Monday, 14 May 2007

Blogs, cats, and rugs

I find it interesting that when I was in my twenties and thirties and was climbing mountains and jumping out of airplanes people said, “Are you nuts?” I have found this past decade the response to the very same activities is, “Well good for you!” Now what the dickens does that mean? Now that I have some age and experience on me it’s all right if I die in a meaningless pursuit of danger, or was I so much more loveable in my youth more people feared for my life? No that can’t be it. I am still really adorable.

I spent yesterday caring for Stinky as Q had gone to Fez for work, and to help Caroline prepare for exit to the U.S. I will miss Caroline and Neal, as they are truly adorable. Two very bright, involved, compassionate people who are just right for each other. I am sure Q and A (he he) will stay in touch as they got on well in that couples genre.

Stinky, hereafter to be known as M.C. Solaar (MC for Moroccan cat, and Solar after the French rapper), had a great day. After a shaky start and two visits to the vet, hand feeding, bottles, and antibiotics – he was running, playing, jumping, eating, and hitting the litter box every time (huzzah) with formed stool (as opposed to his former state of diarrhea, hence his nickname). Q’s intensive care of him has paid off in spades. As Q said, "It is hard to get more resilient than African feral cat stock."

The afternoon found me in Blog World. I found some excellent advice on on how to network in cyber world. I am hoping that my blog will work as a website to showcase my writing. I am fairly certain I shan’t meet a literary agent on the streets of Morocco, so I have to look in cyber world – easier on the feet as well.

Continuing with my premises that if you want adventure go out the front door.. I went to the Medina to get some cookies for Q who is feeling a bit tired from the back and forth trips of late, and to the apothecary to lay in some preemptive drugs for the next migraine. I stopped by Hussein’s DVD stand and found “King Kong”. I was continuing to browse when a lovely young woman came up to me and ask, “Do you speak English?” Thinking to myself that with her beautiful face and sun kissed complexion encased in a white hijab she was unlikely to be a Brit in search of a loo, but then again you can’t judge by appearances.
“Yes, what can I do to help you?”
She was joined by a young man who said, “We would like to ask you questions for a study we are doing. If you don’t mind?”

‘Well, how long would that take,” I asked not wanting to find myself spending the afternoon in a café’ (which can happen easily) because I have work to do.

“Only two minutes,” he said.

Are those two ‘Moroccan’ minutes I am thinking?

“Certainly then.” I turned to pay the ridiculously low price for my DVD. When I turned back it was to see the young woman pointing a CAMERA at me. I don’t even like still photographs, to be caught on film – voluntarily – for those who know me is extraordinary, but I had already said yes. I look on movie cameras, just as I would a pissed off cobra.

Maryam and Driss are graduate students making a documentary film about the interactions of culture worldwide and how that is impacting life on both sides of the line. “How did you see Morocco after 9/11?”

“Exactly the same of course. Morocco had nothing to do with that incident,” I said.

“Do you think Moroccan women are oppressed?”

After a chuckle I said, "The Moroccan women I have met are very much in charge of their lives. Do there need to be legal changes made? Is there legal oppression? Certainly there is and just as they had to change in Europe and America changes need to be made here. Fatima Zora and Maryam, our friends in Fez, are two young women who have started their own business. I also realize this is a different culture, and what seems as important as breathing to me may not be of the same signifigance to a Moroccan woman. I have read of many organizations of women, for women, to improve the laws.

“We noticed you are wearing the djellaba. Can you tell us why?”

“Having spent part of my youth in India, and points north, I like to be sensitive to the culture of others, and I like to show my respect for that culture. In addition I find the djellaba a beautiful garment and suited to the weather, just as the salwar kameez is suited to India. Both garments work with the weather. I don't wear the djellaba in Marrakesh however.”

Inquiring looks

"Because I noticed it was not well received. I think it is because there are so very many tourists in Marrakesh that it is seen more as a costume than a measure of respect so I wear my western clothes there."

The two very handsome and engaging youngsters took my card, as they want to read my blog to see what I have to say about living in Morocco. Yes, I will go anywhere to recruit new readers!

There is no lapse of time between complaining of something broken, or something needed and the solution from our landlord Abdul. The sink upstairs was leaking last night, bada boom he is here with the repairman not thirty minutes after we call, and in addition fixes the stuck lock on my bedroom door and the loose piece of cedar framing. As we are watching the plumber he ask me if I would like him to give the interior of the place a coat of paint next we are out of town for a day? What do you say to that? Oh my giddy aunt.

When Q returned from her trip to Fez she was shocked to find that not only had everyone (the orange juice man, the hanut man, the sandwich shop men, the ladies next door) noticed that she was gone, but she was now required to give testimony to her adventures.

Benevolent Selfishness works, the following is a post from:

09 May, 2007
I believe in the world
Jonny Z died, and Jonny Z was good. Just: good; rare; valuable. I am baffled & far away; I want to do good deeds & dedicate them to him, I want Marrakech to be a different place than it was last week.
Today in the grand taxi, I paid for everyone's ride -- 24dh, a tiny present to the world, from Jonny Z via me. It took some explaining. Everyone was generally bemused, and then they started talking about me, in front of me. (this happens all the time.) "She works in this women's association," a guy in a leather jacket explained to the women in the front seat. (no clue who this guy is. o morocco.) Everyone started chattering about the association, or women's associations in general; I tried to pay attention, and then my head started to hurt so I looked out the window.
When we got to Sidi Youssef, one of the front seat women tugged on my sleeve -- she said she was interested in the association's activities, she wanted to come with me to check it out. She asked Halima polite, general questions, but Halima can always tell: she brought a glass of water, and closed the door.
I sat in the room while they talked for an hour. She started calm, until she rolled up her sleeve and showed us her bruises. She took off her hijab and sobbed into it, covering her mouth. I understand 2% of what she says, but I can tell she's tough. I have a little kid's faith in Halima: she will fix this, she has powers. They stood in the doorway, saying goodbye for a long time, holding hands. Halima came back inside, tight-mouthed, and made some calls.
There was probably no better place in the world for this woman to come today.
I feel better “
This is from a friend of Q, a fellow Fulbright Scholar who is in Marrakech at present. Isn’t that brilliant?!

Q brought our new rugs from Fez! They are gorgeous and the fit is perfect. I took some photographs and I will post them tonight.

A cool and continuous strong breeze has made its way through all of Rabat today sweeping out the heat and humidity of yesterday. Delicious.


mutterings and meanderings said...

There's lots going on in Lady M land. Where are you from originally? I thought I had you pinned down, then you said "My giddy aunt" ...

Andres Carl Sena said...

sounds like you've lived a life of sticking your hand into creation and seeing what happens. nicely done.

taamarbuuta said...

Hello again! I figured I ought to comment here since there were several causes for reply - first, you're welcome (re: Global Voices) - it's so exciting to find one new Morocco blog, let alone a whole slew (which I discovered following your links - how did you find me yesterday?). It's even better to discover afterward that you're looking for new readers for your blog - here's hoping that a bunch drop by!

As for your questions - I'm from the States (New Hampshire to be precise) and I suppose we go to Rabat often because Meknes is boring, to tell you the truth.

Thanks again, and I'm sure we'll run into each other, so to speak, soon.

lady macleod said...


No one is really quite sure, depends on who you speak to regarding the subject.

Thank you for coming by!

lady macleod said...


I found you on the blog for EXPATS.

I'm sure we shall "run into each other". Perhaps lunch one day?

Thank you for visiting.

lady macleod said...

andres carl sena,

What a fabulous visual (he he), and yes I do. Great fun so far..

taamarbuuta said...

P.S. You're looking for a gym? I know of one women's only gym that has modern electronic equipment, but it's in the Mega Mall in Souissi.

lady macleod said...


I'm rather desperate at this point. I fear the back of my bum reaching the back of my knees - yikes! Need to run!

I shall check it out. thank you

Liz said...

Beautiful kitten, scary sandstorm.

I was grumbling that my knickers kept riding up my bottom; then I realised it wasn't my knickers rising but my bottom dropping.

Pamela Jeanne said...

I'm enjoying your posts! I discussed you and your blog over dinner with my world-traveling friends Sunday evening. They reminsced about their favorite parts of've given me new material for small talk! Cheers...

lady macleod said...


LOL. thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I am always glad to be of assistance. (he he)

I am pleased to have you 'over' again. Thank you.

Geoff said...

Many thanks for visiting my somewhat under nourished blog.
I love Turkish/Afghan rugs . In fact I have banned myself from visiting shops selling them - as I'm a total sucker. I was once stopped at customs in Gatwick for trying to smuggle them in :-(
Maybe I need a trip to Morocco to test my resolve!

lady macleod said...


Thank you for coming by. Oh yes you most certainly should come to Morocco. I will send you to our friend Mohammad at Coin Berbere in the Fez Medina. I doubt you can get yourself out of there without falling in love with a rug or two! he is a wonderful chap and his ancient father is a hoot.

You will find the Moroccan rugs, especially ones of Berber design quite different from the Turkish and Afghan varieties I think.