Sunday, August 22, 2010

Settling In Casablanca

A first for today: I was drinking from my water bottle with my head inside my purse(it's a big purse) so I would not offend those keeping Ramadan. :-)

It is a lovely, hot, sunny day in Casablanca. I am almost through unpacking at my second apartment. It is a good feeling. I've put up pictures of my family and friends. I have found my books to teach art. I have killed a baby cockroach. All in a day in the life here. Here is a view out my bedroom window.

The bakery has opened across the way, and I am hopeful to find some Moroccan pizza for lunch or dinner. It's hard to know what time it is around here. Lunch begins at two in the afternoon, and the breaking of the fast begins at seven PM. The muslims break fast with a very delicious soup, so I hope to get invited to one of the evening meals!

I have a packaged version of this good soup that Knorr makes so you can see what the name of it is. I hope to learn how to make it from scratch. 

I feel like I am making cultural mistakes right and left. When I was in the Marjan, a Walmart type store, people kept circling me, stopping and staring. I think the word was spread quickly that I was in the store as more and more people suddenly started coming down my aisle. I didn't know whether to be friendly; I can't make eye contact with the men unless it is a service person, and even then, it can't be for too long. 

My roommate, Jill, and I did have fun talking with a clerk that checked our receipt on the microwaves we bought. He said he liked "Beel Cleentin". Bill Clinton is good. I asked what he thought of Barak Obama, and he said, "Comsi, Comsa" which means OK, but he wasn't too enthusiastic. We then asked how old the king of Morocco was as it was his birthday. He is 63 yesterday. I sang a little "Happy Birthday" in french to the roi (king) and the clerk smiled a lot.

I found out a beggar that comes up to me asking for a set amount of money is not a legit beggar. This did happen to me a couple of days ago, and I kept saying, "La!, la!, la!" which means no. Fortunately, that was the right thing to do, but I wasn't sure until I read about beggars. There are all types:-) Even then, I could have given that beggar something and it could have been OK. Maybe. Just don't know. 

I thought you might like to see a building that is being constructed right around the corner. I am fascinated by the creative ideas of the people here. They must be able to think outside my little American box of how things are done. I am trying to take in so much all at once. It's exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Well, time for another shower! Yep, it's HOT here!

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