Sunday, June 4, 2006

Morocco Trip: The Smoking Section

I got up around 8:00 and it still felt like 4:00 in the morning. Bother. I’m still not over jet lag. I took the pin curls down and had to figure out something to do to my hair, so I just wrapped it around my hand and piled it up on the back of my head.
Marie and I went outside and waited for Daniel. He didn’t appear for 5 minutes, so I went back up for my water bottle. I couldn’t find it at first, so it took me a while to come back down, and apparently Daniel had come out right after I left, so I kept them waiting for a bit. Bother. I’m always late.

We were planning to eat lunch at McDonalds. I ordered my food and joined Marie, who was sitting at a table with Daniel. We sat there and talked for about 2 hours, enjoying the air conditioning. I was bored. I went out at one point to take pictures, came back in, tried to tease Marie for teasing me about being a tourist, and got bored again. I wanted to be doing something, going to the medina, taking a walk, writing in my journal, anything but just sitting there.

I motioned to a dark cloud of smoke that always seemed to be rising from an area a little distance away that we could see out the window. “Why is that smoke always over there?” I asked Marie. “Because that’s the smoking section,” Marie replied. Daniel and I burst out laughing. “What?” Marie said. “That was just a clever reply,” I said. “OH! You mean that smoke over there! That’s from the kilns of the pottery makers. I thought you meant the McDonalds balcony, because everyone goes out there and smokes.” We all laughed again, and from then on, we always referred to that general region as “the smoking section.”
Another interesting topic of conversation was that Daniel wants a stop sign. He wants to ask some kids to get one for him. The stop signs are rather fascinating, being written in Arabic. We shall see if he succeeds.

About 2:00, we walked back. I thawed my bones from the air conditioning and then I felt sleepy. Marie went over to the A’s to check the internet, and I took a nap. I knew if I slept, I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight, but I couldn’t help it. I woke up around 4:00 to find Marie back. She was asking me if I wanted to go out with her. I didn’t feel like getting up yet, so I told her to go ahead, and I went back to sleep. Later I found out that they played Mao, which I would have LOVED. Oh well.
I woke up again around 5:00 feeling very hot, so I turned the fan on and sat up to write in my journal. I got a box of cornflakes and nibbled those—oops! out of my left hand! I’ve got to break that habit for at least as long as I’m over here! Then I ate 3 chocolates, and I was still feeling hungry, so I got the figs. I was peacefully eating figs while I wrote in my journal, when I popped one in my mouth and it tasted dusty. I took it back out of my mouth, and lo and behold, it was covered with bugs and a fat little white worm. I gave a little shriek of horror, spit out everything I had in my mouth, threw away that particular fig, put the container back in the kitchen, and went to the bathroom to rinse my mouth out. I can still taste that gritty little feeling of bugs on the tip of my tongue. Yucky. I don’t think I will venture to try another one of those figs. Maybe if we buy some new ones…maybe.
So that brings us up to date. It’s 8:35, Marie is not back, and I’ve been writing in my journal all this time. Yay! I caught up!
 After I wrote that, I went out to the balcony to pray, and I was greeted with the sight of a large fire burning off in the distance. Smoke hung in the air and people were milling about by the flames. I couldn’t tell if it was a house or a building or just a pile of rubble, because it had all burned down and looked like a heap. I climbed up on the edge of the balcony wall and took a picture of it, not without some trembling, because I was standing very high up on the edge of nothing.

Marie got home a few minutes later and I showed her the fire. Then I figured out a way to get up on the roof. That was cool! I want to go up there in the daylight sometime. I could see the fire better from up there, so I took another picture. There wasn’t much else to do or see in the dark, so I got down.
I ate a little supper of bread and dates while Marie and I talked. Then she went to bed. Tomorrow we’re going to eat breakfast out somewhere…some specialty food…so we have to get up early. I wasn’t tired, but I didn’t want to go to bed too late, so I stayed up and wrote a story I had thought of the night before, called “The Fancy Ditch.” By the time I was done, I was just about falling asleep, so I went to bed.

This is the sixth post in this series. 
Keep Reading: Arabic Lesson
Read the previous post: Shopping in the Medina
Begin at the beginning: The Journey Begins

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