At the Casablanca airport Q made her way through the line up for boarding passes with M.C. Solaar, and bags in hand, ticket at the ready. “Oh no,” says the agent. “We can’t make your boarding pass you must go over to ***.” By the time she returned they had filled the plane and had her on standby. When it looked as though she would get left they called her up and gave her and M.C. Solaar a first class seat trans-Atlantic to New York! How cool is that? Now she understands my aversion to coach.
She is doing well and says that M.C. Solaar is adjusting nicely to life in America. A is finishing up his malaria meds so he and M.C. both have her up at 0400 hours wanting to talk and play – in that order. Today on AIM she said, “The people at CVS don’t care how my family is doing.” This in reference to the very personal service one finds in Morocco, she misses it. It is true and one of the things I most love about this country. When I go to the apothecary the chap invariably ask, “How is the head doing,” and the nice ladies at the shop in the Medina said to some Moroccan customers one day, “She? She is our friend.” It only takes one or two visits and they have a going concern in the business of your life.
An excellent example is the 1,2,3 Shop at Mega Mall where Q and I went on quite a shopping spree once they declared their 50% Off sale. When the young woman was bagging our goodies I ask for hangers - my intent being that she put the dresses and skirts on hangers for us to transport home. She said, “Oh no, we don’t do that. No hangers.” Well fine, that’s not a problem I was just looking to spare myself a wrinkle or two. On Monday this week I went in – you know just to make sure we had not missed anything – and we had! I found six lovely shirts, but I only bought three. While standing and paying at the counter, the young woman who had been helping me (bringing more and more stuff, “This one?”) left for a bit and returned with what can best be described as a shit-eating-grin on her face as she placed at my feet one of the extra-large shopping bags filled to the rim with – hangers! I had not the heart to tell her it was not what I had meant, so I joyfully took them in the spirit offered. Once I arrived home I noticed she had put in the very posh kind with the padded clasp, so it was a score.
My housekeeper had taken herself off to the doctor this morning but without informing me. Just as I had FINISHED sweeping the floors and tidying the kitchen, she appears at the door. Oh well, I consider it today’s workout – but all in all I prefer the treadmill!
Designer brand tee shirts are ubiquitous here, with Dolce & Gabbana leading the pack. It is very jarring to walk along in the medina and see Versace, D&G, Nike, and a host of others on the young people. I did see one the other day that I found most amusing. This is a Muslim country in Northern Africa right? Keep that in mind. The tee shirt said, “Somebody in Texas loves me”. It was a young Moroccan male wearing it! I have to wonder if he made the connection…
Apparently the Americans have begun their holiday weekend early (I can never remember which one I only know there is one at the beginning of summer and another at the end), as I cannot contact anyone at my bank. Soon I will be without cash. It could be really sad people. This could be that event James was writing about that has me ending on the streets, couldn’t it be the streets of Knightsbridge instead? I can do anything that will take a credit card but that does not include any of the hannuts for food, or the taxis. This is not a credit card friendly country. I did want to be nice and slim for the Canadian trip but this may be a bit more severe than what I had in mind. I was going to skip croissants for a while…
I was thinking about what constitutes success in Morocco and in general. I look around the Oudayas and I think it may be feeding, clothing, and housing your family. On the other side of town in Souissi it is not much different than in Belgravia, Bel Air, or Dulwich. Bigger car, bigger house, better accessories, better schools for your children, and getting invited to the palace. How much of how we decide we have had a good life is dependant on peer pressure? Of course peer pressure this century comes in over the satellite and Internet from all over the world, which makes me wonder about the thought process in the shantytowns one sees along the railroad tracks, and at the base of the new mansions I see going up by the Mega Mall. These people live in a structure with dirt floors, tin roofs, and no running water or poor quality, but almost everywhere I see the satellite dishes. So they are watching television. Morocco does have some censure; I see that on the Internet where I can’t access You Tube or Google Earth, but in large it is pretty open. Do the images of wealth make those who are not wealthy want to attend school no matter what, in order to have an education, in order to scale the ladder of success? Or is that a western idea? Do the images make them resent the people they are living next to in the mansions? It sets me to mind of the Medieval period, but then the images of the wealthy were not so readily available. You might well think you were as well off as most people. The contrast with India is striking. There you see the same sort of shanty villages, along the rivers or hanging on the outside of the cities, but I have not seen the ubiquitous presence of satellite dishes. I mean really you can’t quite conceive of it unless you see it. Going past a grouping of hovels you will note every one has secured to what passes for a roof – a satellite dish. What are they thinking?