Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yep, elephants!

Today is Eid Al Mawlid, which is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet, Mohammed. It gives us a day off work, so YaY!  I was even fortunate enough to sleep in (until 10:00!!!) because the annoying construction across the street apparently observes this holiday as well. Not waking up to the incessant noise of metal pounding on metal was fabulous.

Jenny decided we should go on a walk and out for lunch. Beautiful day, great idea. So, we walked down along the corniche(which basically refers to the area along the coast/ocean). As we were between the Grand Mosque and the first McDonald's, (yes, there are two of them down in this area) we came upon an empty lot off to the left. In that empty lot is a small blue tent/tarp, and a blue truck/trailer of sorts. I had seen this a week prior when going on a field trip with my class (to an aquarium...that had no live aquatic life of any kind. Not my field trip idea, mind you, but that's a different story). In this open lot are some elephants. They are apparently between circus gigs, because there's nothing else there except these 4 elephants. And when I say nothing, that includes any kind of barricade one would expect to be present with elephants. As Jenny and I are walking over to see the elephants, I'm mentally kicking myself for not having my camera with me. We walked up and found many other observers as well. Adults, children, and everything in between. There was a small area 'roped off' for these large mammals. I am not joking when I say that the elephants were being 'corralled' by a piece of rope or twine attached to some stakes that did not look to be real sturdy. There was also a metal 'rope' going around as well, but attached to the same stakes. Basically, there was nothing keeping these elephants from doing whatever they wanted, including running and stampeding the small children who were there. Or the large adults. Also present was a Moroccan man who came stumbling out of the trailer in his socks and sandals, with tea and cigarette in hand. He yelled something in arabic at the 20-something kid who is apparently in charge of 'watching' the elephants in his absence. Or maybe he was yelling at the elephants. Who knows. At one point, the 20-year old did yell at a man who dared step under the twine. Because obviously, that would be unsafe! Jenny and I giggled at the whole scenario and eventually left.  The rest of our walk entailed meeting a group of teenage boys who pretended to take photos of us while making inappropriate comments, two men in a car stopping to try to talk to us in spanish, english and french (while we ignored them), and being followed by two small girls who seemed to be playing tag around us, but were actually trying to figure out which one of them was going to ask us for money. I believe it was close to this point that we decided we needed some 'comfort food' and thus headed to TGIFriday's for lunch. Onion rings appetizer and blackened chicken alfredo for me...burger for Jenny. And an oreo ice cream dessert. It was too much, but a good reminder of how we don't eat that way here very often. Which is good.

Days off are always good days. And when you live here, they also prove to be entertaining more often than not. Looking forward to next week's "February Break."  Parents are coming, and we plan to visit Fez and then go on a 4 day trip to the desert. A camel ride out into the dunes will be involved. Thus, my parents will both be on a camel. I will definitely have my camera battery charged and ready. :)

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