Q and A had a wonderful time at Mama’ Fatima’s last year, discussions of, “That’s right the Jews left Germany because they had some difficulty with Hitler.” It was meant however in the best sense when one considers how conservative the older son, who is the male of the house (even though there is no doubt it is Mama’ who rules the roost) is in his beliefs. His wife does not come downstairs when there are male visitors, and wears a hijab in the house even if those visitors are male relatives. He had several discussions with Susie (another Fulbright scholar) while she was living there and his view is that the Holocaust never happened; this resulted in the almost embarrassing display of welcome lavished on A when he arrived. I am telling you, the women of Morocco are not without recourse.
There was a house full of relatives for the visit. Two sheep were killed in preparation for all the family and visitors expected; one of which was hanging upstairs and being carved as-you-go. The downstairs large mahogany table was covered with a display of home baked cookies to make the best baker weep.
The older sister Fatima Zora, who is an Economics Professor but wants to quit and open a beauty salon, was there discussing in detail (to the horror of Fatima-younger sister) the varied and specific oils that should be used for massage. Once again proving that Fez, in spite of its size, is a ‘small town’, Fatima Zora said to Q, “My friend Fed-wa tells me your mother was into the Spa and had the hamman and the waxing.”
Q is thinking, “Fabulous, the entire family now knows my mother had the Brazilian wax (albeit by accident as I did not know how to say, "Please don't completely denude me" in French)!” The phrase used ad nauseam by the women in the spa, "This is very hygenic." She said, “How do you know Fed-wa?”
“Her salon is across the street from my old school. I used to go there, and she said there was a Western girl in named Q with her mother, so I knew it was you.”
At the end of the evening Mama Fatima said to Q, “You are behaving like an American! You have to be invited to visit? I do not expect this from you.”
On the walk home yesterday I passed a little Fatima in all her sparkly dressed up glory, going for a photograph I imagine, and a chap riding a bicycle, like you do, with four or five skinned (I can say this with authority as it was the glistening that attracted my attention) carcasses of sheep roped over the back wheel. I kid you not! They were not together.
I remain entranced, the mouth-hanging-open-you-are-not-from-around-here, with the birds of Morocco. There was a high flying v-formation lofting over as I walked home, and I was greeted with a cacophony of birdsong as I stood in front of the French Ambassador’s residence to write in my little black Mole Book about the sheep on the bike, ‘cause yeah I was really likely to forget that...but you never know.
The Moroccans just do not know how to queue properly. IF the British and not the Frogs had colonized here they would not all be rushing the counter, of course the British were busy suppressing people in Egypt and India. You can only do so much
A friend of ours can’t get her cat neutered until she returns to the States because her Moroccan boyfriend thinks it is evil. Yes, that’s the word used, evil. This attitude may have something to do with the large number of cats in Morocco. He thinks that depriving the male cat of the ability to have sex is WRONG. He doesn’t mind spading the female cats, but his reasoning here seems somewhat more just to my mind, because she can still have sex. The male populace seems to take the neutering personally.