Wednesday, June 25, 2008


When Morocco wants you out, she kicks you out. With the heel of the boot.
Somehow I got tricked into spending my five hour layover entirely within airport walls, instead of wandering the streets for some last minute kicks.

She finally gave me most of my voice back, but kept my luggage in exchange.

But it feels appropriate. This is how I pictured my last moments in the Maghreb.
This is basically the way I arrived, eating the lettuce out of a frozen sandwich from the airport.

Monday, June 9, 2008


The wheat shimmers in the bread. Long pieces of it.
Consider the view from behind my glasses compared with the view outside the lens. Juxtaposed, two confused versions of the same thing.

I started announcing my departure- my favorite response is when someone hangs their head and sighs.
The manager at Cafe Paris is going to give me his sister-in-america's address so I can go visit.

Mohamed’s baby was born and is named Hamza. I wonder about the family name. If it can be linked to drug-lords from Al Hoceima, like everyone says is probably the case.

Absalom got married. I wasn’t invited.
He came into the cinema with his new bride. I asked why he didn't tell me earlier, and he looked at me and responded in a mix of Arabic and English, something along the lines of “I was completely enamored with my new wife that I forgot to invite you.” Of all the things he could have said, this was probably the least disappointing response. Still, I would have loved a chance to redeem myself from the Bir Shifa incident.

In the spirit of having my fill of the Mediterranean before I am banished to the Atlantic, I went to Greece.
Everyone thought I was Greek.
Everyone looked like my mother.
One of these women was at the seminar I was flown in for. She was wearing a hot pink shoulderless t-shirt under a black spandex dress. She suggested instead of “dialogue” or “unity” as the theme for next year’s call for proposals, we use “bread.”
“Because everyone love bread,” she said.
That also reminded me of something my mother might do.

All over were posters of a man who was an exact 50/50 cross between my mother and father. My Greek brother? His name written in Greek looked like mountains colliding into parts of a wheelbarrow.

We drove to the Temple of Poseidon for sunset. The sea was moving in jerky slow motion like the leathery skin under the fin of a dolphin. The open mouth of the temple made everything around it more possible. Aesthetically, vaguely closer to perfection than any other given thing, sitting up on a hill with arms crossed above a full belly like it was pleased with itself.
We watched the sunset there then ate fish, the same fish we have over here and I wondered how the cultures of the coast affects their personalities. They tasted like they maybe had less of a backbone than moroccan fish. More willingness to cooperate.

My last night I spent at Hotel Zorbas and was greeted by some Spaniards in the shared dormintory in the thick of the night. I had fallen asleep to a Spanish music station looping Jennifer Lopez, George Michael and Britney Spears, which, I found upon waking, had at some point transformed into hardcore porn (or softcore at a climax). The girl was very polite in asking if she could turn off the television, or if I was still watching.
I snuck out like a thief in the night at 4am to catch my free ride to the airport from a different hotel, hiking through the streets of Athens, hoping it was as crime-free as the website insisted. It’s amazing what a girl will do for a free taxi. Legitimately, it would have cost one fourth of my monthly Moroccan salary to order my own. But getting away reminded me how lucky I am to have access to fresh bread and chicken and fish and figs for $1 a kilo this week. And how I have exactly two weeks left to enjoy these things.