hi-tech, low-tech

September 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Business first.  You might be pleased to hear that I have somewhat of an established schedule. Since I’m still awaiting a “oui ou non” you might notice something is glaringly absent: a schedule with UNESCO as an intern of sorts.  I’m doing my best to concentrate my activities so that when I do hear back I will have some good blocks of time to offer.  But mostly I’m taking what I can get, so here’s my best approximation:

  • Alternating  l’aerobics and le yoga: Mon-Fri 5pm @Ass Paradise
  • Grammaire Corrective: Wednesdays 8-10am @ l’Universite Ibn Tofail in Kenitra (train ride); in French
  • l’Histoire Literaire: Wednesdays 2-4pm @ l’Universite Ibn Tofail; in French
  • Translation: Arabic to English.  Thursdays 2-4 @ l’Universite Ibn Tofail; in arabic I presume
  • NEWEST ADDITION! Fus’ha group lessons: That’s what moroccan’s call standard, classical arabic as opposed to their derija dialect. Tues & Thurs 6-7:30pm @ the Center for Cross Cultural Learning http://cccl.ma/

That makes for a tight squeeze on Wednesdays and Thursday trying to make it from classes in Kenitra that end at 4, to Rabat via taxi and train by 5.  Also, I’ve heard that the CCCL is big on punctuality, so I’ll probably be leaving yoga early to make it to my 6pm group lessons for Arabic.

Dawdling down streets alone is as lonely and liberating here as it was in the U.S.  But my tally of catcalls here definitively surpasses my catcalls in Seattle (or lack thereof). But my ambiguous skin tone and style responsible for my lack of catcalls in Seattle, causes enough confusion that I get the last laugh.  While it’s flattering to be occasionally mistaken for Moroccan, I’m greatly amused with the konnichi wa‘s, suppress laughter at the ni hao‘s, and the good ol’ bonjour is never discouraging. The advice for dealing with playground bullies holds true for aggressive Moroccan males too, eat lunch by yourself in the bathroom.  Just kidding. But unfortunately, just ignoring lewd comments doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll stop. As of yet, I could hypothetically reply that I don’t have a phone.  But I’m giving in to the societal pressures that only fear of isolation can bring. Tomorrow, after shelling out some dirhams for my Arabic lessons, I’m going to see about buying a cell phone.

Robert’s computer was having issues, so with time to kill before dinner, we walked to the local version of Geek Squad: an old man and stacks of  motherboards.  That’s a deceiving description.  There’s plenty of modern technology (just bought that 52″ flat screen, remember?).  But this shop, a computer chop-shop of sorts, was different from the cell phone boutiques and pirate DVD stands.  The man carefully examined Robert’s laptop, pressing down on it the way a doctor checks on your ribcage. He made his assessment by feel, a burned out video-card.  Just down the street, another man sat curled in the ageless comfort of a book. I apologize for the blurriness, I didn’t want to disrupt the moments of peaceful concentration of either by asking if I could take a photo.

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