Have you ever been to one of those Moroccan weddings where the groom's brother generously sprays some sort of poison gas everywhere during a brawl outside of the tent? Probably not. Neither had I until last night.
I spent about 2 weeks dreading this wedding. After attending more weddings here than in America, I can unequivocally say that I like American ones more. The deafening music until sunrise, brutal heat/accompanying body odors, and unchanging, limited stock of appropriate dance moves get old real fast. I found myself hoping that I come down with another severe stomach problem, or maybe get hit by a car, anything that would allow me to avoid it. While I wasn't able to avoid it entirely, it did end much earlier than expected. Be careful what you wish for.
After maybe two hours of fairly enjoyable dancing, with the least-abusive music I've heard yet, the party was broken up in a big way. Suddenly I saw everybody in the tent covering their noses and mouths, while one person frantically signalled for everybody to leave while another signalled the opposite. There was a stampede for the entrance to the door as a couple of young "men"(read: idiot children) fought it out. As panic spread, a 200-year-old berber lady with face tattoos who was sitting next to me got this terrified look across her face as she inhaled the gas and her very first move was to hit the floor in the full, prostrate-prayer position. I'd seen her limited mobility earlier and so I did a probably not very islamic thing and, along with another woman, grabbed her up from the ground and helped to haul her out of the tent and into the house.
While I wasn't hit hard by the gas, just an itchy, irritated nose, many were retching and throwing up. One guy who got it particularly bad was on the ground sucking air, fighting to breathe, for several minutes. I have no idea what the stuff was. The only thing I suffered was the loss of my favorite sweatshirt, as I didn't think to grab it when trying to get the old lady out of the tent.
After the gas cleared a bit, the ratio of men to women in the tent was no longer as inviting, and it seemed as though the remainder of the wedding was rushed, as it ended at around 3:30 AM (or 2:30 if you're on old time, which is now new time, or maybe not, I don't know). The bride, my host sister, broke down and cried at the end, and I don't know if this was because of what had happened, or just because the whole thing is a huge change in her lifestyle. Anyway, I got home and was asleep soon after, alHumdullilah.
I'm gonna try to avoid all remaining weddings.
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.