Monday, 7 May 2007

rock, paper, scissors

I was walking through the Medina and saw two small boys engaged in what could have only been a game of” rock, scissors, paper”. I think in Africa there are different signals, however the intention was quite clear. Some things are international and translate without difficulty. Who knows perhaps the game began here?

I have had three occasions now to use my knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) while here in North Africa. The first was in the hanut nearby the Villa. A young boy came in with his friend and it was quite clear he was mute. I thought I would give it a go and when he understood and answered me, I don’t know which of us was more shocked. Now I have found there is a young man who works in the local market and is deaf as well. I had to get him to slow down, but we had an understandable conversation. I wish I had brought my text with me, but there is an excellent site on the Internet that works as a dictionary. The third instance is the young chap at the flower stand at the other end of the Medina. We got on quite well and he told me he has been deaf since birth and learned ASL at the English school.

The shoes of the women in Morocco are shocking. I thought in Rabat, a more sophisticated city, that the women who in Fez dress like it was 1964 would be more modern. Not so. They wear the pointy-toed stiletto heels of three inches! On the rocky dirt and pot filled sidewalks and roads in Fez, on the sidewalks and in the heat of Rabat, with jeans, with dresses, and with the djellabas. It makes my feet ache to see them, and I am talking all ages here. Jimmy Choo would go quite mad with joy I should think.

I have solved the mystery of the sudden appearance of the trash on our little cobblestone street. It has always been so well kept up since our arrival, and the chap comes along at seven in the morning to pick up all the trash and wash down the street. It is the onset of summer. Apparently this causes the appearance of ice crème stands. The big favorite is an ice crème on a stick, causing the wrappers and sticks to be dropped on the street during the day. Sigh and a smile.

Speaking of fashion – I have noticed a definite difference in the style in which the hijab is worn, depending on the region and city. In Fez it is pulled loosely around the neck and tied up neatly to the side oft times with a pin. In Rabat there is a flange to the side and the pin is not as often present. In Marrakech it is tied closely and tightly under the chin and covers the chest or is knotted over the chest.

Sounds of the Oudalyas: there is a chap who pulls his cart through in the morning and again in the afternoon selling fresh vegetables. His call sounds like “ha-moot” and the cadence is in turn with his footfalls. At four in the morning one of our neighbors is up every morning at his prayers. The singing is quite comforting actually, and of course you can hear the call to prayer from the mosque during the day. The children who play outside my door are two groups: the little girls come out and play ‘house’, and the boys come out and play football. Yes, yes, I know I hear the feminists screaming but I am just an observer! The sounds of shrieking and laughter are quite wondrous. I think they have just about gotten the message that Pam and her bribe-them-with-candy-theme has exited the building; there’s a new sheriff in town. Q suggested we hand out toothbrushes just to confuse them. I don’t know where she got that wicked sense of humor, really I don’t.

The wedding in Fez apparently went off well and Q has many photographs. I will see if I can’t get a few up for you in the coming days. The weddings here are such a production, as you have never seen. There are six costume changes for the bride! The wedding party, depending of the size of the wedding, also changes costumes, as does the mother of the bride. The music is played at a decibel range for deaf hippopotamuses and everyone dances.

The heat is scheduled to begin this week, up to the high eighties. We will see how cool the salon and bedrooms stay. I am hoping for the best, we have fans in reserve.

I am fascinated at the world of blogging. I have been perusing the different blogs and wow! Every subject and every stage of complexity. What fun. I love the 21st century.

I see that the Queen has been visiting the Colonies. What a great reception from the Americans! She went to the Kentucky Derby which is not surprising given that she is an avid horse person as well as loves to bet the races!

So what do you think is the difference between cat people and dog people? Dog people are really looking for love and approval don’t you think? I mean you always hear dog people talk about the “unconditional love” of their pet. How the dog will “always be there when you call”. That dogs are “faithful” to their owners and shun or even attack strangers.
Cat people on the other hand tend to be more independent or more aloof? It could go either way. From this group you hear, “A dog comes when you call, a cat comes when he is damn good and ready.” Neither the cat nor cat people will be loving to you or your friends unless the fancy strikes them, where they may well sit in the lap of your enemy and purr.

I've been quite good and trudged up to the roof/terrace and watered the garden a good sloshing, as it is to be quite warm on the morrow.

Under the headings of "Whoo hoo!" and "Whew" the nice postman came today and hand delivered my package from Cathy with my medication. Funny because I had just before gone to the nearby Post to see if it had come in and they had not sent a notice. Now I know, great service that.

There is a new odd smell upstairs, well more a waft than a smell....yes, indeed. I have an extremely sensitive nose so I am not sure if anyone else can smell it, hence I hesitate to call Abdul to investigate. I shall use my usual method of pouring clorox down all pipes and openings to see if that solves it. Q is to return on Wednesday, we will see if she can detect anything.

I don't cook and I don't have allergies, but if you do this is a lovely site:


scarlettscion said...

cream. ice....cream. c-r-e-a-m.

In French...les glaces.

scarlettscion said...

I only comment out of when you used to whap me for saying "valcon" instead of "falcon"...

lady macleod said...

whap you?!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Lady Macleod, bless you for that lovely plug! I've looked for a pracy of your situation and why you are where you are, but can't find tell.

I suspect you could also have a cat because of a troubled relationship with your mother. Always looking for approval, never getting it, rejection, aloof manner, trying to right the wrongs of the past. Or am I way off with that little theory?! Do run to my site again, are you a distance runner or a sprinter?

lady macleod said...


I have updated my profile. Quite frankly I didn't foresee the interest, so I am pleased to comply.

I am wrinkling my brow at the cat/mother theory. I think there is some truth there. I am an approval junkie for sure, but I get loads of approval. The aloof manner = there is my view, and then there is my child's view. I do have a 'rescue complex", but it is toward rescuing others.

Oh I am a definate sprinter, in life and on the track! I admire the distance runners, but it is not my cup of tea.

I shall be over to your site again. Do visit often yourself.