Eric: Friday

June 27, 2010

Friday is a big deal in Morocco. It’s kind of the equivalent of Sunday in the US, when many stores are closed and people go to the mosque. A lot of men go to sit in café to have tea and watch TV for the rest of the day. I like Friday because it means the weekend is coming. Not that school really is something I dislike, but it’s nice to have breaks. Me and my roommate overslept today and woke up at 7:50 am. As we both have class at 8 am, we scrambled to go out to take a taxi to school. I was out waiting for my roommate, and our host-dad went out to get breakfast for us. I, having no way of telling him that we have class in a few minutes and won’t be eating breakfast (he could have understood me but still insisted that we eat breakfast), could only watch him go and return with bread. Feeling bad and trying not to hurt our host-family’s feeling, we grabbed the bread and ran to get in a taxi.

We had a free couscous lunch today, courtesy of ALIF, and it consisted of huge plates of couscous with vegetables and chicken piled on top and watermelon for desert afterwards. It’s kind of weird how many of us feel that everything tastes so good here and just keep on eating. I doubt that I will eat that much in the US when the same food is put in front of me (it’s possible though).

After class, a group of us went across the street to the café to watch the World Cup. I didn’t really pay that much attention as I was taking advantage of the free wireless Internet. We later went to a bar in the hotel I stayed in the first night to watch the match between Spain and Chile. Bars do exist in Morocco, you just need to know where to find them. And even though Morocco is a Muslim country, alcohol apparently isn’t banned, as the bar has a wine list, and everyone in the bar sitting at a table was having some type of alcohol as far as I could tell. Other than beer, most alcohols do cost more than what they cost in the US (from what other people were saying anyway. I had no idea).

We went home a little later than usual, and our host-family somehow ate dinner earlier than usual today. But our host-mom still made us something, which was really nice of her (well, she sat down to eat too, so it could just have been that she hadn’t eaten yet also). We went out after dinner again to our new favorite place in the medina—Café Clock, which has staff who speaks English, and serves really nice drinks for reasonable prices. Here’s a thing about Moroccan culture: if you are a boy, parents are a lot more relaxed about the time you have to be home. If you are out late, they usually just tell you to watch out for yourself. On the other hand, if you are a girl, parents are a lot more protective. Many girls on our program or studying at ALIF have curfews, and they usually have to be accompanied by someone if they are out after dark (a host-sister, roommate, etc.). Probably not for no reason. I would feel a little uncomfortable walking by myself at night, even though I probably won’t get the harassment that some girls experience.


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