you meddling kids

March 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

The word “shiver” draws upon a direct physical experience. Then there are words like “roam” which fill your mind with cinematic images perhaps never actually realized.  Other words, like “mischief” take us to a time and a place, to those youthful peelings out of tires and staying up till dawn. We pretend to forget we were ever irresponsible. That phase is locked away, covered in algae and starfish, anchored somewhere in the deepest depths under the thousands of cubic centimeter’s worth of reasonable thinking pressure. But every now and then, it comes up for air. Every now and then was last night around midnight. In all truthfulness, the gate WAS open when we got there. We walked along the terrace/roof of Lisa’s home, down to the other side of a wall and a view of the river. Half an hour later we were blindsided by an unhappy guard wouldn’t indulge us the view. He’s probably changing the locks as we speak.

Earlier that day I took a walk into Ibn Tofail student life. After suspending judgment of the local bus system, I met with my friend Soukaina for the first time in far too long. She showed the community oven where the girls from the dormitory bake their bread (not too unlike trying to bake blackberry cobbler in the Sunset kitchen). And later, there weren’t any redwoods, but there were drum circles as we walked through the Mamora forest. We strolled past a birthday party whose hosts insisted we join them for chocolate cake and henna. I had to ride the train into Rabat with a wet henna hand, but at least now I’m ready for the wedding this weekend! My henna was still drying during my first Moroccan Arabic group lesson. Unfortuantely, or perhaps I will drop the un-, the instructor’s payment expectations rival a Hollywood film budget. But the closing scene of our hour-and-a-half session wasn’t that of a feel-good film where a happy couple gets married, everyone laughs as the family dog runs away with the bouquet and there’s probably a Sting song playing over the credits. No, at the end, the 5 of us students felt like marching up to the ticket booth to demand our money back. So the search continues.

Today has been comfortable. First, since I slept in this morning, I took a grand taxi back to Kenitra instead of the train. Being wedged between two ancient, squishy women was strangely serene. Secondly, I rode a bike to the unesco office for my translations, partly to make up for lost time and partly because riding a bike in a skirt is also strangely serene.

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