Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Long Slow Days

Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the summer storms, maybe it’s that I’ve been here almost 2 years and it’s wearing on me, maybe I'm just bored.

It was a sobering thought on the train yesterday from Rabat to Fes. I bought a first class ticket-only way you have a chance at a/c in your car (and that’s not guaranteed). Only 3 of us in the car-older man reading, me, and a young guy on a laptop w/headphones. When I realized that he had left the car, leaving behind the laptop, and had been gone more than 15 minutes, I actually started to get concerned about the laptop. Who walks away from a laptop anywhere in Morocco for that long? I was gonna give him another 5 minutes to return or I was leaving the car-I actually was thinking it could be a bomb. First time in my life that has ever occurred to me. Sobering. To my relief, he returned shortly after I checked my watch to count down the 5 minutes. No terrorist. Just stupid leaving behind his laptop out in the open like that. Welcome to the new world order.

It’s amazing how accustomed to sweating I’ve become. I guess it helps that I don’t care how my hair looks, don’t wear makeup, so what difference does it really make? Will I be able to channel some of that attitude when I return to the states?

We’re back on internet, power and water intermittent shut-offs. The heat of summer gets to everything. Including, I fear, my laptop. Today the battery isn’t holding a charge. Fine yesterday. Not today. Maybe it cooked just a bit too much in the heat of yesterday and has given up on me. We’ll see. It won’t be the first or last laptop battery to crash on a PCV here in Morocco.

A bit ago my neighbor sent her daughter up to tell me something. I couldn’t get her to slow down enough to understand anything beyond water from my kitchen, so went downstairs to talk w/Samira to see what was up. Seems that her drain is clogged and when either I or the other neighbors on the 2nd floor (between us) use our kitchen sinks, it overflows onto Samira’s floor. That’s obviously a problem for her. Since I've been gone 2 1/2 weeks and the neighbors are still gone, this has been going on for some time. I ask if she’s got someone coming to fix it. No. Would I use my toilet faucet instead of my kitchen sink? No, you need to get it fixed. Are you going to call someone to fix it? No. OK, that’s your choice, but I need to be able to use my kitchen. The fact that you don't want to pay someone to fix it doesn't mean I'll use my toilet to wash dishes and cook. See, here in Morocco, if you have a problem w/the place you're renting, you pay to fix it, not the landlord. This is the same neighbor that sent her daughter up yesterday the minute I arrived (after over 2 weeks travel), was putting down my bags, and wanted me to pay my share of the water bill. Um, maybe can I catch my breath-you know I’m good for the money, but give me a break, I JUST arrived home. And now you're asking me to not use my kitchen sink? I don’t think so. So much for neighborliness. Too bad.

Took 45 minutes in line at the Post Office to get Sandy’s birthday gift off in the mail. This was after going yesterday at 4pm and they had shut off the computer so I couldn’t send it then. Old woman tried to get in front of me in line today. I told her she was behind me. She tried to appeal to my ignorance, but to no avail. Ana qdem, nti mura, safi? Kanfhm, blati, yak?

Went by to see Hind to see if she's completed the French translation of the Adwal display book info that I gave her. She's in some sort of training, so still don't have it to work on.

Also still waiting for Meriem to get me the Arabic information that they want in the menu and brochure for the ATPF creamery.

If it's this slow and quiet now, what is it going to be like during Ramadan?

Bright bit of news-they’ve painted the Coop’s showroom-just as Jared’s design indicated, and the tile is all in. It looks really nice. Neither Fatima nor Zahra were around to find out the timing for their grand opening.

Sat and watched Fatima weaving-it was like watching someone play a harp-singing to herself, plucking the tight warp threads quickly as she knows the pattern by heart to weave in weft by weft. Musical.

Pizza night tonight w/Pete. G&Ts on the roof. Chorizo from Marjane. He and I have terrible timing. I’m gone, then he is. Site-mates should coordinate so we have more overlap, esp. during summer months when it gets so quiet, to keep one another entertained! He’ll be heading out most of August and “gets” to miss Ramadan here-lucky guy. I need to check w/Randy on Adult Summer Camp in Ain Leuh. I need to plan a Ramadan break to look forward to.

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