Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Went to the Palace Today

 You probably think King Mohammed V invited me over; that would have been lovely. I hate to burst your bubble. I am really hopeful that I will be invited to see him and, of course, his beautiful wife from Fez. However, I actually went to a hair salon called The Palace, so my friend, Judy, could get her hair done.  We agreed that if I went with her to the salon, she'd go with me to the art store. She was the one who gave of herself much more!

Grande white taxi
Here's how it went as far as getting to the the big City: we walked down the school's long driveway, narrowly avoiding a few cows, people, little boys with sticks to use on the cows, and the usual mo-ped or two. Once we were at the foot of the driveway, it was time to throw ourselves into the Moroccan traffic hubbub, we put out our two fingers (meaning 2 passengers) and hoped for a grande, white taxi. One came in no time flat, and Judy and I piled into the front seat. The driver puts 3 in the front and four in the back, no seat belts, of course. You get the picture.

As you might notice from the photo, the doors have closing and opening issues. Mine today had flowery contact paper lining the inside of the door.

Petite Red Taxi
Once we had gotten into the outskirts of the city, we were spilled out of the taxi for only 5 dirhams (60 cents). Next we had to hail a petite, red taxi. These taxis are often dinged hatchbacks with the knobs to roll down the windows missing in the back seats. (Can't breathe, heat, sweat smell.) A man helped us secure a taxi, but almost immediately we knew we should not be in that particular taxi. The driver, smoking and sullen, asked us where we were from. Judy let it slip that we were Americans. The driver banged his hand against the steering wheel and seemed very upset. His eyes darkened......I was thinking of the nightly news. My eyes widened and my stomach sank. This was not good.

As a general rule, I really think we should say we are from Seattle, mention Bill Gates, and hope cab drivers like computers. It's just a thought. I'm going to try it the next time I am in a petite taxi.

Amazingly, Judy and I made it to a Kentucky Fried Chicken with the morose driver. We asked to be dropped off, and we did not quibble with the price. Happy to still be alive, we did not eat at the KFC; we had heard the chicken wasn't very good. Gosh, they probably got it off the side of the road....I have told you about the live chickens you can buy on the side of the road to cook up for supper, haven't I? 

Judy and I walked a few blocks and easily found The Palace. They ushered us right in; Judy was whisked away for her hair issues, and I asked if I could have a pedicure. Certainly, Madame. They give pedicures differently here. A pretty young woman pulled out one of those spa pans you get at Walgreens or Rite-Aid, but it was not electric. She had filled it with a bit of sudsy water, and I plopped my beach worn, Morocco dusty feet into the container. 

She asked me how I had destroyed my feet as I sat on a stiff chair with one foot up as high as I could put it comfortably. I meekly said something about the plage(beach), but it was a lame excuse. I have been wearing my Ann Taylor Loft flip-flops for 6 weeks non-stop? I had other things higher on the list to do? I have a hereditary problem with leather feet? I just smiled weakly instead and began working on a drawing.

The beautician really whipped my feet into shape. I want to go to her every week, maybe twice a week. However, I probably will never see her again. I do know where the Palace is now, and they do make me feel pretty special when I arrive.

Oh, wonder of wonders, after a great little lunch at a French cafe (eating outside! as women) we WALKED about 1/2 hour or more through rather poor neighborhoods to the area of the art supply store. The framer was not in, but the art store was hopping. We found out later that today is "back to school" days and payday as well. People were packed into the store like sardines or oil pastels in a box.

The owner took a personal interest in my needs, I had met him in the quiet of the summer when I had first arrived, so I was able to secure 3 canvases for my personal use along with some tubes of paint. He gave me a terrific discount because I am an art teacher. This made me joyful more deeply than you might be able to understand. He said he'd deliver the canvases Tuesday. (That could be any Tuesday in the calendar year. Trust me on this.)

We left the art store happy that we had accomplished so much today in a city of millions of people, even successfully enduring some who don't like Americans. 
(Most seem very friendly.)

We grabbed a petite, red taxi after leaving the art store and had a really nice driver. Then we piled into a grande, white taxi for our ride to the school. The back seat was filled with women covered in neatly wrapped head coverings and long Jellabas. We smiled happily at each other.

Sunflowers, my favorite, in Morocco!
Thank you, Lord for art supplies and friends who have prayed for me and for the arrival/finding of supplies. Thank you for protecting us in a large city in North Africa. Thank you that we worked through so many situations successfully. Thank you for smiles from fellow women in Morocco.

(Learning to get around town is a very good skill.) Good night from Morocco! 
Yes, I will tell the next generation 
       the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, 
       his power, and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:4

1 comment:

  1. You are hilarious in these posts- a good sence of humor will carry you through this year-like good medicine right!? Prov. 17 :D
    You must have your friends in stitches all the time!