in search of a friday night

December 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

There are no mailboxes in the medina. Letters, bills and fliers sometimes find their way into the rare mail-slot, but sometimes pile up in flowerpots and corners. I happened to glance at some mail stacked on the seat of Meryem’s moped. On a corner peeking out from the bottom of the pile, I saw a familiar golden address sticker. Could it be? Yes! Thank you so much Grandma for sending me a beautiful Christmas card!

Lisa and I have been eyeing a small yet faultless Christmas tree in the medina. We’ve made multiple trips to bargain for it, trying to haggle for this symbol of the holiday. When we resolved to cave and return to purchase it we discovered, to our horror, that the shopkeeper had already sold it. I have seen some fake trees for sale, but having a fake Christmas tree is not appealing. On the other hand, it’s not too far from my sorry attempt to give my blog some holiday cheer by making it “snow”. You may have noticed the change in color scheme, I had to make it a little darker so you can see the specks of white falling down. Lame, I know, but humor a poor girl in a 70s and sunshine December.

There’s something disgusting yet satisfying about returning home on a friday night with that sweet, sweating smell of dancing and cigarettes. After several low-key weekends, I finally had my first real night on the town in Morocco. Seven of us met up for dinner and dancing. Our group was a conglomerate of cultures. My favorite character in our group was a high-maintenance  Moroccan girl who smacked her words like gum. I could tell she liked me because at dinner she had me accompany her to the ladies restroom. I guess some things, like girls going to the restroom in packs, never change, regardless of the culture.  After dinner we went to a different, upscale restaurant  with live traditional music and a mesmerizing bellydancer. The clientele reminded me of a movie: important looking men in dark glasses and suits, flanked by young girls in tube-tops and high heels sitting on low sofas. It was a serious scene. We resolved to go downstairs to a more fun-seeking crowd and dance floor, where a fantastic live band played everything from that catchy Shakira song (wakka wakka?), to Bob Marley, to African fusion. Though I got home exhausted from my most social outing in months, my stench kept me awake for a while, so I read Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram until my mind drifted from the reek of cigarettes to beautiful descriptions of Bombay. To say I needed a night out is like saying Russia is a big country. Things are increasingly tense at the household, although I have not yet dropped the bomb about moving out.

It just hit me that for the first time in my life, I will spend Christmas away from my family.

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