Thursday, May 17, 2007

Week 1

The study is coming along slowly. Because of budget and availability, I may only have an interpreter for 2hrs/day and 2days/week; my English is relatively useless, my Arabic is non-existent (except for "hello" and thanks"), and my French is truly execrable (although I can now order that clutch chicken dish across the street... pardon, je voudrais le poulet plat avec des fritures). I have my first interview tomorrow: and I do mean a single interview. At the same time, I understand that this is how it will be for a while. I'm trying to avoid idleness.

I did make one achievement though: I went to the local supermarket with my flatmate and bought some groceries. The cereal box I chose was nothing but Arabic writing and one English phrase: corn flakes. They're some local brand; who knows how they taste. But then, as my English flatmate commented, "all corn flakes taste a little like soggy cardboard anyway."

In other news... Casa is exciting! The people are hospitable, warm, and eager to communicate. The city streets are nigh overwhelming: in addition to the masses of people and the insane drivers, I have seen unattended cattle, horsecarts, and one character wandering aimlessly around with an eel dangling from his hand. Yesterday I climbed out of a taxi too slowly and he ran over the back of my shoe. I suppose it could have been my heel.

There's supposed to be a shergui (sandstorm) sometime this week. My host suggested that by August I might need to buy a djellaba.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The beginning of a beautiful relationship?

Well, I'm here! I lost my phone enroute and twice misplaced my boarding passes, but after 23 hours of travel I've arrived in the Casablanca airport. The city is massive, throbbing with people, and mesmerizing. Men and women in full traditional dress are juxtaposed with modern business men and McDonalds. We passed both a Mercedes and a mule-drawn cart in the same block.

I want to tell you guys more soon, and show you pictures, but for now I have a lot of sleep to catch up on...