Why do they still count money in Francs?
Why do they drive like maniacs?
Why do they steal my lighter all the time?
Why do they hit on me when I'm dressed normally, but not when I'm wearing a djellaba?
Why do Moroccans like Bryan Adams?
Why don't they get the difference between sickness and symptom, even when fluent in English?
Why are they so into 50 Cent?
Why do they use "insha'allah" as a way of saying "not going to happen?"
Why do they assume that all women walking alone are single?
I'm not a writer, I just play one in my pieces.
If you turn your attention to Amazon.com (and search for the title of my book), you will discover a rather interesting conversation between myself and the author of the older "Culture Shock! Morocco" title. I've been looking forward to contact with him for quite sometime now, but unfortunately, a public forum such as that is not really the place.
Although I found his book to be informative and interesting for a first-timer to the country, it is seriously lacking in information on modern, urban Morocco - which, by the way, is where the vast majority of foreigners find themselves living. He was a Peace Corps volunteer; I admire them greatly...they're privy to a lot of traditional culture and most end up speaking derija fluently (as opposed to me; I speak it only passably).
If you are looking at Amazon.com, you will see that the author defended his work by referring to "the praise" his book has collected on Amazon. Pardon me? Eight reviews (seven of which are positive and six of which were written prior to the 2001 update of the book) does not a masterpiece make.
Nevertheless, I'm not concerned. I would like Amazon to fix the mess, I would like to simply enjoy the fact that I, a dabbling writer, have been published.
Let me point out, also, that I am not claiming my own work as a masterpiece. Although I certainly have been frustrated by the portrayals of Moroccans in every book ever written on the subject from Lonely Planet to Cultuer Shock!, I was not exactly able to do the subject justice in 168 pre-planned pages. I have only done the best I can.
To paraphrase the other author, "let the readers be the judges."
When you're up, you're up, and when you're down you're down. I recently read an article in an issue of Glamour magazine sent to me by my lovely mom which discussed following your dreams, or not, and which is actually better. Well, that's a terrible summary, but sort of. Essentially, the author said that when you end up doing what you're "second best" at, you leave yourself open to daydreams and optimism for the road not taken. I really like that idea...
I am, however, following a dream...sort of. Actually, I don't really know what my ultimate life dream is. I want to sing publically, I want to be a writer, I want to influence the lives of children by way of teaching, I want to travel the world. Check, check, check, check. I recorded a CD with my college a cappella group, I've got a book, I'm a teacher, I've only seen about eight countries but that counts for something. What more could I ask for?
And yet I'm still a dreamer. I dream constantly about all of the things that will or might be. I submit myself constantly to suggestion, I send numerous e-mails out to anyone who might listen (remind me to tell the story of how I got a book deal - you'll never believe it!), I solicit. And then I dream. I take long, langorous baths and dream.
I can't upload photos because my USB key died...again. Bummer. The guy swore to me when I bought it that he would replace it if it died, however, so there is hope yet.
My Marrakesh vacation with H was absolutely fabulous. I couldn't have asked for a better time, and I even caught a cold, so that's saying a whole lot. The only downfall? Our room had a bathroom WITH NO DOOR. So there was lots of "um, could you please go outside for a few minutes?" We did all sorts of touristy crap too - light show at Menara, eating at PIZZA HUT. But whatever.
I'm writing a book. This one is not commissioned, however. The commissioned one comes out in two months. This one's for me and is mostly unformulated. We shall see.
Also, I realized this morning that I have everything I need and that is, my friends, a very good feeling.