I am obsessed with my kitten.
And so I bring you...Ode to a Moroccan kitten!
She loves to type.
She seems to grow each day, really.
Best friends forever.
A bit of vacationing...
Fez from afar...
Volubilis. Quite possibly one of the best photos I've ever taken.
Hard to believe sometimes that this is an hour away by train!
My American visitor in front of Bab Guissa, Fez. Not my favorite bab, man.
I'm a column.
The photo doesn't do it justice - standing here you get the distinct feeling of being taken back in time...For me, it was to tenth grade Latin class ;)
Can you believe how well preserved this is for being out in the open and protected only by a thin rope at its entrance (which one could EASILY step over, mind you)?
My boyfriend chillin' at the Basilica.
I got YELLED AT by an OLD MAN for taking this picture. DUDE, it's a CHICKEN. Get over it. ENTA DIJAJA. But you know what? He was angry because I wasn't taking photos of historic monuments. Okay old Fassi, I've been to your city plenty of times. I deal with the hassle of your obnoxious neighbors EVERY TIME. If I want to take a picture of a chicken, I'M GONNA DO IT!
Just try to stop me.
The Americans in Morocco...
...Are quite possibly all crazy.
What I really wish I knew was what drove the Fassis to become such leeches? Honestly, I love Fez...I love the way it smells, the way it looks, the things I can eat and buy there, but I really don't love the Fassis. Not one bit.
Recently, a friend from the US came to visit. Our first (and only, as she ended up getting sick) side trip was to Fez - my boyfriend drove us to our hotel, waited, then the three of us taxied our way to Fez al-Bali aka the medina. We arrived, did some shopping, and then...it started to pour. My friend was getting hungry. My boyfriend was getting irritated. So we did what any Americans would do and had my boyfriend ask some guy for directions to a restaurant.
Please keep in mind that I am not stupid nor naive. I know Morocco, and I know better than to ask someone here for directions and expect that they'll just point a finger left or right and leave it at that. But it was pouring. And we were wet and hungry. In other words, we'd turned into whiny American tourists.
So my boyfriend and my friend and I followed some guy through the bowels of the medina, up hill, down hill, around hill, everywhere, until finally we reached some unnamed restaurant. Our "guide" kept saying in shoddy English (despite the fact that neither American had really spoken a word of English up to that point) "I find you good meal, good meal." We, cranky, did not protest.
And good meal it was. The restaurant was beautiful, as was the delicious spread:
What was not delicious, however, was the bill. After all was said and done, the previously lively and English speaking owner plopped down a bill in front of us that read 1,070dh.
For those of you following along at home, that's about $100. For food that usually costs a maximum of maybe $20 (and usually less than that). 300dh for a tajine? Are you fucking kidding me?
But, my lovely American guest lives in New York City, and after picking my boyfriend and my jaws up off the floor, she offered to pay, rationalizing the cost by how much she might pay for a sumptuous feast such as ours in New York.
All is well that ends well, and our meal ended with us full, slightly more dry, and certainly happy, at least with our stomachs.
Eid Mubarak to all of my Muslim readers (or non-Muslims in Muslim countries who are just as psyched because this means MORNING COFFEE!) I'm not doing anything special for Eid, but I am going to the hammam tomorrow (like a virgin...SCRUBBED for the very first time!) and the director of my school gave all of us teachers, Moroccan and American, a nice big Eid bonus. That was exciting, actually, and totally unexpected. Perfect timing too, because the teachers are going to a conference in Marrakesh this weekend and I plan to do some shopping - something for my boyfriend, a couple things to send to the US, a wool bag (that I've been waiting to buy for a year!). Very excited. Plus, Oliveri Ice Cream. Man, I could rave about that place for weeks. It beats Ben and Jerry's any day, and I'm a Vermonter, for all intents and purposes (well, my drivers' license says I am, anyway).
I took in a street cat I named her Hallie, but unbeknownst to me, my She cat was actually a He. So I've decided to keep the name, since he's already starting to understand it (he's old, not a kitten). He's pretty affectionate and calm, which is cool, and I'm glad he's old because I'm well, noncommittal. Here he is:
I've been relatively sick lately, and so haven't taken part in much of the breakfast festivities (though I am fasting), instead choosing to photograph the sunset as much as possible. Here's a photo from downtown Meknes:
I've also been on a buying spree lately, mostly of junk I don't need, particularly fake designer items (YES, I know they're ruining the global market, NO I don't care, thanks Time Magazine). I bought a "Dior" wallet the other day, and an "Armani" coat and some "Puma" sneakers. But my favorite, non-faux designer buy was this toothpaste:
Yes, my friends. HALAL brand mint toothpaste. It's vegan, actually, and the top left of the tube says "Smile With..." Aww!
And I finally made a tajine! And it didn't suck! Please note the shebakia chilling on the plate.
Oh, and the other new member of the household:
Or perhaps she's not new. And last but not least:
Holla! Majid gave me that as a gift. It's on my bedroom wall. Mo-Rockin', man.