As I strolled through the Medina on Saturday in search of drugs (the prescription kind) and yogurt (the Greek kind) walking side by side through the crowded streets were politics and nipples.
I consider myself European in most of my outlook but in I did grow up in the Highlands and carry whatever prudery that entails and I acknowledge that. I had a French nanny however and was exposed to the rather revealing Hindu arts at an early age. All to say I am more nudist than not – but in private people, in private. Perhaps it is a cultural thing, perhaps an age thing, but I do not enjoy having another woman’s nipples thrust into my view – especially a woman MY age, and worse, one who needs to drop thirty pounds. Put those things under cover! Offensive enough in the West but here? Are they mental? I passed no less than five women on my walk with tiny clinging t-shirts and nipples to the wind. I remember some years ago attending a very posh affair, everyone in tuxedo and gowns, where one not-so-young woman wore a gown that showcased her nipples above all. It was impossible to ignore them, as you tried, while shaking hands and conversing. I do not find this sexy. Perhaps the chaps do? That being said it is not appropriate for a Saturday walk in the Rabat Medina two weeks before Ramadan. Get a grip. Look at a map. Think where you are. I am neither Moroccan nor Muslim and it offended ME.
The young men are out everywhere handing out the flyers for the elections, and the old men are sitting in the shade reading the paper about the elections. I passed one very heated, but in good fun, exchange up near the market between a man and a woman both from what I could tell extolling the virtues of their candidate. There are rallies through the streets (under my window) noisy but thankfully (unlike India) not violent. The little hand carried Moroccan drums - doumbec and tam-tams are out in abundance, some of the carriers are just making noise but some of them are quite good at stirring the blood with the beat.
The nice woman at the apothecary tells me it is two weeks to Ramadan. I must check my calendar as I intend to fast again this year. I found it a very spiritual experience last year. The comradely of the entire country honoring the spirit of Ramadan is uplifting. In spite of this effect, our friend Rebecca, who is a Muslim, had her wallet stolen during Ramadan last year. I loved her reaction, she yelled after the thief, “I’m a Muslim you bastard, and it’s Ramadan!” So not everyone perhaps is feeling the spirit, but for me it serves as an excellent reminder of my beliefs. There are no Buddhist Temples here, but I have my altar, and love and compassion are the same no matter the religion yes?
I called the bank again on Friday – The Compass Bank – as I still don’t have my card. I have at this time given up somewhat on getting my money back. When in doubt go for the personal touch so instead of calling the number I was given, I called the branch of my bank. Those Southern men are very helpful. Mr. Alex Doss (I promised I would mention him by name) listened to my tale of woe and said, “I see no problem Mam’. I will Fed-Ex you the card today. There may be some delay because of the holiday but it will be there by the middle of next week.” Assuming all will go as he said, Mr. Doss is my hero.
Then sitting at my desk that night I heard a ruckus (really, the only word) in the street under the window. I stick my head out to observe yet another political-rally-parade coming down the street. Drums, bells, and some banging thing, that looked very much like a big bowl, accompanied the clapping and singing of the men, women, and babes in arms as they passed through my street handing out flyers as they passed. Elections are a very joyful experience here.
I am WAITING again today. I don’t do waiting well when it feels like being trapped, like there is nothing I can do – yes, the truth is I get very out of sorts when my fate is in the hands of others. Besides, angst is not good for my face so I try to avoid it!