Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Road Warriors

This is a quick and easy post for me, as I'm basically going to link to another blog. 'Road Warriors' refers to the title of Tahir's blogpost about driving in Casablanca. Tahir is the father of one of my students, and he is a writer. (Admittedly, I've only read one of his books thus far, The Caliph's House, which is a great read and gives you some cool insight into Casablanca living.)

Many of you have heard me talk about Casablanca traffic and driving. Well, I'm not the only one who thinks it's insane. Tahir's way with words explains it quite eloquently. The 'Marjane roundabout' he refers to in this blog post is also commonly referred to as 'the circle of death'. Quite fitting. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's cold here

Seriously. It is. Cold. I type this with extremely frigid phalanges. Granted, I'm not talking Iowa winters with 20 below wind chills. Here, it usually drops into the 40's at night and is still usually warming up into the 60's during the day. I know many of you are now laughing at me for 'going soft' and calling that cold. Believe me, I know it's not even close to standing outside in the aforementioned wind chills. But, let me explain. Here, there are no 'furnaces' like we have back home. And everything is made of concrete, with tile floors. No insulation either. Which means that inside those big buildings and apartments, it iS COLD. It never warms up during the day. And if it does, it is gone the minute the sun goes down. The school gives us a small electric heater, and when one uses said heater, the electricity bill skyrockets. Since I pay for that out of my own pocket, I tend to just pile on more blankets and sleep in more layers. Currently, I'm clad in warm sweatpants, a long-sleeved t-shirt, 2 sweatshirts, and have a blanket on me. I really should put on gloves. I will sleep in this same attire, sans one of the sweatshirts due to the fact that I have 2 big blankets on my bed. At school, I keep one of those heaters under my desk, blasting directly on me.  And even with that, I typically wear a sweater and my coat all day. Most days, I try to eat lunch outside in the sun in order to warm up before going back inside.
I can't really come up with a good ending for this post. So I'm just going to end it. As randomly as I started it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Year = new experiences

I realize the title of this post might allude to the fact that there's something really exciting going on in my life. Not necessarily the case. But, here is my attempt at a 'quick blog post', with hopes that I can keep going from here.

Last night, I watched "Casablanca", the movie. I had never seen it, and figured it was time. Overall, I wasn't blown away. I definitely appreciated the famous lines that came from this flick, and enjoyed the Casablanca and Morocco references. I chuckled at seeing some of the men in the little fez hats because you don't really see people here wearing those. At least not nowadays. It did also make me connect a bit to the little 'expat group' some of us have established we get together at the same place each Thursday night. Not at the actual 'Rick's Cafe' that is here, as it is too expensive and not centrally located. We just meet at the Hippo for our own version of a 'pub night'. It's good enough for us, even though there is no 'Sam' sitting at the piano, ready to 'play it again'.

Today, I went golfing. In January. The latter part being the new experience for this midwestern gal. Jim, Andy, Paul, and I made our way around the 18-hole course in Mohammedia today. All in all, we had our share of good shots and bad. I'm not sure my caddy appreciated the occasional trek into the woods that my errant shots required. But, he was a good sport about it. At one point, Paul and I were talking about how great it felt just to be out there, walking on grass. It's easy to forget that we basically live in a concrete jungle of sorts. There aren't many lawns here that any of us ever see, let alone get to to frolick about in. So, we walked and got some exercise under the warm sun and appreciated just being out there. And, with a few good shots here and there, it was enough to make us all want to get back out there again sometime soon.