Wednesday, May 20, 2009

morocco continued

5/17/09 Sunday 6:37 PM

Main things that happened today –

rode a scooter/motorcycle for the first time (lol) – funs J

animation with little kids – good time as usual

met up with AIESEC peoples – at times awkward, but basically good

also took a bunch of pictures :P I think this might’ve made Rachid a little nervous.

Ok so yeah I guess not too much to report today … Lol I rode a scooter for the first time today. It was not as scary as I thought it would be, except for the parts where I thought Simou was going to run into a wall, or when he started weaving through the streets a little (this was just to scare me). Other than that, it was really fun! It’s a nice feeling, since you’re going relatively fast, but without being stuck in a car, so it’s like your walking … idk like when you’re in the airport and they have those track things that make you go faster? Like I was riding one of those, but in the middle of the street.

And then there was animation with the kids, which was fun. Danced a little, sang a little. It was a good time. Maybe not quite as new as the first time, obviously, but still good.

Then came back, played cards with Leah and Said, took a shower … basically just kind of hung out, since I didn’t feel like working or studying. Uploaded some pics, accidentally screwed up Said’s flash drive (still haven’t mentioned that to him … >_>).

And then it was the welcome party in Rabat with AIESECers, which was idk pleasant? Finally met Kaddi, the girl from Germany’s who’s been emailing me and such, trying to meet up for some reason. Lol I’m like the youngest person, other than this one girl who’s name I don’t know -_- It seems like a lot of the people here are all business/finance-type people. They get like all glassy-eyed when I’m like, I study anthro/sociology (most people don’t know what anthropology is, so I figured I’d go with sociology, since it’s kind of less awkward to be like, I study society, than to be like, I study other cultures [which would imply that I came here to like study the people here you know? Which is like weird]). Anyways so I felt slightly more out-of-place than I did singing and dancing with the kids, even though everyone spoke English and acted all Westernized or whatever. Idk. Some things are universally awkward, or universally not, I guess.

But meeting with the AIESEC people has made me think that maybe I should make more use of this opportunity, if that makes sense. I guess I have been kind of just lazing around the house for most of the day, now that I come to think of it. I mean, I could be studying Arabic, or French, or even English I guess … or talking to people. Or wandering around town/figuring out where exactly I live in relation to everywhere else. Or practicing my Arabic writing (which is currently at level 0). I should definitely be more active. I mean, I could even be dancing or stretching or something if I didn’t feel like writing or reading. Or learning how to cook Moroccan food. I mean, it would be a total shame if I came back and people were like, what did you do all day? And I said, uhh … slept, ate, taught a little … yeah. You know? It’s like, well then why did you go to Morocco? You can sleep anywhere. So yeah. That’s basically it for now. Will hopefully upload pictures soon – as in as soon as I get enough money to buy a flash drive so I can transfer the images to it so I can upload them. Which should be soon. But for now, I guess the important thing is getting into a solid rhythm, being more active, and going through life with eyes wide open instead of closed shut and snoring.

5/18/09 Monday 1 PM ish

Main things to write about –

Leah left (sad face, but makes sense given her experiences here) – she wanted to have more work to do, and I think in general Morocco hasn’t agreed with her so well. Definitely the people here can be a little sketch sometimes (mainly referring to Dounia and Rachid). I mean, I have yet to meet Dounia, as does Leah, and even before I came to Morocco she was acting pretty sketch. Also, Dounia said to both of us that she would meet us (at the airport for Leah, at the train station for me), which didn’t happen. And even though I asked a lot of basic questions, like “where will I be staying”, or “who’s going to meet me at the station”, etc I would only get kind of vague answers. And apparently now she’s out-of-town for some reason. Maybe it’s a family thing, idk.

OMG visited an NGO type place – Association pour le Developpement Social (ADS). So flipping cool! I WANT TO WORK THERE. Or somewhere similar. I need to get fluent in French so I can come back and work someplace legit like that, and learn about how to apply knowledge to wider groups of people, instead of just teaching like one class of kids, if that makes sense.

Also, I feel more alive here than I have anywhere else. Maybe except for the first few weeks at Michigan. I feel like I can learn so much! I can learn French, Arabic (classic or the dialect here), and then there’s all these little shops where I could just learn how to do shit by watching. Like there’s people making furniture in the street, and people welding shit, and bike mechanics, and people cooking … I wish I could just go out and be like, hey, can I watch you work? Of course, not quite sure how to say that, and pretty sure that wouldn’t be exactly the best idea in the world. But the people here are so nice, I don’t know if they would mind that much. I mean people like it when you take an interest in their work, so yeah.

No moneys … well done Mary. This is mainly frustrating because it limits my experiences so much. I can’t live/start making a life here without money. I mean, I see things I want to try or there’s things I want to do, but I can’t because I don’t have any moneys. Lame. Need to fix this problem ASAP.

Starting to catch cold -_-

Last night – translation session with Leah, Said (Me talk pretty one day); talking about people/sleep, etc

OK this was really cool. So Leah and me and Said were hanging out, doing work or reading, and I was like, oh I have English books with me. So I gave Leah “Me Talk Pretty One Day” to read, and she was like lol hilarious. So I was like, oo Said you should read this too. Basically this ended up being a translation session, because Said didn’t really get what was going on in the story, which makes sense because I don’t think he’s ever formally studied English. Anyways so I tried to translate into French while reading, but my vocabulary is way too limited, so Leah ended up basically reading the story to me and Said in French. So cool!! It’s so amazing how the humor of a story can translate across places (languages + cultures). Or I guess how some things are just universally funny (this was the “me talk pretty one day” story, which is basically lol-ing at how people sound when they first learn a language – obviously something we could all relate to). It was so cool though! I wish Leah could’ve stayed longer, if only so that I could improve my French this way (and she and Said could improve their English as well, I guess).

Oh yeah and then we also ended up getting sidetracked sometimes on certain phrases, or like idioms. At some point, we ended up talking about sleep, I think because we were all pretty tired. It was so cool! Oh and lol we talked about swearing, which I thought was hilarious, but I think Leah and Said took it more seriously so I tried to keep from smiling -_- I guess they’re both pretty conservative/they don’t really see excessive swearing as something amusing (I tried showing Leah the “You can’t kill the rooster” story, which basically consists of varying combinations of fuck, bitch, and mfer. She was like, ohhh, and I was like oh yeah … right … most people don’t swear every other word). So that was an interesting kind of cultural exchange, I guess. I guess in Quebec, at least, there’s a lot of religious peoples/Christians, so all their swear words are like variations of various holy things (instead of saying Christ, they say Chrise, etc. Apparently the worst swear word references the tabernacle, which is kind of interesting). Anyways, and then in Morocco, people call people who swear a lot “streetchildren” basically. So obviously it’s pretty much frowned upon. I was kind of surprised, though, that they didn’t associate any kind of humor with swearing. Like they both took it really seriously, even though Leah is I think an atheist, and Said doesn’t seem too religious … Maybe it’s just in the US where it’s considered funny/comical when someone swears excessively? I mean, I guess it gets kind of annoying if you’re around it a lot, but it’s not like oo your soul is tainted/there’s something wrong with you. Then again, if someone was swearing and they actually meant it, I guess that’s a different story.