The first thing that hit me was that the signs, as well as the conversations I heard, were in French and Arabic—no English!—at the airport. The desert landscape outside the city reminded me of Arizona more than Illinois. There is a third-world feeling. At the hotel, the check-in was easy and most of the staff speaks some English. Lynn Hilton, the piano player who referred me to this gig, showed me around.
As a musician, receiving a tip of five 20s is nice, but there’s something special about finding a $100 bill in your tip jar. Sometimes it is to request a special song, or sometimes I’m asked to play longer. The most fun is to have a $100 bill in your tip jar at the end of the gig and not know where it came from!