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amazighstarrynights (profile) wrote,
on 4-4-2005 at 4:01pm
Music: I Can Love You Like That
Subject: The trip in Words
Laurence you asked for some written commentary on Morocco so I have complied - I am sorry that it has taken me so long.

So on the 17th of March, my trip to Morocco began. I had to spend the entire day in class, and then work and THEN I drove 4 hours to Milwaukee (in the rain and snow) to spend a few hours of sleep at Kaprice's apartment. At 2am (like 3 hours of sleep after arriving) I got up, got dressed uber cute and left, to drive to O'Hare. It was pretty uneventful. I parked my car, rode the shuttle to the airport and sat for awhile until the flight boarded to New York - the flight left at 6am. I was already tired but I was so excited I think it was masked well. Once at La Guardia, I had to transfer to JFK - so I took my luggage. Ok side note about luggage. I was in Morocco for a total of 6 1/2 days and my suitcase was 2 times the size as it was the previous trip, when I was there for 2 weeks. How does that happen? I digress. So I get to JFK, probably around 11am. The desk for Royal Air Maroc doesn't open until 3pm, so I had to sit there with my luggage for 4 hours, it was ridiculous. My flight didn't leave until 6pm so it was a WHOLE LOT of waiting. Once I was checked in I just chilled for awhile more. Youssef's brother and sister -in-law then came to the airport to meet me. They live in New York, but Ahmed (Youssef's bro) had an interview with the immigration people for his green card in the morning so they couldn't come until later. (He got the green card!! yay!) I was nervous to meet them too, but we had a nice talk and I was glad that they didn't seem to hate me. One of Malika's (Youssef's sister in law) friends works for Air France (it is a codeshare with Royal Air Maroc and Delta, and so I met her too and she changed my seats so I didn't have to sit way in the back, but got a better seat - not first class but not economy (business class?) It was nice! Once I finally got on the plane around 5:30, I was so nervous, I hadn't eaten hardly anything all day and I just wanted to get there. But once on the plane I got really sick, with a migraine and everything. The lady sitting next to me was really nice though so I didn't feel so bad. I slept the entire 6 hours to Casablanca. When we were deboarding my heart was racing. I only had a little more than an hour between my flights so I ate something and BAM it was time to get on the flight to Marrakech. This flight was only a half hour, just up and down. So as soon as we took off down the runway I knew it was only minutes before I would see Youssef again. Sitting here and typing this, is making me relive all of the feelings and emotions I was going through. I have knots in my stomach right now and I'm not going anywhere! When we touched down it was a typical Moroccan airport, big sandy field, with some runways and a gorgeous airport, lined with palm trees and big red flags with green stars flying all over. If I could have run into the airport I would have, but I just walked really fast. As soon as I got inside my heart sank. There were lines and lines of people waiting to go through passport control. And only a few guys checking them. I had to sit in line for over an hour and the longer I sat there the more frustrated and anxious I became. But it was my turn, no problems and voila I was on my way. I scoured the carousels to find my bag FAST and flew out the doors to the lobby. And there he was! I dropped everything and wrapped my arms around him, and didn't let go for a few minutes. It was just perfect. I almost started to cry but I was too happy. We walked out hand in hand to the taxi, and I was just in a total state of euphoria. In the car he had flowers for me and as we drove to his house he just kept telling me how much he loved me and that it must be a dream that I was right there with him. We drove from the airport into the Kasbah (the area he lives in) and everything came back to me. I felt at home, like this was home. Our walk to his house was short and like the gentleman he is, he carried my bags. I can't describe what Moroccan houses are like, well at least houses in the Kasbah - it's decieving. They look like big blocks of buildings but there are seperate houses inside. So to get to his house you go through this little tunnel and then there is a door that opens into the house. Kasbah houses have courtyards in the middle, with a tree or two growing - they are open to the outside, and then there are rooms that go off of the courtyard. We had to kiss in the tunnel, because you can't see the street and the people in the house can't see. One thing that is hard/different for me is that affection in public is a huge no-no. So I had been there for a half hour and hadn't kissed him yet! But when we did it was just wonderful. Then we went inside, and everyone was there! So we all kissed. I don't know if Moroccans adopted this from the French or if it's just something they do. But everytime you meet, even like in the morning when you wake up you kiss once on one cheek and twice on the other. And when you leave you do the same thing. So I got lots of kisses. Then he brought me upstairs to his room so I could change and rest for a little while before breakfast. Mostly we just kissed a lot!
When we went back downstairs it was breakfast time. One of his sisters brought in a bowl of something that looked like oatmeal and these other fruit like things that I had never seen. I promised I wouldn't ask what anything was, I would just eat it. So I dug in. The watery oatmeal was actually harira - which I guess is a version of oatmeal, it was ok. And the fruit was dates. I had never eaten dates, in fact I considered them something odd and something an old person would find appealing, but damn they were good - in fact I have 2 bags of them in my cupboard right now. So I ate until I was full, and then 10 minutes later, the real meal came out. Honestly I can't remember what it was anymore but there was a lot of food and they just kept saying "coolie, coolie" "eat, eat" Where was I suppose to put all of this food?!?! Don't get me wrong I love it that my boyfriend encourages me to eat, unlike American guys who turn up their noses if you don't just pick at a salad. But seriously, I couldn't eat anymore. After we ate we sat around the living room with his nieces and nephews and watched TV and talked. Just spent time together. Later in the day we decided to go out, we walked around Marrakech a little, then we went home and took a nap.
Side comment: What I love about Moroccans:
In Morocco it is expected that you consume food in enormous portions and you do so several - like 5 times a day. Not eating is strange, and not eating big hearty meals full of bread is just weird. Naps. I don't need to explain much more. The climate is hot and people take naps in the middle of the day. Yes I love this. Everything is slower. People take their time, conversation is an integral part of the day. Everyone knows everyone in their neighborhood. At night everyone goes out, young people in groups and adults with their families. Maybe it is just for a walk, or to go shopping but the evenings are full of people. I think there are more people out at night than during the day, at least Moroccans. The days are chock full of tourists. Some of the reasons I love Morocco

Back to the story. So we're napping. And wake up. I am bugging Youssef about something and he says, "Wait I'll be right back" So he comes back and tells me to close my eyes. Hmm ok. And he takes my hand. Heart pounding This is it girls. He puts one ring on my finger and then.....another one?!?!? Oh yes indeed 2 rings for Mandi! Yessss! I open my eyes and POW, not only did he get them in the right size they are gorgeous. Exactly what I would like, just what I would pick out - I'm actually a little shocked and freaked out but what the hell who cares! He looks at me with his big brown eyes and says, "Amera I love you, I want you to be my wife." There is hugging and kissing and hugging and kissing and a little crying. Even though I knew it was coming I was still teary. It's like 6 or 7 and time for another meal, only to be followed by another one around 10-11. His sisters were all checking out my rings, telling him he did a good job choosing. Yea I was impressed too. Food time. We're talking BIG meals here. And they eat with their hands. It took me a really really long time to figure out how they pick up the food on the bread. But I think I'm pretty good at it now. After consuming 20 more pounds of food, we got dressed to go to the disco. Oh I love the clubs. But in 2 1/2 days I had slept oh 8 hours so I was dragging. But in the club all of the rules of the outside don't exist. So we can kiss and do whatever (well within limits) we want. We danced and kissed and had just a really good time. It was so cute too when we would see someone he knew. He introduced me as his fiance and would show them the rings. I laughed every time, but he was really proud of me and that made me feel good. That someone cares and loves me so much that he wants everyone to know. We went home around 2am, and he snuck upstairs to cuddle with me for a little while, but not too long or mom might find out!!!

Can't wait for the 2nd Day??
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