Friday, 6 July 2007

this and now that..

I saw this article in the London Times and I must say I am with the pissed mothers on this one. I think the story of Madeline is an unspeakable tragedy, and yes if I were her parents I would turn over every stone – but that has to stop where it impinges on the well being of other children. Just my thoughts. What do you think?

Here is one for you and I swear I would have taken a photograph but I really am quite certain I would have encountered some severe difficulty. I was coming back from the bank, la de da; and at the opening of the medina was one of the men with just one of the toys, aprons, phones, noise makers, whatever they are hawking on any day and he had a toy train running. Now you know what a train fan I am, so I stopped and took a look.
The front car had a character that bore a remarkable resemblance to Osama bin Laden (white turban, long beard, beady eyes), close on his heels was an American Sherman tank, long gun aimed at his head, occupied by an American solider. Around and around the track…. I had to walk away quickly because I was about to whoop in laughter. Can you believe it? Or maybe not so funny..

The other side of Moroccan character is demonstrated by my trip to the bank. I go usually to the same ATM as it has an English (designated by the British flag, ta da) translation, a better chance of the slim chance of a receipt, and is located in an open area that feels safe). On this morning when I arrived, you remember I had told you they were tearing up the sidewalks a while back (can’t find the post, sound of head knocking on the wall) – well now they are putting down a new one, quite lovely really, looks like marble. However the portion between the street and my ATM was just the wet cement. Yikes! I told one of the chaps, “I need to get over there. Will you be done later?”

“Oh no Madame. Stand here,” he said. Then he called over four or five other chaps and they laid me out a path to the ATM! Can you believe that!? It was so sweet. And afterwards they were all beaming like they had done the Princess a good turn. So great.

On Tuesday Q’s Arabic tutor called to cancel her lesson. “Oh is it a holiday?” asked Q.

“No,” answered the tutor and hung up. Welcome to Morocco.

The tale of the great cockroach hunt goes like this: I came downstairs after my morning ablutions to find Q holding up M.C. Solaar in pride, she was beaming. “He killed a cockroach!” she said.

“Oh my gods we have roaches,” I cried out in horror heading for the kitchen and the under-the-sink supply of insect killing sprays.

She is following me cat in hand. “It was so cool. He climbed out of his bed (the playpen which we cover with a large blanket and weigh down with my yoga pads; I was hoping he would not figure out he could get out of there until it was time for him to refugee out) – I guess he must have seen the cockroach.”

“Dear gods how BIG was it?” now I am looking all around the floor expecting to be covered head to toe in disgusting flesh eating roaches at any minute.

“Oh a good size I guess,” she beamed. “I came down the stairs and had to wrestle it out of his mouth. He really had a hold on it,” still beaming.

“Did you WASH YOUR HANDS? Do you think there are more” I ‘m still looking for the kill spray. Napalm anyone?

“I think he’s going to be a mouser,” beaming more if possible. “No I think it was just a stray that got in.”

Finally I get into the spirit of the first hunt and give him a pat. “That will come in handy, (shudder) with you living in NYC.”

I sent the two of them up to the terrace while I sprayed the kitchen and the front door stoop to a state of preemptive warfare.

A is in Ghana now and cyber cafĂ©’s charge 25usd/hour for the Internet so there is some tension here. Q and her friend are going up to Tangiers for the weekend, so I can have something to worry about. I’m going to the gym now and have a massage so I will be ready for the worrying.


jenny said...

Yay MC!! Go Kitty! Go Kitty!

But I am with you on roaches-- UGH! We were invaded by them in Louisiana and my mom got so used to them, she started using her fingers to kill the ones scurrying across the counter. An image I can never forget! (I hope you weren't snacking while reading this and I made you lose your appetite! sorry!)

Well, you ARE a Lady, and it is so right that they made a path for you! :o) Go, have that massage! I can feel it from here!

Kaycie said...

What lovely construction workers. Here I do believe you would have gotten a leer, a wolf whistle and directions to the next nearest ATM!

The Good Woman said...

In Johannesburg there is a particularly large species of cockroach lovingly referred to as the Parktown Prawn (named after one of the suburbs). This is another good reason to go to CAPE TOWN when visitng SOuth Africa!

And I'm with you on the Madeleine ads. I hope with every fibre of my being that they find that little girl but her image shouldn't induce nightmares in young children in the process.

Brillig said...

Ewww about the cockroach. Awesome about the ATM!!! And crazy CRAZY about the osama train!

As for the Madeleine story, yeah, that's just wrong. I took my kids to see Shrek here, and if something like that had come on before it, my own Madeleine would have been scarred. for. ever. I would have been FURIOUS!!! And my Madeleine would never feel like she could fall asleep again without someone coming to "snatch" her. Good for those moms for getting it taken out of the theater!

nutmeg said...

As per the London Times article - I stand on the side of the choice should be mine. As per the roaches - been there, done that.
Philadelphia is feeling more exotic!

Annie said...

Roaches? Bleugh! We have a man come spray our house inside and out once a year and he guarantees no bugs - it works!

I'm with you on the Madeleine story. Heartbreaking and all as it is, and I truly pray for closure of some sort at this point for the family, it's unfair to frighten other kids with that.

Your story of the ATM makes me think of that exuberant Lady character in Under the Tuscan Sun, - not sure if you'll take that as a compliment or not?

Lord Straf-Dresden said...

...Then he called over four or five other chaps and they laid me out a path to the ATM! Can you believe that!? It was so sweet. And afterwards they were all beaming like they had done the Princess a good turn. So great...

I love this sort of thing. Gallantry hasn't completely died then?

lady macleod said...

Actually jenny

I came in from gym/salon and knew I had to eat first, less the dreaded M H/A get me. I microwaved the yummy beans and sausage Q left for me in the freezer (in her fear I won't eat while she is gone), put them on a tray with Ool Mes and some apricots and fired up my computer to read comments - yuk! Never fear my friend my stomach is made from hardy stock.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


yes they were indeed!
thank you for coming by.

good woman

That settles that for me, see you in Cape Town.

thank you for coming by.


My feelings exactly on the Madeline issue; it is heartbreaking and terrifying. Mine is 23 and I am still concerned that she is in Tangiers WITHOUT ME even though she is totally capable.
thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I have been to Philadelphia, it IS exotic. That is where Q went to university, she loved it there as did I when I visited.
thank you for coming by.


yes, when we lived in the American South it was de rigur to have the house napalmed once a season!

the lady in Under the Tuscan Sun was lovely, but a lot more Italian! than I! Albeit I do wear hats.

thank you for coming by; so nice to have you back.

lord straf-dresden

I know! I love it very much indeed, and I am always touched by it. It is not dead, as is showed by your actions as well Sir.

thank you for coming by.

Elsie Button said...

urrrghghg i cannot bear cockroaches! yuk yuk yuk! sorry. i feel sick. sorry.

how lovely making you a path to the cashpoint! what did they use?

lady macleod said...

elsie button

they used the same squares they were making the sidewalk from - I'm not quite sure what they did then - turn them about or take them up.. as I had to get home.

thank you for coming by.

jmb said...

Are you sure your brain wasn't orange in colour? This post is definitely the product of an orange brain.
When you grow up in Australia, roaches are a way of life. Everything has to be enclosed at all times, very tightly.
What a treat at the ATM. The nobility was recognized and royally treated.

Omega Mum said...

I loved the toy train very much and I also like the idea of doing a worry work out.

lady macleod said...


you would think so wouldn't you? And some most of me, I fear my brain is not 'normal'.

..just once I would like to walk into a doctor's office and have him/her say, "Oh yes we see this all this time, know just what to do." instead of, "How interesting."

perhaps it applies to blog stats as well? could be worse, I could be an anteater.

lady macleod said...

omega mum

I know. I am going to see if the train is still there this weekend; if I can buy one I shall. I wish I had thought of it at the time, but I was too taken aback.

One should always do a work out and have a massage before worrying.

thank you for coming by.

Mama Zen said...

Oh, I would have been angry about the Shrek thing, as well. "Snatched from her room . . .enjoy the movie, kids!"

lady macleod said...

mama zen

exactly. thank you for coming by.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Can you get a train for me too? I absolutely HATE roaches. That is one good thing about not living in Florida or New York anymore. I don't ever have to put up with those awful things. I once saw a big brown spider devour a roach in an apartment I lived in. The spider left me alone and I left it alone to do its job with the roaches till some gallant boyfriend killed the spider. I broke up with him soon after that.

lady macleod said...


LOL great story, and a great judge of character test!

thank you for coming by.

KarenO said...

Seeing that you've decided to visit South Africa, I don't have to win you over for that anymore, but if you only see Cape Town, you'd miss out on so much of the rest of my country! So I thought the following website and it's contents would be the ideal way to "seduce" you into seeing the rest of it, without having to worry about those ghastly Parktown Prawns thingies :) Go to this site: ... I just KNOW you'll love it! I'll come to wave to you when you travel through Pretoria! :D

Liz said...

What is it about cockroaches, I wonder? If we see a large beetle type thing I'm fine until Husband says it's a cockroach. Urgh! Well done kitty!

What terrific workmen! I thought you were going to say that they carried you across but this is just as good.

Sparx said...

My first ever encounter with a roach was when my cat killed one. I ran to my flatmate saying 'ooh, Lucifer has just caught the most beautiful golden beetle (it was the male of a large varietal of asian roach). When she identified it I was horrified. Later I got used to them and used to call them all 'Archie' after 'Archie & Mehitabel'. I used to leave little notes at floor level saying 'please stay out of my bed'. I was younger and more mad, clearly. Last time I saw a roach was in a restaurant and I had to be prised off the chair I found myself standing on...