Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"A half-a-million thoughts...

...are floating through my mind." Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Corporation, from the Garden State soundtrack.

I'm not usually plagued by insomnia this time of year.

I just pulled out my journal from the Big Adventure of last summer to Morocco--I wrote it in pencil and I'm gradually inking it in before the pencil all fades away--and got to the June 1 entry. (Picture from my excursion into the Sahara, with sun rising behind some camels.)

"We ate cous cous for lunch--they served it in the Alif garden. Yum! After, a group of us all went and got some AMAZING mint tea.

Mine had a free bug included. And a hair.

I drank it anyway.

In the pot (explaining the bug, but not the hair) was a huge wad of very fresh mint--delicious. The hardest part of the day was the "Moroccan Survival" class. The professor refused to speak any English, and conducted the class in Moroccan Dareeja--which is the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. I was horrid at it." (Picture from a rooftop in Fez, Morocco, in the medina, or old city. Notice the green roofs, and especially the mosque with green tile roof rising in the center.)

I got a note from one of my housemates from the trip too, and my! I got such a wave of homesickness, you cannot imagine.

But yesterday I spent an hour and a half in the post office and the people (there were about 15 people at a time in the little waiting room) and they started to get grumpy. I couldn't stop grinning, thinking of the four-hour wait I had at the PO in Morocco, where waiting in line is unheard of, and no mail will be delivered without extensive bribery. (Which I did not know, and which explains why only about half of my post cards made it back to the States.)

I could have had the school take care of mailing my cards, or I could have dropped them at the hotel lobby, but I wanted to try it for myself. And I did. It was loud, and long, and very un-American--which is only to be expected. Ah well, TIA. (Picture from Temarah, Morocco, watching the sun SET over the Atlantic. That was surreal.)

But as I was in this American (but slow) post office yesterday, grinning like an idiot, a lady who was glowering around the room glowered directly at me and said,

"So why are you enjoying this so much?"

I continued to grin--I almost couldn't help it--and told her about Morocco.

I talked about how cats are everywhere, because while dogs are unclean in Islam, it's said that the Prophet liked cats; and I talked about the camels, and the desert, and waking up at 3 every morning to hear the call to prayer from the mosque near our villa, and how green is the color of Islam, but blue is the color of Fez, and about the food, and the smells, and the noise, and the heat. (Picture of one of the millions of cats in Morocco.)

The gentleman behind her asked some question which led to another story. So for the remaining 45 minutes of the wait, I managed to keep the whole line laughing and cheerful with stories about my visit to Africa. (Aha! It wasn't a waste of time, money, and energy after all! Picture of me on a camel in Morocco.)

By the time I got up to the register and the nice lady helped me mail my packaged and sold me stamps, the people had begun to chat amongst themselves and I was free to submerge back into my own little world of thoughts. The postal worker smiled and thanked me and I went on my merry way, in America--cold, wintery, but home.

Isn't life ironic?

1 comment:

MagistraCarminae said...

Can you bring pictures and stories to Starbucks today, please?! :-)