggest sometimes to be "careful" with an acquaintance!
- Do not shy away from a "loyalty test"!
In such a "loyalty test", a friend, acquaintance, or professional agency will try to start up a relations ship with the target person by using SMS, instant messaging, telephone or even a "random" personal meeting.
To put it quite clearly - such a test will succeed in more than 90 of 100 cases and show that the target person will, without big problems, engage in another relationship as well. The hope of "But mine is different" will then turn out, within a short time, to be just a dilusion, and this will be quite a disappointment - but it will save the person from an even bigger disappointment and significant emotional and financial loss later!
And even when the assignment of an agency might cost 50 of 100 euros, this sum is, compared to a possible, even very likely, loss of thousands and serious emotional problems later, well invested.
In certain cases, it will even make sense to seek the assistance of investigation agencies - again, it can save huge amounts of money and a lot of emotional distress!
Victims of Bezness