Tuesday, 7 August 2007

some of this and some of that..

…trying something new with the color scheme for easier reading. What do you think?

I am the Featured Post this week over at TopBlogMagazine. Ta da. Go, read, comment.

One of the things we have come to observe in Morocco is the love of high drama, from Othello to the love affair with soap operas. You see the soap operas playing on the televisions in the cleaners, the hannuts, and almost any home you visit. Q’s tutor, when discussing a particular story line (she knows all the characters, and the details of their television lives) said, “He cut his wrist for her love. Don’t you love that?" Sigh.
Q of course thought she had fallen right off her cracker. In the bookstores I have noted a 3:1 ratio in the popular books section in favor of romance novels, in Arabic, to any other theme. In order to attain true popularity the romances must be tragic.

I was watching “I Robot”, again, and not only to see Will Smith in his underwear, albeit that does not hurt, but to observe how in some science fiction, with notable exceptions like “Blade Runner”, the directors and writers picture the far, and even the near future as having technology advance all in one even motion, such as the highway system. “I Robot” is set in 2035, which is not really that far in the future. Now I will buy the advancement of robots to that level, but the Brooklyn Bridge torn completed down and all the highway systems and cars converted to the new modern automatic system shown? I don’t buy it. Both in India and here in Morocco I see the technology of the 20th, and 21st centuries lurching forward, not progressing in a smooth line. Everyone has a mobile and a satellite television, but very few have a computer or libraries. Transportation in the larger cities here is more even than that in Delhi where you still find the donkey and the Mercedes stopping side by side for the red light.

Moroccans drink orange juice with pastries.

Q’s Arabic tutor has never read Homer's the Iliad and The Odyssey.

I saw both runners and walkers in all manner of dress, djellabas to shorts, in the park with the eucalyptus grove in 32 to 35 degrees C and more heat! I’m not at all sure but that is taking the beneficial effects of exercise to a new low.

The private veterinarians in Rabat volunteer and rotate time at the free clinics in town.

Speaking with a man over coffee, who is a teacher, about politics he said, “I would like to be king.” He said this eyes shining, with true longing in his voice. When I gave him my view, that it is much more fun and safer to a degree to be the power behind the throne, such as the prime minister, he could not comprehend my reasoning. His view of being the King is that it is all fun and having lots of money with no responsibilities.

All over Rabat stand huge walls for the forts and palaces making me feel quite at home. It reminds me that the Welsh are the true great builders of defensive castles.

Walking along any given boulevard at four to ten in the evening the men are lined in at the sidewalk cafes three to four deep, with no women, and I think, “Mercy chaps get yourself a girl!” But this is the way here, and you do see the occasionally woman and at different times of the day more of them, yet the overwhelming majority of those taking their leisure from morning through the evening are men.

In the Medina you see children running and snacking on donuts (sfinj) that are mounted on strings tied in a circle for eating. They are delicious and come in the larger hand held size as well. You stand at the hannut while they make them hot and fresh. When you sink your teeth into the hot, fresh, sugary, dough it is delightful.

Moroccan men, unlike their American counterparts, have no trouble asking for directions. They still don’t stop, but rather roll down the window and shout to the nearest man in a car. The conversation can continue for some blocks.

Shopkeepers in the Medina will not tell you the price first on any item when you ask, the reply is, “It is very inexpensive, very cheap.” No matter what you are looking at.

Watching the young daughter of the orange juice man brings a tear to my eye. The earnestness in her actions, the measured actions of squeezing the oranges, cut the foam off the top, and wiping the bottle with such pride in her work as she substitutes for her father to take a break in his long day.

The Oudayas has the oldest mosque in Rabat

The housekeeper continues to make the beds with the sheets along the latitude rather than longitudinal! Why is that?


Kaycie said...

My 40 year old eyes appreciate the new colors greatly!

As always, your descriptions make me want to visit!

lady macleod said...

Oh good! I've had a couple of readers comment recently that it was hard to read... I guess my 57 year old eyes must be in good shape eh? as I didn't notice. I rather like the new scheme myself.

Oh do come! just NOT in August, trust me.

thank you for coming by.

Annie said...

Much easier to read with my only 35 year old, but sleep deprived, eyes :D

The Good Woman said...

Love the new look.

I always drink ornage juice while easting pastry. And have never read Ulysses. Which makes me wonder about my place in the world. And my education.

jmb said...

Well my 70 plus year old eyes appreciate the new colour even more. I was too polite to complain.

Another great slice of life in your day with thoughts about this and that.
Over to read the link now.

Stay at home dad said...

Much better, to my 29 year old eyes ...

I don't think anyone has actually read Ulysses have they?

scarlettscion said...

Not that Ulysesses. The other Ulyssess, the one Homer wrote. She hadn't ever heard of either the Iliad or the Oddessy, it had nothing to do with Joyce.

I Beatrice said...

Q's tutor is not alone in not having read Ulysses!

I never got beyond the first few pages myself - and at a guess, would think that a straw poll might reveal that we non-Ulysseans make up a pretty hefty majority.

I mean... why would you want to struggle so, for something you may not like very much anyway?

When it came to that other 20th century monster Proust, on the other hand, I was in my element, and savoured (almost) every word.

The new look is definitely gentler on the eyes btw....

I Beatrice said...

Oh lordy - I wrote and posted my comment before I'd read Scarlettscion's!

So it was THAT Ulysses he hadn't read? Well, I could forgive him for not having read Homer. But not even to KNOW of Ulysses - well that's just rather sad, really.

(I tend to think of him as Odysseus, mind - I guess that's why I didn't pick up on your reference.)

lady macleod said...


good, and get some sleep, and thank you for coming by.

Winchester whisperer said...

much better...blue is the new black

lady macleod said...

good woman

I should think the oj and pastry is because you are from a different culture; and as for Ulysses (by Joyce) I read it because I had to, then again when I was older to make sure I still hated it. I thought everyone should have the same torture - you know to join us in that universal misery thing...

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


oh good, then it stays.

thank you and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

stay at home dad

good. actually everyone in my house has, both by Joyce and Homer's. I hated the first, loved the second. I think it may be simply a matter of schools? I thought everyone had to read them both. I am really upset now that I read Joyce, TWICE - it is worse than a British dentist!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


got it, correction made, thank you dearest.

lady macleod said...

i beatrice

Obviously you are right about the majority not having read Joyce, and I am really upset by that - I thought everyone had to read that horrid book! Turns out (see scarlettscion's comment) that it was Homer's tale, and I LOVE that. I think it is a cultural difference. It wasn't your mistake, but mine - I thought it was Joyce!

Now see, also personal preference, where Proust was not as painful, I didn't like him either, and many do.

I'm pleased you like the new color scheme.

thank you for coming by!

scarlettscion said...

I haven't read it mum, it's sitting on my bookshelf for a bad bout of the flu or something....

Mopsa said...

Much easier to read - white on black is a nightmare - this is yummy.

lady macleod said...


sorry dear, with as much as we have discussed it, i thought you had read it as well. are you CERTAIN you want to read joyce when you are ill? on the other hand, it's bound to help you sleep...

lady macleod said...


Oh I am pleased, mercy I wish I had known sooner so many people were straining! Now I love my readers even more.

thank you for coming by.

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

...Walking along any given boulevard at four to ten in the evening the men are lined in at the sidewalk cafes three to four deep, with no women...

Oh, I don't think I'd like that at all. I'm very happy with the odds of 20 girls to one man here, thank you very much. :)

jenny said...

Oh yes, this blue is a yummy color! The black was nice and gave a hint of mystery, but the blue feels fresh!

Nope, never read Ulysses.. nevver read A Tale of Two Cities, never read a bunch of books that I have heard so much about and one of these days will sit down and read them. Since I'll be home schooling, I can make the girls read it and read along with them! Ta-da! How's that for killing 2 birds with 1 stone?

KarenO said...

Love the new colors! And you know, South African men are just as bad asking directions, so it's not an African thing - maybe just Moroccan or Arabic?

I agree with you on the "I Robot" thing - if technology is so advanced, they wouldn't have acres of crates with old robots standing around. Recycling should move forward with leaps and bounds just like technology - it doesn't always though. But it would've made the film more believable if the recycling got equal attention. Their storyline would have a serious problem then, but that's their problem!

Oh yes, congrats on the article in TopBlogMagazine! You don't look a day older than 29. ;) (29 and a few months that is!)

lady macleod said...


29 plus a few days eh? I'll take that as I continue to move money into my "plastic surgery" account!

Thank you, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I am pleased you like the blue.

That's it kiddo, off to the bookstore with you! "Tale of Two Cities" is my favorite book. The idea about reading with the girls is brilliant. That will make for some stimulating dinner conversation.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

graf von straf hindenburg

I should think you would be! nice odds!

thank you for coming by.