In DC you know that summer is on its way when the cherry blossoms are clearing up and the restaurant patios are opening onto the street. You can walk comfortably in the evening and the mall is mobbed with mid-western families in matching bright green t-shirts.
Here you know summer is on its way when it hits 90 degrees, a haze of burning trash obscures the mountains and huge, disgusting cockroaches fly out of the toilet while you're trying to relieve yourself. That's right, the first cockroach of the season, and it was a big one. The cats, it turns out, are totally useless when it comes to these things. I'm scared of them even though I'm 1000 times bigger. And the cats are pretty much the same size so what did I expect?
Along with summer comes the prospect of empty months ahead. But in the mean time, I've been enjoying classic Moroccan bureaucracy. I've been here over a year and so my 'carte de sejour' has expired. It's this shitty little laminated piece of paper that says my name is Michael Dominic and I am allowed to work and travel in Morocco.
First, I had to mail several meaningless forms to Peace Corps after paying for a man to put stamps on them and charge me for said stamps. It took a little while to find this office. Then I had to wait over a month for the Peace Corps to send me back another sheet of paper with stamps on it from the court system saying that I wasn't a criminal. They sent me a bunch of other paperwork as well, I had to get more copies of my passport stamped again and go to the police station. While I was at the police station there were two guys. One of them helped me by walking through the forms with me, and the other kept on trying to screw up the whole thing by making me get more meaningless forms and papers stamped (including my birth certificate; I mean, who the hell has their own birth certificate?).
It reminded me of the DMV where your success is absolutely dependent upon whether or not the person helping you is an asshole. There don't seem to be any rules for this thing so I'm glad I got a nice guy this time. The stamp place, however, is ridiculous. For whatever reason, these two guys are endowed with great power. They have some stamps. If you have a form, pretty much any form, or anything at all for that matter, that you need to convince somebody is important and real, you bring it to these guys and they stamp it. Then you pay them. And that's it. It is, without a doubt, the most ludicrous bureaucratic waste I could possibly imagine. I'm sure we can thank the French for this system. Now I just need to wait 2 months to get my new shitty little laminated piece of paper.
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.