Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Different doesn't mean Wrong

So, life here has immediately presented some eye opening situations. Nothing too drastic as of yet for someone like me who is pretty good at rolling with the punches. But, they are oddities because they are new. Most of which, I'm sure I will adjust to even more over time.

On Monday, we went on a walk around our neighborhood with a returning teacher. She led us around like new tourists, and I'm quite certain we acted like it as well. It was amazing to see how close we all live to each other and didn't realize it. We are in Gauthier area of Casa, which is downtown basically. The place where it's all happening. I have never seen so many street cafes. They are everywhere! A couple of things we learned on our walking tour. Most gyms here (other than the one really expensive one) are segregated between men and women. "Gymnasia" is a gym that has several locations here. They segregate it by allowing women to use the gym on M, W, F and maybe the morning on Sunday. Men then get Tu, Th, and Sat. and Sunday afternoon. But, if you want to work out everyday, one of their other locations has that schedule flip-flopped. Different, right? Guess that means I won't be meeting a dude at the gym anytime soon. HaHa. Another interesting tidbit is that you don't bank at a bank, per say. You bank with a Banker. One person. Even though your money may be in a bank that has several locations, you can only do your business with the one guy. Always. Those are a couple of the biggest things that come to mind. Some other little things I've learned: floors are mostly tile of some sort and if you enter a home with carpet, you take your shoes off;  air conditioning is rare and thus far i have not even felt i need it as there is always a good breeze it seems; no furnaces either...they use gas or electric heaters, and those that have been here said when it does get cold (40s and 50s) it's a very chilling cold because you never really get warm anywhere; pastries and mint tea are a big deal; apartments apparently come with lights/lightbulbs, but those bulbs don't necessarily have anything covering them...just a bulb sticking out of the wall. But you can buy beautiful lighting covers at markets here. I will be purchasing soon; they have many of the same processed foods here we have at home...frosted flakes, cheerios, pringles, doritos, diet coke, etc. I wasn't expecting that at the market; food has been real good so far (more on that in another post). One thing they have at school all the time is orange slices with cinnamon on them. Very good. Dates and fig are also a big thing here; drivers here are crazy...you have to be in order to be on the road here in the city. We ride a blue school bus to work everyday and it's always an adventure (more on driving here later).

The Moroccan people, thus far, have proved to be oh so gracious and helpful, as I had heard before arriving. I'm bound and determined to take some language classes and learn some of the language. I already feel like I want/need to out of respect to them and their country/culture. Their language is often a blend of Arabic and French, as they use French words for some things even when speaking Arabic I guess. Not that I can understand any of it at this point. But that's what people tell me.
bathrooms here come with a bidet...

We call this "The Laughing Cow". It's our landmark for our street/corner
One kind of funny story before signing off. I didn't bring a hair dryer with me because of the plug in/voltage difference. Basically, you need a converter for any US appliance. Figured I'd just buy one here. Well, one girl who works with us is engaged to a Moroccan man. She was saying something the other day about how she was so mortified that she got up late because she had to leave the apt. with wet hair. I asked why that bothered her so much and she said that no one here goes out with wet hair because everyone assumes you were doing 'things' with your significant other and that's why you were late. Hmmm, I left the apt. for 3 days with somewhat wet hair. Aren't first impressions wonderful?  :)
Moroccan dirham. 100dh = $12.50

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting stuff!! I think I am going to love reading this and learning through you. Thanks again!!