Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Taste of Africa

Now I want to fly every time at 5 is one of the most beautiful sights in the world to fly through the sky at sunrise...

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts." ~Mark Twain

I've already experienced a lot of changed preconceptions of what Africa would be like. One was that Ouarzazate is called the Hollywood of Morocco, and so I thought it would be a little more developed... and it's not. Another is that a man laughed for fully two minutes when we said we were staying here for a month. "What will you do here?" he asked. Apparently it's unusual for someone to come here to live.

Another is that I feared it could be dangerous here, more dangerous than most places. Ouarzazate is the safest place we have yet to visit. Everyone here is so pleasant, friendly, and helpful, and we can't even imagine the police doing anything here or what they would be trying to break up. Arabic as a language sounds scary because it is so glottal. They say "Merha/BA!" for hello.

It is so dry and hot here that I feel like my nose is going to shrivel up off of my face. At least that means no allergies, which I suffered from occasionally in Berlin. It's so hot, in fact, that most people stay in during the day and you can go get your hair cut at 11 pm.

The equipment at Jacob's gym is functionable, just not new. I was just relieved they had a gym. It's my job to find where we're going to stay, and that means finding a place with good internet and a gym nearby.
The long bus ride. So hot and uncomfortable.

The only two colors. Brown and green.
Jacob found a basketball hoop at a rec center
A sea of taxis

No idea what this building is. All buildings in this city are pinkish.
The Moroccan King, who is married to a computer engineer

Enjoying dinner. Our apartment owners make us dinner for 100 dh per meal, and it is delicious and exotic. Something to look forward to each day. This is their home

I like this outfit! I think the way the Moroccan women dress is so cute. I'm going to have to get some dresses here, though I don't know where I'll wear them after here...The sisters who live upstairs promised to go with me to bargain for clothes. If only I spoke French!
I thought like Jacob looked like King of the Forest here

Stranded in the desert next to a broken bus...kind of a fun experience actually

Jacob talking to his new friend, Mohammed
Our view from our front door.

A vegetarian tagine. Tagines are the most common dish, with cooked olives and vegetables, a kind of stew

The mosque. The call to prayer is so funny here. It sounds like gruff speaking. In Turkey and Israel it was a haunting melody; here it's kind of scary.

It's been fun to get to talk to Muslim women via Jacob here. They are much more liberal than in Turkey, which surprises me! The women can wear what they want, and Rashida said she'd divorce her husband if he tried to marry again (Muslim men can marry 4 women). I like Morocco! Jacob does fact he said he thought people here were nicer than the islands overall. Whoa, never thought I'd hear that!


GooberDiva13 said...

that actually looks a lot like new mexico...brown, mesas, and a few specks of green...except we don't have palm trees because we have winter too. looks like a fun place to visit. do many people speak english??

Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...

Actually, it did look a lot like Arizona where I lived at some points. And we're told it gets below freezing arond here though it's hard to believe. No one speaks English so I'm dependent on Jacob. Looking for a bookstore with a French-English dictionary! But in Arizona the men definitely didn't walk around in long dresses and little hats and the women in scarves covering their faces...

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