We all have our own individual way of going about daily tasks don’t we? Some of us are procrastinators (moi), some are organizers, and some are excruciatingly productive. M.C. is a digger. When he visits the litter box he makes a trench that is large enough for his entire tiny body. After completing his task he creates a mountain of litter to cover it. Like corruption, I love instinctual behavior when it works for me.
I have taken on the job of keeping our street cleared of the ice cream wrappers. It is a small task, but gives me enormous satisfaction. I like it for the sake of having a clean street, I like the idea of doing something neighborly, and I don’t want the hoards of tourist (they have increased in number with the increase of temperature; who would have thought?) to take away an impression of trash on the streets in Morocco.
A blog from Egypt with wonderful photographs and descriptions: http://haramlik.blogspot.com/
The name of the blog is “Turn Right at the Sarcophagus”. Isn’t that fabulous?
Abdul came over to replace the wicker/rushes contraption on the glass roof with a more substantial covering. It is a large, heavy blanket or rug. When I expressed some dismay because when it rains the cloth will hold the moisture and cause extended leaks. Abdul replied, “Oh there is no worry about that as there will be no more rain.”
“No more rain? For how long?” I ask with no small amount of dismay.
“Not until winter.”
I saw, on the ride from Fez (in our private, comfy, air conditioned, door to door SUV), the women in the fields mining the gardens with hoes, and planting seedling with sticks, much as it was done fifty and even one-hundred years ago. I saw a woman riding her donkey. Her djellaba pulled over her clothing, her bright red hat with its flat, wide, brim - tassels and dangling red balls keeping time to the hooves of her steed, going along the dirt road that parallels the very well kept up highway where we were speeding along. Where was she going? What was strapped on the donkey behind her? What does she think about globalization? Does she love her husband? What hopes does she have for her daughters? How are her teeth? Has she ever had a mammogram? Does she know what Botox is? Arriving in Rabat you see the urban stylish women in Western clothing and gorgeous djellabas of every hue and style some with babies, some with briefcases. Going from Rabat to Casablanca you see more mechanized farm equipment and no few large factory/industry compounds.
I find myself paying meticulous attention to the care and maintenance of my feet. Because I am constantly wearing sandals here I am constantly washing my feet, putting on lotions, scraping off dead skin, and in general giving myself an ongoing pedicure. Not even when in India at the hottest times of the year do I wear sandals. I always wear my boots in order to avoid having to constantly side step the ubiquitous paddies of cow shit. I am all for homage to the great Lord Brahman, but I prefer to keep my toes smelling of boot leather. When walking the streets here, there arises the unavoidable comparison with India. The pungent odors of India stay with you long after the plane has left the airport at Delhi. Fez is notable for the cleanliness of the city. Not the Clorox wiped clean of the West, but rather a sand scoured clean of the desert. Oh there are smells, indeed there are; and not all of them pleasant. But as I settled into the life of the city, I find myself bending toward the pleasant, and simply brushing away the offensive, much as I do the constant but non-lethal insects. The same is true of Rabat but with the scent of the ocean and a constant cool breeze.
Back September last, when I unpacked all the sundries (wet wipes, toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, ASA, various medications for a sweeping variety of ills, a good sized first aid kit complete with needles, silk thread, and latex gloves, lotions for face and feet, bath goods, soap (all in quantities to last three to six months) I had so meticulously shopped for, and packed in preparation for our stay in Morocco, Q’s comment was, “You know I don’t think I ever want to go to India.” Shaking her head, “India must be a really scary place. You can get most all of that stuff here Mom.”
The men are back in the street, only two now with pick ax and sledgehammer, they are expanding the opening to the drain for some reason. I was watching them from the window upstairs and saw the chips big and small fly off the edge of the tools. I thought of the West with our OSHA and Boards of Health and Safety. These men have no protective eyewear to keep out the dangerous pieces of rock. The sound is like an ominous gong in some scary Poe story.
I can find no peanut butter in Morocco. I have looked for it. It is the one item Abdul has asked us to bring him when next we go West. I did find the teeny boxes of Ritz crackers today. What a treat. But noooo peanut butter.