My move to North Africa this year ushered in an uncountable number of "firsts." From delivery to my new home--in a cart, on the back of a motorcycle--to embarking on the cultural marathon experiences of the major Muslim holidays (Ramadan and the Aid L Kbir--and even simply enduring the sweaty summer days (and chilly winter nights!)...these past few months of "normal life" have been bursting with stories of "unforgettable's!" To type each one, in detail, would require more time than it has to actually live the experiences themselves...so, in remedy, I will resort to the teacher's favorite fall-back....
So here you have it: my Top Two "Top Ten's" of 2010...Life in the Maghrib.
Top Ten Survival Items
1) A plug-in electric fan (who cares if it will "make me sick"...that won't matter if I suffocate from the heat first!)
2) Sunglasses (keeps the blue eyes on the low-down...that is, 'til I open my mouth) :)
3) Chacos--medina streets could use a face lift
4) "Lma"-Sida Ali! (Aka agua...I kept true to the Ramadan fast, minus my need for hydration. Those poor taxi drivers!)
5) Language Notepad... (not even a robber can come between me and my Drijah...he learned that the hard way!!)
6) Umbrella (in about a day, we went from sweating in sunrays to sloshing in street-streams)
7) Sturdy boots (no heels! remember that medina...)
8) Thick jilaba (still, plus the sunglasses)--even better disguise :)
9) Surf (aka small change, for the taxis...)
10) Stamps (holiday season at home!)
Top Ten Surprises
1) McDonald's becoming one of my favorite places in the entire city... (the biggest most beautiful fast food joint I've ever seen...and the "classy place to be" around here)
2) Enjoying running at six thirty a.m. ( certainly beats the 100+ degree heat!)
3) The correct chronology of greetings: Hello, how are you, are you Muslim, are you married?
4) Getting to say "praise God" instead of "excuse me" after burping...
8) Showing up for afternoon tea at an acquaintance's house for the first time...and being invited to spend the night
5) Hearing "good job!" instead of "shame on you" for licking my fingers after eating...
6) Being told "shame on you" for NOT eating ENOUGH cookies...
7) Being fed cake for breakfast!
9) Learing that the reason I had the stomach flu was because I "wasn't wearing enough pairs of pants" (of course, that's it...)
10) Discovering that toilet paper is really a non-essential...