Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Peanut butter and safety boards

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:
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.


EverythingMorocco said...

No, no peanut butter. Once Metro had Skippy but it sold out and that was that. Marjane had some Peter Pan and that went away too, never to return. I got some real pb in Denmark, but the stuff in Spain, actually called American Peanut Butter with a picture of the flag, was disgusting.

I always leave room for it in my suitcase! Nice blog.

scarlettscion said...

If you buy me a blender, I can MAKE perfectly yummy peanut butter for you. It's just emulsified peanuts, sugar, and stabilizers, which aren't necesary.

rilly super said...

Thanks ever so for the link lady M and good luck on the peanut butter front.

lady macleod said...


I think that will be my method as well. Q volunteered to make some,that will be delicious.

Thank you for coming by, and the nice words.

lady macleod said...


next visit to Marjane: blender

lady macleod said...

rilly super,

You are most welcome. I shall keep you updated on the peanut butter front.

taamarbuuta said...

We have peanut butter in Meknes! Let me know if you want me to pick some up for you and hold onto it until you pass through Meknes or I pass through Rabat!

Actually, when I first arrived, there was a brand called "Crystal" that had peanut butter, but shortly after Hurricane Katrina, it disappeared. Turns out the company was based in New Orleans.

lady macleod said...


That's a very kind offer. Q has offered to make me peanut butter if I buy a blender. Next trip to Marjane! I shall let you know how it turns out, you may want to get your peanut butter here.

Thank you for coming by, and again for the kind offer which I will take you up on after she leaves as I will NOT be making peanut butter.

scarlettscion said...

if I can manage some sterilized mason jars, I can make you PB to last for awhile...of course, I could give you botulism instead...

jk, botulism isn't really a problem for nut butters.

I Beatrice said...

Oh my - shall I send you some? Peanut butter I mean.
With my Australian friends, now, it's the vegemite that's missed! But nothing in this wide world would induce me to purchase pack and post a pot of vegemite! I mean - there are limits to all things.

Rilly's message to you about links has made me feel very bad about myself again. I never did manage to get round to making any links with other bloggers. It's not that I feel myself somehow unlinkable-with, or in some vague way above linking... (Heaven forbid I should be so exclusive!) It's just that the thing sounds so complicated, and I never do seem to find the time to try to master it.

I loved your contempation of the woman on the donkey by the way (I hope it was a donkey she was on, but haven't time to go back to check.) Just the sorts of questions a novelist might ask - you ought to write one!

david santos said...

Please, it puts fhoto of Madeleine in your Bloggue

Missing Madeleine!
Madeleine, MeCann was abduted from Praia da Luz, Portugal on 03/03/07.

If you have any information, please contact Crimestoppers on
0800 555 111

Please Help

lady macleod said...

i beatrice,

to link or not to link? It is up to the individual eh? If you want to give it a go, click on Customize, then the little square that says Blog of Interest. Copy the addresses of any blogs you want on your list.

Thank you, as always for coming by. About that novel, I'm working on it!

lady macleod said...

David Santos,


EverythingMorocco said...

I forgot to mention last time I love the name of your blog! Very good :)

lady macleod said...

ha! Thank you.