That's what I asked the lady working at a bakery nearby. The above question means, in the half-swallowed eastern dialect of Moroccan darija, "didn't you see her?"
Krista and I were returning from across town, about an hour and a half walk. We'd been to an elementary/middle school so that we could make announcements at the school and lure potential students with our intriguing Americanness. This takes very little effort on our part. Krista said one word in Arabic and a class of fifth graders literally burst into applause. We command a great deal of attention with next to no effort. We're kind of a big deal.
This was one of the few occasions in which this phenomenon works in our favor. That's to say, every single place we go, we get stares. And we get comments.
"Foreigner!", "blonde?", "French people", and so forth.
At a certain point on the way back we split paths- Krista to the local market, and I to a private school to invite more students to our classes. After that task, I bought a loaf of bread from the bakery and asked if the lady had seen Krista, the "foreigner", the "blonde woman". She said she hadn't. Turns out within the 5 block walk back to the apartment in the middle of the afternoon, one guy followed her in a car and another on a moped demanded to meet her.
I would like to personally castrate every single Moroccan man who does this. Unfortunately, this isn't yet feasible, but remains for now merely an intriguing potential development project.
If you are reading this and happen to be a female volunteer (or an asian-american/african-american/anynonwhitelookingamerican) serving in, well, most peace corps countries, you're probably thinking, "give me a freakin' break- what does a guy have to complain about when it comes to harassment". I agree. I don't have a leg to stand on.
Buut, it's more than a little bit irritating. It means I'm on edge at all times I'm in public. Later today Krista and I were walking to another school and a guy yelled from his car. I stopped and turned, ready to yell something like, "Ila kat3oud, gatmoot ghuwetan" or "siir taHwa" or just meaningless rapid-fire harsh throatal noises. Then I realized it's a nice guy who works at the grocery store. I should probably reign-in the aggression a bit.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.
Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.