Night before last everyone except Megan and Alexa decided to be adventurous, so we all got dressed up and left the apartments around 11:30 and headed to Hotel Zaki. We had a few drinks at the bar upstairs, then went downstairs for some Moroccan entertainment. It wasn’t really that exciting, until we met a bunch of kids who speak English! They were all here for an Arab basketball tournament. One is even going to Troy University in Alabama to play basketball! We hung around and talked to them for a while, and made plans to hang out before they leave in a week. It’s always exciting to find people who speak English; I can’t wait to hang out with them!
After that we all took petit taxis back to Hotel Rif where we went dancing to American music [as opposed to Arabic music], but Julia and I left shortly thereafter.
Yesterday we went to bellydancing class [I’m getting a little better at loosening up those cheerleading limbs and getting them to flow like they’re supposed to!], then rushed around and got dressed so that we could go with Alexa and her Moroccan boyfriend to the National Handball team practice here in Meknes [he’s on the team, but injured so he can’t play this season]. We walked all over Meknes, and by time we got to the stadium practice was over. We were sad, but we got to see a ton of hot handball players, including Ilyas, the world’s sexiest man [no lie] with their shirts off. No complaints here. Then we all went to a café for some refreshing Coke [thank God we have Coke here..although I’m pretty sure you could go to the High Atlas and find a Coke stand somewhere] and headed to class. Arabic class is getting better and better everyday. Everyday I’m a little less afraid of making up sentences on the spot and I actually feel like I’m learning so much.
After class we came home and Mohammed came over to try and fix the couch that Ben broke [did I mention I also broke a chair? Demolished it. Just by sitting on it. Kadeem.], made us some tea, then we all [minus a few] went to the medina. We watched Ben, Mohammed, and Julia play this fair-style game where you try and get a ring attached to a fishing pole to go around a bottle of Coke. Nobody won- not surprised. I also ate cactus for the first time and it was delicious! Then we wandered around the medina for a while more, and came home to indulge in some wine. We got to go on the roof, which was really exciting and really beautiful at night. So we all hung out on the roof and drank for a while; it was really chilled out. I feel like we all need that. People are starting to grate on other people’s nerves. Sometimes it’s just one little thing that somebody says that just brain ninjas you [if you don’t understand that sentence watch Dane Cook because you suck at life]. It’s starting to get a little tense around here. I’m sure this too will pass though.
Quick thought: Yesterday in class I told my teacher I was majoring in Middle Eastern Languages, and he asked if I was learning Hebrew. He told me he had studied it in college and liked it a lot. I told him that my plan was just to concentrate on Urdu, Farsi, and Arabic, but he encouraged me to think about Hebrew. Last night I talked to Ben, our resident Jew, about Hebrew because he speaks a little bit of it, and he gave me a quick crash course in it. It’s a lot like Arabic in some respects [pronouns, grammar, syntax..] and I really liked the little bit I heard. So I might be tacking another language onto the list. I’ll keep you posted.
Today I hung out with Michael all day, which was nice because we definitely haven’t hung out enough, especially since he’s from Virginia Beach and goes to the school I might be transferring to after sophomore year. We went to a café this morning, then after lunch [it was couscous day! Masha’allah!] we walked to the medina and went to Musee Dar Jamai, which used to be the sultan’s palace. At first it wasn’t cool because it was really small, but then we found a guy who worked there and took us to all the parts of the museum that were closed for renovations. My favorite part was when he took us upstairs to the sultan’s bedroom and showed us where the sultan wa arbaa zoujahu slept. He even let us take pictures, which isn’t allowed. Michael got to sit in the sultan’s chair, but I had to sit on the floor where the harem slept. How very Morocco of him. Michael is in Intermediate Arabic with me so between the two of us we could actually understand everything that our guide was saying, even though he was only speaking Arabic. We were proud of ourselves.
Then we went to McDonalds, because neither of us had been there yet. We got McFlurries, and let me tell you something- they’re way better here. We got a McFlurry Daim, which is toffee. It was oralgasmic. I’m resting right now; later tonight Mohammed is coming over to teach us how to cook tajine, then we might all head to a hookah bar, even though we have to be up early tomorrow for Rabat. I hope you’re all having a good weekend! Busat min Meknes!
Some more randomness:
-Immodium AD is my best friend. Draw your own conclusions.
-I really miss milk- I’m pretty sure I have osteoporosis already.
-My feet are always dirty…and by dirty I mean disgusting.
-Men here make the weirdest noises when they’re hitting on you. I’ve been hissed, clucked, and cooed at. Kadeem.
-Today Michael and I saw kids swimming in trash and sewage. Ew.
Things we say a lot here:
“Kadeem!” Literally means “old fashioned” but we use it for just about everything here. Mostly used like I would usually use the word “weak” when something is ironic or unsatisfactory. But like I said, we say it about everything.
“Yella!” Means “Let’s go!” Obviously with 13 of us this gets used a lot when we’re trying to do something.
“Belek!” – “Watch out!” Mostly used in the medina when donkey carts or horses are trying to get through a narrow passage- they won’t stop for you! We use it around the house when someone is in our way though.”
“Cowed.” This is one of our favorites to use to each other because it literally means “F--- off.” Combined with the Moroccan hand gesture [hand out, middle finger bent back- like Spiderman], it’s pretty effective.
“Ana jaeea.”/”Ata dawaru juan.” These two are used on an hourly basis. “I’m hungry/I’m starving.” We always want “khubz arabiya”!
“Caneena Coca Cola wahed min fudlok.” This is my personal favorite because I use it all the time. “One bottle of Coke please.” So I’m addicted.

Salaam wa hubb,

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