Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Finished Edward Said's "Orientalism"

A Garbage Without A Can
My roommate made a comment today as we were leaving our mansion (French for "house" pronounced: "may-zon") today and she wanted to throw something away. There were no garbage cans around, so she just put her scrap in a pile of trash that was sitting on the street. It had been swept up, probably at around 3 or 4 am (sometimes I hear them sweeping...its super loud and they always sweep the pile directly under our balcone). They sweep, by the by, using large palm frods, which (I believe) contributes to the volume of the sweeping. Anyway, all of this is beside the point. What is TO the point is that as my roommate dropped her trash on the street she glibly and conveniently termed "garbage without a can". Which is precisely what it is.

Funny Arabic Words I Learned Today
to cause to tremble - zalzala (past) - yu'zalzil (present)
which is a good onomatopoeia, but not as good as this embarrassing one:
to stutter, stammer - ta'ata'a - yu'ta'ataee; t'a't'ta'tah (gerund) -- two of the radicals in this word are glottal stops. Hilarious.
to be devilish, act like the devil - ta'shitana, ya'shtaytan (you may recognize it from the Hebrew -or the English - Satan)
but what's funny is that it was followed immediately in the book by:
to become Americanized - t'amraka - ya'ta'amrak (Oy)
and my favorite
to "front" (to pretend to own more than you actually possess) - fachacha - yufachach

A (Very) Few Reasons Why Morocco is Hamak (Crazy)
1) I've now seen two bus crashes. People yelling, cursing, and pointing. But it turns out that they happen all the time. Incredibly frequently. Who knew?
2) My friend thought that the green yogurt was clam flavored because that's what the picture looks like on the side of the container. Its actually pistachio. Not so delicious. Or maybe I'm just turned off because its green.
3) The orange juice they sell on the street is great. You pay 4 dirham, they pour you a glass, you drink it on the spot, they take your glass, dunk it in some sort of cleaning water, and rinse it.
4) They also sell chocolate in small pieces, single cigarettes, chalk boards, nuts, boiled chickpeas, hanging shoe containers, platic Winnie-the-Pooh-playing-the-drums toys, watches, socks, leggings, sunglasses, single tissue packs (1 dirham scented, 2 unscented), and anything else you might think of. on the street. And basically everything else you could possible not want.

My Love/Hate Relationship With FRENCH
1) ) We're trying to teach Baria, my host mother, English. Kitchen-chicken (and sometimes ticket) are tough words for her. Every morning we get: "Have “egg” good day, Sheva. Have egg good day, Liza!" She's so cute.
Lisa’s faux pas: The word for umbrella in French is pronounced “parapoulwee” but, when Lisa tired to repeat this word to our friend Mike, it came out “parapoulay” which, literarlly translates, might be close to something like “chicken-hitter” or something as “poulay” means…chicken.
The French are constantly referred to in academic literature as “colons”, which I find hilarious. But the truth is, the fact that the French were here with a relatively benign occupation, gives Morocco a feeling of class that Egypt didn’t have. Good or bad I can’t judge. But the Moroccans really embraced French as a language and a culture -- and it shows.
4) All of that said, French is impossible to decipher. Lisa and I bought conditioner that turned out to be tanning lotion. We bought sun screen that turned out to be tanning oil. I guess the French come here to tan?

What to DO This Weekend:
I could go to a hillulah - a Jewish saint veneration party at a shrine near Ouarzazate - but I have nowhere to sleep for the weekend and I don't have a ride there until Sunday after all of the festivities anyway.
I could go to Agadir with Lisa for a concert on Sat. night but its really far and I'd have to skip class.
I could stay in Rabat and be bored.
I'll let you know which one I choose.

SHOUT OUT: Scotty and Jon from Amsterdam SIT. Anthony, too. Lisa too- it was her birthday, as you know. And just because I had a sudden change of's The Future of Forestry and "If You Find Her"...

1 comment:

  1. Pistachio ice cream is great, don't hate, I'm sure yogurt is too.