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Archive for September, 2004

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I haven’t seen a good redneck joke in a while… This one was nice. Enjoy.

Who Says Rednecks Aren’t Real Bright?

“Hello, is this the FBI?”
“Yes. What can I do for you?”
“I’m calling to report about my neighbor Virgil Smith. He’s hiding >marijuana inside his firewood!”
“Thank you very much for the call, sir.”

The next day, the FBI agents descend on Virgil’s house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They sneer at Virgil and leave. The phone rings at Virgil’s house.

“Hey, Virgil! This here is Floyd. Did the FBI come?”
“Yeah!”
“Did they chop your firewood?”
“Yep.”
“Happy Birthday, buddy!!!!

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Webstats…

I was taking a peek at my sitemeter info… I am dying to know who is logging on from IUPUI… 🙂 You’re in my own stomping grounds! If you want to drop me a line, I’d love it.

Must run, baby is flipping out… blogging is natural competition for my attention 🙂

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Seven days of hyper planning…

So, I come back to work after 14 days out of the country and get slapped with three projects that have my head spinning. One event came off without a hitch on Saturday without my prescence, alhamdulillah. The other two events will come off without a hitch tomorrow morning, insha’allah. I feel like I have to fly as I have to travel rather quickly between the two event locations. Nice part is I know the star of my show has to do the same journey in about the same amount of time. The shows don’t start without either of us. *grin* I will be so happy once we are past election day and done grandstanding for votes. I am very lucky to only have been hit with these two events as the staff who were left after I went on vacation got blown into the water quite a bit harder than I.

As a result of actually working at work (more than the usual, at any rate), my interest in blogging has been abysmally low. I am missing the in-laws. They really made my life brighter. I wish there were some way they could be here without being completely miserable.

Morocco Blogging

Marrakech is a lovely city for tourists who want to be treated like tourists. Quite a few of the service industry speak a large number of languages. I heard English more in Marrakech than in Casablanca. The city is cleaner and all roads lead to Djmaa Fna, the main attraction.

If you are starting in Casablanca, the main international port city, you can travel by train or airplane to Marrakech. I recommend the train as you will get a few more perks. You will get to see more of the country, which is really beautiful in Southwest US sort of fashion and you will get more interaction with hommes Marocaine. Be aware that if you take couch, you will probably be jam packed. A very good opportunity to practice your Maghribi arabic. However, for a few extra dirhams, you can ride in first class which is more spacious and still have people to talk to. The ride from Casablanca to Marrakech is about three hours long.

Hotels are very western with western amenities. Expect to pay about 100 a night at some of the lower key establishments.

Don’t drink the water. I know I’ve said it before… but traveller’s illnesses make walking tours difficult. I really don’t know if it was the water for sure, but I think it was a good shot that it was.

Djmaa Fna is an open air market and entertainment smorgasbord that is near the Koutoubia masjid. Snake tamers, henna artists, drummers, musicians, dancers, et cetera. Not all halal, but is anything anymore? Oh… I forgot to mention food. Rows upon rows of food, fresh cooked on location… but mostly the same menu at each place. You choose which one looks more appealing to you, sit down and order to your hearts content. There is fresh orange juice to had, 2 dirhams for a glass. (that may have also been the illness culprit!) Shopping is good if you get past the icky made in Taiwan type crap. There is a really good souk that is hanging out in the maze like passages behind the walls.

Tomorrow, Sidi Fadma waterfall! (insha’allah)
Tonight, sleep!

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Morocco, in snapshots… part 1.

Pictures still not uploaded. Possibly tonight.

Completely unpacked and put away, thank God. Still doing laundry. DH’s parents have a washing machine which was nothing quite what I expected… I think they used too much soap and it never really came out of the clothes. They were very stiff after drying on the line on the roof. I have to imagine that the machine is much easier than hand washing every item which is what they did before the machine. I suppose that would change your definition of dirty a bit, especially if you were the washer.

Moroccan life is very different than what I am used to here. The limits that I am used to here, the privacy and separateness of life is practically nil there. And I don’t think this is a bad thing. In Morocco, neighbors pop in on a nice afternoon, everyone has a bit of tea and bread, talks, and goes on their way. This might happen two or three times a day, especially when the Americans are visiting. And no one calls ahead — that might actually obligate the visitee to cooking supper or lunch for the visitors instead of just the spot of tea.

Personal space is also a nil issue. Small houses, small cars, large families… you get the drift. There’s not much space. In Ummui’s house (DH’s mother – Ummui is Maghribi arabic for mother), there are two rooms that are formally used as bedrooms. In a household of six. Sometimes people sleep in the living rooms on the floor or the couches. I almost sleep outdoors one night on the roof because it was too warm indoors. People have very personal items because there are not many places to keep them. I think the family was a bit overwhelmed with the number of clothing pieces I brought with me. (I think I did overpack a small bit…)

Greetings are touchy feely affair. And confusing to boot. As a muslim, I have learned the three kiss greeting with the ladies (right side, left, then right again). It doesn’t work in Morocco and it confuses them in the same way as a four way stop sign. The Moroccan greeting is the three kiss method, but it goes left-right-right (and right-right-right depending on how excited they are to see you). If you shake hands, your hand goes to your heart afterwards as if you were internalizing the blessing of meeting someone. Men often kiss each other hands, and sometimes women too, and then cover their heart. Its very personal and endearing.

Women and men alike have very little problem touching in public (the same gender, that is). Men hold hands, women hold hands. Women walk arm in arm down the street and men will put the arms across each other’s shoulders. I wonder if this comes from a more secure sense of masculinity/femininity that Islam instills in its believers.

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Wicked Busy

Wow… talk about getting thrown in the deep end. I get back from two weeks off and am handed three events to plan with public figures that will happen within seven days. Let’s just say my head is spinning and my blogging time is cut short.

Still on a bit of jet lag… not feeling very rested in the morning even though I am going to bed early. Insha’allah, soon it will get better.

My son is now officially a Biter. I got “The Call” this morning from the baby sitter… my little mongrel bit another little girl on the eye and drew blood. How the heck does a 13 month old bite another child in the eye unless that child is in his face? *rolls eyes* Oh well… What do we expect when the kiddo popped in 5 teeth in the last four week. (super teething, moroccan style)

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Back in the saddle again.

After two days of travel, we are back. Tired and still packed, but back nonetheless. I am at work now. Just couldn’t call in sick after a two week vacation although I feel like I need a day off to sleep, eat, and unpack.

I have a ton to say and a ton to write, but I need to organize my thoughts a bit so I don’t go off on too many random tangents.

A few thoughts that are from the top top my head:

  1. The baby didn’t forget who I was.
  2. Casablanca is not a tourist city.
  3. Public Sanitation is something I used to take for granted.
  4. The water in Casa won’t make you sick.
  5. The water in Marrakech will.
  6. Pay the extra five bucks to go first class on the train.
  7. Hamza doesn’t fall of couches anymore. In fact, he also can climb stairs.
  8. Some words are more fun to teach and learn in any language. Zarakazits is cockroach and Toeba is rat in Magribi Arabic. And musrakh is dirty and can be used as a dirty word when talking about people. 🙂 And caca translates in almost any language, I think.
  9. One good pair of shoes is all you really need. My birks did everything.
  10. Just because there are lines painted on the road does not mean that drivers understand what their purpose is.

More soon, insha’allah.

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8)

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Still here in morocco…

short update… here, all is well. i am hot as hell. typing on a french keyboard with a weird shift key hence the almost total lack of capitals.

Everyone is healthy… getting some good food and good family time. Everyone loves Hamza. insha’allah, i will get a chance soon to blog a bit… i miss my computer, sad to say. 🙂

Anyway… all my love folks.

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