Tuesday, August 17, 2010

800 Days in Morocco, 100 Things I Will Miss

This blog has never been a guide book. I don't recommend Morocco for everybody, I recommend her for the deserving. I will miss Morocco for an incalculable number of reasons, but the following matter to the blog;

Easy Things to Miss:

Drawn-out greetings

The neglect of personal space

“Magharba” the only way Moroccans say 'Moroccans', and no one else

Fes, the biggest small town in the world

Commercials during Ramadan

Bitching about mild, comparatively pleasant weather

Praising G_d for bad weather

The fact there are no trees around my house that do not bear fruit

Subsistence agriculture, generally, especially amongst those who don’t need it

Buying great organic veggies for no money off the muddy ground in souk

Unloading animals from trucks w/ non-chalance

Carrying things for old ladies

Open, respectful affection among men (kissed lots of cheeks)

Making wordplay jokes in Arabic and Tamazight

Learning how to plant wheat with draft animals

The fact that none of this was a big deal at the time

Saying hello to the room/bus/café/anywhere and getting hello back

The bad-ass history of Berbers in Marmoucha

Living in a 100% Berber town

The worldview of illiterate women

Gaining a new appreciation for women, here and in the West

The “guesting” culture

Never ever ever running out of small talk

The 1985 Mercedes Benz Taxi

Explaining a part of a man’s language to him

Learning from my village, and how they scratch it out

Becoming friends with old men with great stories

Putting Shabekia in my harira

Dakshi li kayn, dayn ag illan; how else could you end a sentence in NAfrica?

My go-to jokes… for when I’m in a tight spot (TWSS)

Being endeared instead of feared for my size and demeanor

“Casa sport, kaysift lqbur, blla passport, qabl lftoor.”

Having full conversations with my hands in Moroccan sign language

A few really cool American people

My water project, and knowing I made people’s lives easier

The knowledge that no matter how bad a day gets, you can just go drink tea



Teaching my village “That is what she said” and having them use it fluently

Goat shoulder and plum at your wedding!

Shiba, na3na3, l3ashoob camliin in your tea without special request

Hanging out at the Ministry of Health and talking shop

Getting respect from the new Volunteers

The Traveling Sink

The fact that I, once again, lived where you vacation

Barreling through the Northern desert on an old French train

Having that train derail and having to walk

Spending nights on the road with friends

Treating Fes like Las Vegas in the winter

Marjane (admittedly)

The fact that I lived on an apple orchard in a desert country

4 full seasons in Marmoucha

Finding a bomb during a toilet survey

Teaching in my schools, and getting good at it

Getting the replacement that I wanted, and being right about him

Good sleep

Facial tattoos, especially those of my host Mother, Fatima

Making fun of Guigou

Unpretentious gastronomy

Never having to worry about where you will eat or sleep, anywhere, ever

Jerry-rigging everything, and making it work

Not having running water, and learning to appreciate the resource

Dispelling or properly ameliorating myths/fairytales/rumors about life and people in Europe and the US

The Barbary Macaque

No cars, anywhere, really

Being held in high regard by the village, and being asked for help in tough situations

Encouraging bright young students who don’t get much encouragement

The looks on faces when they really can’t figure out why you speak Arabic, Berber

Being asked to prove that I am an American National

Watching large groups of grown men completely F simple tasks up

Being assigned simple tasks around the family farm

Doing the books for the apple farm, and learning a bit of the business

Learning something at 9:00, applying it at 9:03

Discussing important, sensitive, world issues and nobody takes it personally

Working with educators

Doing health education


Doing my laundry in the river with the women

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