4th of July

Happy Fourth of July from al-Maghreb!!!
Yesterday was the first day of class for us here in Meknes. We got to sleep in [if you call 9:00 sleeping in], then we woke up, had breakfast, got ready, and went to the supermarket, Label Vie. We bought wine at the liquor store and got a black bag for it so no one could tell we bought alcohol since it is so frowned upon here..although the black bag is kind of a dead giveaway.
After that, we had a delicious lunch and went to get tea at Café Montreal, which is downstairs and two shops over and very convenient, not to mention American- and woman-friendly and amazing.
Yesterday was really cool and breezy and such a nice relief from the heat..with the windows open it felt like beach weather!
We caught a taxi to class, which was really entertaining. Only six of us are in intermediate Arabic, and our teacher is eccentric and hilarious. He does random dances and is just all-around pretty crazy. The first two hours of class flew by, surprisingly. Then, with 45 minutes left to go, we had a break and all went down to the cafeteria and bought Pepsi’s, and after the break I just was not all there anymore. Our teacher gave us a ride home from the university since it would be hard to catch a taxi at that time of day, and is going to do that every day, which is good, because it’ll save me D10 a week, which is only a little more than a dollar, but hey, that’s a dollar I can spend on mint tea!
We came home and had the most tender beef and potatoes ever for dinner with blended cucumbers to drink [it sounds really weird I know…and it is]. After dinner the rest of the students came to our room and we all hung out and talked and drank wine until around 2am. Then Megan, Alexa, Julia, Lauren and I stayed up for another hour and a half talking, drinking tea, and having fun.
We woke up late this morning, around 10:30. We got ready and had a meeting at 11, which was stupid. After that we had traditional Friday lunch, couscous. It was- no surprise- absolutely delicious. Afterwards, we went to the internet café and attempted to figure out the French keyboards. They, like the French, are the most retarded things ever. Then we went to Café Montreal for more mint tea. At 5, Iman came to pick us up and we went to belly dancing class. It was amazing! It’s in a below-ground studio, and the woman made a special class just for the 8 girls who wanted to go. It was like bikram yoga; sweltering hot, and we were pouring sweat for an hour. We didn’t know that we could be scantily clad, and I sweated straight through my linen pants and shirt. We were all soaking wet by the end of the class, but it was ridiculously fun and such a good workout! We’re going every Tuesday and Thursday morning for an hour and a half until we leave. Three hours a week for 5 weeks for only D150! We’re all so excited!
Iman took us [all sweaty and gross] to buy kohl eyeliner, to see cafes, the cinema, shopping areas, get this delicious orgasm-in-your-mouth chocolate-chocolate pastry that I would never be able to spell properly, and to the amazing Café de Terasse. It is a terrace café that overlooks the entire city with music and delicious drinks. We also went to a 17-day long festival with incredible local music and dancing. I bought two head scarves that are absolutely beautiful. Between the two scarves and Moroccan eyeliner, I spent D28- $4 USD! I love Morocco!
The only problem with Moroccans is that sometimes they’re almost too hospitable. Upon seeing that we’re white, they automatically assume we’re French, and start speaking to us in French, so it’s hard to practice your Arabic.
Today was actually one of the best 4th of July’s that I’ve had, yet it was one of the most “Moroccan” days we’ve had thus far. Julia and I reasoned that we’re celebrating America by showing the Moroccans that we’re not all ignorant, racist, judgmental bastards, and I like that idea. I hope it’s true, and we’re just not ignorant to the fact that we’re still hopelessly ignorant.
We’re waking up tomorrow at 8am to go to Volubilis, the Roman ruins here in Morocco. So I’m going to shimmy on over to bed with my head scarf and kohl..goodnight, all!

Salaam wa hubb,

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