home away from home away from home

December 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

The baritone purr of a passing motorcycle, the boys with theatrical professions of love and admiration, the clamor of shops opening their shutters, the night vendors, the morning splendors, will no longer be my neighbors. After whittling away for nearly 4 months, there rests but 7 days for the Medina to be my home away from home.

There’s a profound freedom captured only in suitcases. Yesterday morning over my harsha and qahwa bi-halib, someone turned to me and asked if I was a gypsy. I said, mumkin. Maybe I am.

Plan stands as this: On Christmas Eve, I will bid farewell to my host family and our house on Avenue Mohamed V, and I will move all my stuff (all 2 ½ suitcases of it) to Lisa’s. I will take a night bus with Lisa to Ifrane, in a more mountainous region to spend Christmas Day in the snow. We will return Sunday or Monday, in time for university courses. Then, I will move in to my new apartment. YES, MY NEW APARTMENT! Morocco is my moon. I took my first steps here in a slow sponge-like daze, I bought my first pair of Chuck Taylors. And here, arranging the terms for my first apartment in French, I feel a strange distance as I look across the universe at the Pacific NorthWest. My apartment, lucky number 13, is fully furnished, and much larger than necessary for one person. The neighborhood seems quiet enough. I hope to be bien établie by the time my family arrives in Casablanca on New Years Eve.

In that same spooky intuition that tells you someone is walking behind you, I picked up on subtleties that told me I would not have the same honored spectator status in the wedding my house was hosting last night as I did previously. Instead, I bargained for potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, carrots, green peppers, and herbs, and made Shepherd’s Pie at Lisa’s house in the Kasbah. We slept in this morning and now I’m at the library, wondering what other excuses I can use to not sleep at the house in the medina.

 

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