Wednesday, 9 May 2007


Reading “wife in the north” this morning put me in mind of a sign I saw years ago in the deserts of Texas, USA. My daughter and I were driving across the southern expanse of the U.S. from California to Georgia taking in the Grand Canyon and the beaches of Mississippi among other sites; everything including the markets are huge in America. We had passed what was obviously a large prison out in the desert miles from any other signs of civilization. About a mile east of the prison was a large sign “Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers”. Now you know that for that sign to be there some idiot at some time had picked up an escaped prisoner, or two!

The forecast today is for 33 degrees C! I am pleased to report that in the heat of yesterday the salon downstairs and the upstairs bedrooms remained quite cool. Not surprising the Moroccans know how to build for the heat. I went up to close up the ceiling windows after sunset and took a turn about the terrace. I noted that our neighborhood was all up on the roofs! There was a table of four men over on the far roof/terrace to the right having a lively discussion over mint tea. A mother and her daughter across the street were spreading a cloth on the table for dinner al fresco, and the children were running, screaming, and exhorting each other to further efforts in the football game taking place in the cobblestone street down below. I love the sounds of the Kasbah Oudaylas.

SUCKER. Let’s be honest, when it comes to children and animals just tattoo it on my forehead and be done with it. I rose this morning and took myself (with bags as they only offer those tatty little thin plastic ones) to Marjane’s for kitty supplies. I bought a playpen. Oh no Lucy not a little, cheap one that any normal person would buy to put a kitten in, but a quite huge grand affair sturdy enough to survive any desert dust storm that might sneak up on me eh? I couldn’t find any chicken livers that Q had requested, so I bought a couple of small cans of pate’ de foie. Oh hush. I can hear Q making sport of me already in my head. Because the little dear is so young Q has been feeding him formula with a bottle per the vet’s instructions. I stocked up on those, and the requisite jingly balls, litter box, and litter – arranging in all in the play pen where we can keep an eye on him. I am thinking when he is big enough to scale the walls of his confinement, we can cease to worry about his being eaten by spiders, falling down the drain, or wandering out on to the terrace to be carried off by a large hawk.

I had a funny, shared moment while checking out at Marjane. As per usual there was one item without the bar code and the young man had to jump through some hoops (one of them physical as when he returned to the register, his way was blocked by a chap with a trolley full of long-handled brooms!) to get it. I was in no hurry so I was doing my usual people watching and took my ever-present fan out of my purse to cool myself. In the next aisle was a young woman dressed in black satin knee britches that were molded to her bum, peek a boo three inch black patent leather heels, and a black blouse that had a plunging neckline exposing enough breast that I would have thought it in poor taste in a Western market; here it is shocking. She had long quite lovely black hair and was smacking gum. As she walked away my eyes, the eyes of the guard standing in the walkway, and the eyes of the young woman at her check-out, followed her; and when I looked back my eyes met the checkout woman (around late twenties) who was obviously having the same thoughts as I, and we both grinned simultaneously.

Interestingly enough Q has explained to me while we were living in Fez that the prostitutes are as a rule dressed in full hijab and djellabas, and you find them in the bars or even restaurants but alone with men as opposed to being with family or women friends. “Then who are the young women in tight jeans and Western style shirts?” I asked.

“Oh those are just young people looking to piss off their parents,” she said. So it is a reversal of sorts culturally.

My other major purchase at Marjane’s (the Harrods of Rabat and Fez) today was a table and umbrella for the terrace. I am quite pleased with myself. I do so love items that fold up neatly to be tucked away when not in use. The small wooden table and seats fold amazingly into a portable wooden case with a handle! Who thinks of this stuff? I set the umbrella (comes separately) in the slot and was feeling proud when I glanced upward to see my neighbor from next-door watching me from her terrace. “Ce bon!” she said and tossed me down a red geranium as the first decoration. I love Moroccans. We have a steady breeze from off the ocean side but not strong enough to be a trouble with the patio umbrella I don’t think.

Q is on her way home from Fez. I look forward to hearing all about the wedding and showing off the new terrace furnishings. And yes, I am excited to get my hands on the tiny furry creature in the basket.


mutterings and meanderings said...

I've bumped into you in a few comments boxes so thought I'd come and say hello!

Morocco is somewhere I've always wanted to go.

lady macleod said...

and hello to you as well m&m. I am pleased to have you. Yes, I love it here, it is quite grand indeed and just as exotic as one would want. Do come again.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I've just found your blog and find your story fascinating. Alabama? Alaska? Morocco? Of course, you're British because only British women have enough fortitude to embrace so many different cultures. As my husband would say, you're the sort of woman who made the British Empire great. I'm an American ex-pat, by the way.

lady macleod said...


I am pleased to have you come by. Oh my I don't dare repeat your husband's comment to my child who thinks I am quite a bit too British at times. The word "prissy" has cropped up, most undeservedly I can say. Yes, I had a look over to your blog for your stories, good stuff. It's quite grand to discover this 'world' isn't it?