Friday, July 3, 2009

Travel Log, June 7, 2009

This morning, Melodie served us coffee in bed! I heart Melodie. Oh man--we slept til 8:40am. Heavenly.

S and Co. made "Svinge"--fried dough rings [yes, like doughnuts, but not]--to be dipped in sugar, coffee, or the fried egg in oil concoction. So much tasty oil in this country. SO much.

After saying besalama, we drove in the van (9: Russ and the gals) and truck (B and Rick) down the mountain to meet Joey. As we neared a minaret, Sarah said "Is that a WHITE GUY???" Yes. It was. It was Joey, along with M. Everyone, including J, piled into the van. Ie, FOURTEEN people. [It's Morocco. Just don't think about it.]

Up in that area, the gov't put up a memorial to the work FOR is doing. Apparently it claims they did things they didn't do, and don't say some things they do do, but it's still pretty cool:
The gov't put up a monument to FOR's work in the Rif.

We drove to the Sunday souk (market), which is the locals' (ie not tourists') market. It's usually "a guy thing", but as foreign women, it was somehow ok for us to go. (We actually saw several local-looking women there.) The guys were saying "labess!" "salam!" often, as anyone who's anyone goes to the Sunday souk, man. Joey knows all the gendarme, apparently, too.


(written on June 8, 2009)

We stayed close to Joey and M as they led us through the booths of anything a Moroccan could want in daily life, with screaming vendors and dirty roads and staring men. Yep--a group of four men and eight American women sure causes a scene.

Joey counts us like a mother hen
Anna and me!
Me and Annaaa
Mint for tea:
Mint for tea
Donkey baskets:
Donkey baskets, anyone?

We bought Toniks (candy) for 1 Dh and admired some clothes (some for beauty, some for nonsense or misspelled English phrases). We briefly looked at goat heads (mmmm tasty...?), and Amy watched a chicken-killing. The watermelon guy hammed it up for our cameras, as did his buddy the pepper dude. A bunch of us bought a mix of spices that they use for tajines (delicious meat dish).

Watermelon Guy!!
Watermelon Guy LOVED our attention.
The Pepper Dude joined Watermelon Guy:
Pepper Dude joins Watermelon Guy
Leaving the souk:
Woman and Donkey

At home, we SHOWERED!!! Alhemdu Allah! ("Praise God" in my personal phonetic Arabic spelling.) I put on makeup, even, for the first time since leaving home, did my hair, wore earrings, and put on my favorite "Moroccan" outfit.

Fun words:
buzz--to pass gas (in Rifi)
maleesh--whatever, no worries
shukran--thank you
blezhmere--you're welcome
labess--"how are you?" and "fine!"
fin kein--where is
sbah lkhir--good morning
kif kif--same same
manarf--I don't know

Silly sayings:
"Nish ish fish"--"I eat fish" in Rifi. (Well, "fish" is not Rifi, but it rhymes.)
"Cool dude"--"eat worms". Yes. "Cool" is "eat" and "dude" is "worms" ("dooda" is worm) in Arabic.
"ENU ENU!!!"--"MINE MINE!!" (in Rifi) [I learned that from a two-year-old.]

Melodie, Joey, and Dani drove us that afternoon in two squished vehicles to Hoceima. I rode with Mel in her truck and held Elias (2) on my lap in the front. He is fluent in both English and Rifi, and babbled to me the whole time (in English) about the trucks he saw and the big hills and was just generally adorable.

We first went to a store that is Mel's favorite. They had shoes, purses, wallets, boxes, dishes, leather seats/footstools, and a host of other "traditional" souvenirs. I bought shoes (leather) for Dad and two aunts (Amy got the other aunts and David). I may get a footstool, but was overwhelmed at the moment.

Beth and I wanted coffee, but the cafes here are, again, "a guy thing". No local women go, and Mel didn't want us in there alone. [Women can expect to be verbally and perhaps even physically harassed. I really take issue with a chunk of this culture.] So we met Joey and Dani at a park and got ice cream instead. :)

Little Benson:
Benson at the playground
Driving home through Hoceima:
Hoceima streets

We paid room and board for the two weeks in cash. I enjoyed holding 6000 Dh (for Beth and me--it's about $700):
This is what 6000 Dh looks like!

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