A few things of note from today-
When I woke up at 6:15, grabbed my bucket and soap etc., and walked to the Hammam, I saw something wholly unexpected: snow. Goddamnit it’s cold. There was snow on the windshields of parked cars, and yesterday there were a few bouts of hail. What the hell- a week ago it was 80 degrees. Hopefully this is the last bout of cold so I don’t have to waste 4 dollars on gloves. Things that don’t help with the cold: no heating indoors, everything is constructed out of concrete, the tap for washing is outside, and there’s no water heater. No problem. It’ll probably be 90 degrees tomorrow and I’ll wish it were cold. Lesson: shut up; I can’t do anything about the weather. I’m starting to realize wherever I’m sent, it’ll either be wicked, wicked hot or else super cold 6 months of the year.
Second thing: as part of our training we walked around and met random people. One of the Hanut guys who we talked to requested permission to ask us a question that was slightly political, and didn’t have to do with what we were explaining our job is over here. He asked about what we thought of Muslims given September 11th. He really, really wanted to know; it’s interesting to hear what questions people have when given the chance to talk to Americans. With some help from Sa3eed, I told him there’s been some anti-Muslim sentiments due to 9/11, but we all thought that everywhere in the world there are some good people and some bad people; religion is not the problem, crazy people are the problem. We told Sa3eed something like “that is logical”, and he also said “terrorism has no religion”. Guy was a good dude. Another person we talked to was sort of a pain in the ass- he was only semi-joking when he said he knows what our job is on paper, but what are we really doing there. I’m confused as to how anybody could think we’re spies. What exactly is there to spy on? I spied a few donkeys today and a vegetable market.
Further news, I need a Moroccan name because Mike sounds too foreign. I could go for Mika’il, but that isn’t particularly common either. I’m thinking Abdelrahim, Yusuf, Yunis, or Waliid. My host mother is pushing hard for Abdelrahim- her father is named Abdelrahman, which is allegedly the same thing. We look similar.
Lastly, and completely unrelated- tea, sugar, and diabetes. Basically everybody in Morocco has tooth problems and diabetes because everything is coated or full of sugar. Not least of which is the tea. The mint tea is incredible. It is delicious. But there’s usually a whole hell of a lot of sugar in it, and so I feel semi-drugged all day, going up and down on the sugar high-lows. At home, it’s essentially impossible to drink fewer than four cups a day. With the typical two tea breaks a day in class, during which I usually have two cups of either tea or coffee or both, that puts my caffeine intake at about 7-8 cups a day. Granted, most of it is tea, not coffee. Additionally, I have soda all the time to keep the sugar going, usually one a day. So, in conclusion, operation Don’t Get Diabetes needs to start immediately.