Week 7 is over and…well, I’m still in Africa. This month is going so slow and yet it’s flying by at the same time. The longer I’m here the more it feels like real life and the more carbs I’m eating. This week brought two great side trips, which is crazy considering how long it takes to get anywhere from where I’m living. Rabat is cool and all, but all the fun stuff seems to lie elsewhere. The only problem? Everything is at least a 4 hour train ride away, which is the complete opposite of how Europe was. *cries in happiness reminiscing about Europe* So, shall we? This week I:
· Took a one day 10 hour round trop car ride to visited Chefchaouen! AKA The Blue City. It was STUNNING and worth the uncomfortable ride there and back. Can’t help but think that Eiffel 65 really dropped the bomb by not shooting their music video here.
· Got in a car accident! Hey, it was bound to happen. Our driver knocked out the tail light of another car completely. The “paperwork” consisted of both drivers getting out of the car, giving a furrowed brow to one another, a few hand gestures, and some casual “EH” shrugs at the end. Both just drove away as if nothing happened. Shrug emoji.
· Drove 45 more minutes to go on a hike through Anchkor, a picturesque, lush, straight-out-of-a-fairytale little place. It reminded me of The Secret Garden, complete with random tables and chairs in the middle of streams and tiny patches of green grass. Cafes served drinks that were kept cold by the water from the streams. Which brings me to the next event…
· Cliff jumped into ‘I can’t feel my face when I’m with you no seriously do I still have a face’ water from about 20 feet up. To get to the cliff we had to swim. Pretty sure a few appendages were lost and somehow grew back. But it was fun as hell. No pics because water ruins my devices so I didn’t even try. But it’s on my friend’s Go Pro.
· Witnessed Muslim Christmas, aka Eid Al Adha. The holiday celebrates the fact that Abraham was super chill about sacrificing his son for the sake of religion (Allah). But then at the very end, Allah was all, “HAHA WOW DUDE JK WERE YOU ACTUALLY GONNA KILL YOUR SON? WOW HAHAHAHAHA WOW WOW SORRY THAT’S KIND OF CRAZY RIGHT? Look let’s make a deal and just go ahead and kill this sheep instead k?” So Abraham was all like, “Oh…wow not a great joke but ok thx.” So basically everyone loves recreating this lovely sheep slaughter in the comfort of their own homes. You can buy sheep at the grocery store, sheep on the street, and you should probably stock up a little early because they go quickly. A few days before, I saw Seymour eating hay on my neighbor’s balcony. And I just thought, “Wow, he has no idea. Or does he? Did Seymour get pulled away from his friends with that ‘guess we don’t survive this year’ look in their eyes?” Then, Monday morning, I woke up to Seymour yelling. It was quick and seemed painless enough because the noise stopped pretty quickly, but I felt so terrible. The remains of Seymour were being cleaned up with a mop and bucket by a lady with a very strong stomach. A man was skinning him as he hung from the ceiling, chopping up parts of his body. Writing this is a little hard and I’m no vegetarian, but it made me think of Thanksgiving in the US. Sure, we don’t go hunt and kill our turkeys, because we’re spoiled and can just buy them dead and frozen at Central Market! But seeing this kind of this really made me think. What a crazy world we live in, and how different it is living on the other side. Some people actually went to the houses of locals and witnessed the entire sacrifice. Though it looked fun and like a cool culture experience, I was a little glad I didn’t see it that up close. RIP Seymour. And Happy Eid!
· FINALLY FOUND HUMMUS. And this tasty mint lemon drink. Look, I’m terrible at geography. For some reason I assumed that I’d be eating hummus, olives and babaganoush until Europe did us part. But that truly isn’t the case. So when I was invited to a Syrian restaurant with my beloved food processed chickpeas, I couldn’t say no.
· Ate a lot of pasta. And canned tuna. Because my stomach is finally cured, praise Allah. And if I never have to take wet wipes with me on a hike again I’d be just peachy.
· Had a potluck dinner at a friend’s apartment while watching Absolutely Fabulous. I’d never heard of this, but it’s quite the cheeky British comedy; the episode was about these two women going to Marrakech, which is relevant later in my week.
· Worked out more. I’m getting surprisingly fit in Morocco, with all the “cleanses” and great sweat sessions at this place.
· Ate questionable sushi. Yeah, I know. My stomach. But I miss sushi and thought this place was supposed to be good. I knew things weren’t great when they said they were out of tuna. So I had a bunch of salmon and prayed to the digestive gods that I wouldn’t puke. I was fine. But I definitely took a chance.
· Got really excited about a potential job that I was so close to getting and didn’t get it. I’ve learned to accept rejection and just keep pushing. It’s hard not to stay positive when I’m living such a crazy cool life. It still sucks, but I’ll get over it. On to the next.
· ATE MEXICAN FOOD AND DOUSED MYSELF IN RED SANGRIA. Okay, so this week involved a lot of eating. But after countless tajines and weird pizza and fries, it was time to find other cuisines. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. I ate fajitas and tortillas and embraced my Hispanic heritage by salsa dancing my ass out of there.
· Took a train to Marrakech! And CARBO LOADED. We had an amazing Friday with five of my besties creating a self-made food tour. Thanks to Aaron and his intense googling, we stumbled upon an awesome rooftop bar where we ate spaghetti and pastilla. Then a Japanese restaurant on a rooftop complete with sushi and noodles. Then an Italian restaurant. Then an amazing bar that had a guy eating fire and Moroccan men and women dancing salsa, tango, and meringue like I’ve never seen before. We smoked hookah and headed back to our riad in the medina to sleep.
· CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN AND DIDN’T FALL OFF. This was a huge accomplishment. We climbed Mount Toubkal, almost 14,000 feet up, and went through a plethora of emotions. Read my inner dialogue while doing it here.
Promptly after climbing the mountain I ate McDonald's for the first time in 8 years or so and then plopped on my bed and slept for 14 hours after getting back to work. (Note: the meat at the Mickey D's is halal and I think it's way better here than in the US, but that's just my opinion/mental state.)
Comin' up: riding camels in the Sahara, sleeping under the stars, a special guest arrives from the USA to visit, and eating all the hummus. Just your every day African things. Until next time, I be like:
Professional writer, designer, and do-it-aller. Remote Year citizen/alum. Currently living in San Francisco and probably trying to avoid the terrifying amounts of pigeons.