Every once in a very long while, for a couple of hours, I almost forget that I am in this weird place. Many things are weird about Morocco. Everybody stares at me. I see sexual harassment in the street at least once a day. It's 65 degrees in the middle of December. But the strangest thing, for me at least, is Islam.
And not just Islam, but the fact that 99.9999% of the people around me actually believe in the literal reading of the Quran. The stories are not parables; they are not lessons. They are iron-hard scientific facts and prescriptive rules. No interpretation necessary or allowed.
I don't mean to hate on Islam, (although I hate, hate, hate the sexual harassment and suffocating patriarchy which is, in a very real way, tied up with religion). I'm sure that I would feel out of place in any homogenous religious society.
Anyway, yesterday I was invited over to eat lunch with a local teacher who works very hard and who helped me a number of times last year. K and I went over there and we'd been speaking English for a couple of hours and I was starting to feel comfortable. Danger sign.
We were eating some pomegranates and talking about the word in various languages. In German, it's apfelgranate or granateapfel or something like that. Anyway, it has apfel in it (apple), and this reminded me of something I had learned.
Me: You know, many people think that, in the Adam and Eve story, it wasn't an apple-- it was a pomegranate.
the teacher: What?
Me: Well, there were no apples in the region where the story comes from, but there were pomegranates, and I think the words in the ancient language are the same, or very similar.
the teacher: what do you mean where the story comes from?
Me: What, I think it was in Syria or Iraq or something
K: Yeah, Syria, I think.
the teacher: No-- we don't know where it was- of course, they were in Heaven or some place like that, not here on Earth.
Me: Oh. okay...
Whoops. I managed to forget for a minute where I was.
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.