25 September 2006, Fez, Morocco, 0754 hrs
Second Day of Ramadan
Yes, well, the big news today is – we did not die in a fire last night. While not as dodgy as electricity in India (it does not bugger off as often, albeit does on occasion) the Moroccan system is of one of parsimonious usage. We have a total of two working plugs in the apartment; apparently the other two are only for show. We have our computers plugged in, the fan, two very small, very small, no - really small lamps, the kettle, and an open spot on the extension for the iron and/or whatever else may need plugging in when needed. I had put my electric toothbrush on this spot overnight, with the fan and kettle off, and the computers asleep; I thought I was safe enough. Apparently not, since around three a.m. a popping noise woke me (thank you Shiva) and at the end of the bed, on the table where we have the kettle, the tea set-up, and a large basket full of ‘stuff’; it was there I saw the flames shooting up from the cloth covering the tea tray set next to the toothbrush. I sprang (sounds like Christmas doesn’t it?!) from the bed, wide awake, pulled the cover off, knocked the electric toothbrush and base to the floor, while reaching with my other hand to unplug the device. It was during this gymnastic feat that I was stomping on the fiery cloth with my sandaled feet (said sandals of which I had brilliantly placed at the bedside - obsessive ness is a virtue). Once again I was grateful for our large and private balcony as I carried the now reeking cloth and electrical device outside, closed the shutters, latched the double glass doors, assured myself nothing else was in danger of igniting, and returned to sleep.
During this entire Beach Party Bingo scene (those of you of a certain age will get this reference, you know who you are; the rest of you think of your own metaphor), Q briefly lifted her head, ask if everything were “A’righ’?”, and then drifted quickly back into a sound and undisturbed sleep.
After my morning ablutions, I threw the mess on the balcony away, did a swift clean up (I love Clorox), and made morning tea
Meanwhile back at the school, Q’s teacher made the most gentle observation when she explained to him her philosophy regarding fasting – which involves not doing it. She is fasting after breakfast to lunch, and after lunch to dinner. His comment was lovely, “It is fine. God will stitch it all together.”
1817 hrs local time
Ah! The prayer call sounds out over the city, coming after the cannon shot; time to break the fast! Oh lovely, Earl Grey tea with milk, crisp yellow apples, banana, almonds, and succulent dates that ooze sweet syrup. Q has made a traditional Moroccan soup (more like a stew) for Ramadan. It has lamb, cinnamon, fava beans, tomatoes, and a host of spices I cannot begin to name. It is luscious. We had walked to the nearby hamut before sunset, and purchased fresh loaves of the local bread to serve with the soup – heavenly.