My firend Yosra and I have sort of been slacking on our dual subject blogging. Perhaps it comes with the fact that we live in slow-paced countries. She’s an American revert living in Egypt with her husband and adorable son, and although our lives are totally different, they are reflective at the same time.
She came up with the idea to write an article called “Things My Mom Would Hate About Living Here” (which you should read here) and I have modified that to "Things That My Mom and Dad Would Both Love and Hate About Living Here." I’m of course overwhelmed with entries on the list so I’ve narrowed it down to the following:
Let’s start with Mom:
THINGS MY MOM WOULD HATE
1) The first thing (and to me the funniest) is that in order to get here, she would have to board a plane. In order to board a plane, she would have to enter an airport. In order to get on said plane, she’d have to face her worst fear in life: The Airport X-Ray Vision Scanner. She is adamant about the fact that these exist, which of course they don’t. I’ve traveled all over the world, have been in airports in many cities and not once have I ever seen this alleged “naked-vision” machine. Despite my numerous declarations that nobody is going to see her in her underwear, she is convinced the TSA workers and everyone else in line are going to see her girly parts.
2) Another downside is the lack of Zombie shows aired here. I’ve been out of the States for a while but it seems like everyone is Zombie crazy, including her. You won’t find any creepy, slimy, dirty freaks walking around here. Or maybe you might.
3) There’s no Fresca here. Anywhere.
4) She likes her personal space. Kiss that goodbye upon entry into the Kingdom of Morocco. The lovely women here have no problem pushing, shoving, and generally ignoring your existence. It happens in the souk, the mosque, the bus, the cell phone store, everywhere. “Cutting” is part of the norm and they like to just wedge their way all up in your area. Grown men will just blatantly step in front of you in line, assuming you won’t say anything. Unless of course, you’re a loud-mouthed American like me. As far as talking goes, the space cushion has not yet been introduced. People will get ALLLLLL up in your grill with their unbrushed teeth and talk to you like it’s no big deal. I can hear my mom’s famous words in my head now: “Yer crowdin’ me, yer crowdin’ me!!”
5) Another bummer: There’s no official Apple Store here. What’s a Mac-lover to do?
6) There’s generally not a lot of air conditioning here either, which makes the close proximity to people in layers of clothes even less desirable. She likes it cool. Probably because SHE’S cool. If it hits a degree above 65, the AC is cranked in the house. Not sure how she’d adjust to the African summers here.
7) DANGER. This word does not exist in Moroccan vocabulary or mindset. There is nothing wrong with a family of 4 on a moped (with no helmets of course) and a newborn baby being a part of the entourage. I’m serious when I say I see it every day. There are gaping holes in the sidewalks the size of refrigerators and plenty of other atrocities that are considered normal. She would for sure be appalled, shocked, and speechless at the total disregard for safety. I have become desensitized to it, but sometimes I still shake my head in utter disbelief.
|Watch your step!|
|A plastic grocery bag will fix it. Good job guys.|
|Stellar hole patch.|
|I hope your toddler is paying attention to where he's walking.|
|Exposed electrical wires for the kids.|
No big deal.
THINGS MY DAD WOULD HATE
1) The lack of order. My dad loves structure. He loves when things are “just so” and done in an orderly manner. Yeah, you won’t find that here. Most things are done all willy-nilly.
2) He also like crazy weather. Nope, not gonna find that here. No thunderstorms, no blizzards, no hot/cold pockets, nada. Just sunny, balmy, and breezy almost every single day of the year. It rained the other day and I got so excited like a little kid. I ran to the window, opened it and just smelled rain. It’s been waaaay too long since I’ve smelled rain and it was fantastic. I’m sure my dad would miss sitting with the balcony window open and hearing the hard rain pour down. I know I do.
3) You will not find any Green Bay Packers games on tv here. Just like most Americans could care less about soccer, Moroccans could care less about American Football. His chants of “GO PACK GO!” would fall on deaf ears.
4) Music isn’t halal in a Muslim country (or anywhere else) so it’s pretty safe to bet he wouldn’t be able to hear any Beatles songs on the oldies station. There’d definitely be “Lonesome Tears in His Eyes” about that.
5) Another thing my dad loves is English-speaking Customer Service Representatives. Not here. Nope. The term “customer service” is widely unknown. There is no such “the customer is always right” mindset. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s more like “Who cares about the customer as long as we’re making money.” Take for example my issues with the monopolizing company Maroc Telecom. I paid for a week of internet usage and of the 7 days, 5 of them were completely without service or connection whatsoever. When I went to the MT store to request a refund of the 5 days or 5 additional days free, I was laughed at. The guy looked at me like I was nuts. His response? “Ma areftsh.” That’s Arabic for “I don’t know” and he literally shrugged his shoulder and shouted “NEXT!” over my shoulder.
6) I’m not sure if my dad is into Zombies, but he’s for sure into tv. He has his separate room in the house, aka his “man cave” where he watches his regular lineup of favorites. Unless he wants to watch HOUSE or Prison Break dubbed in French, I’m sure he probably wouldn’t be too thrilled about the lack of availability here. Satellite dishes are more common in houses than hot water so maybe he could make nice with a neighbor. Or at least his dish cables…
7) Hot rods and Harleys. The loud motor and exhaust sounds are only a faint memory for me because the scrawny motorbike is the vehicle of choice for most of the population. While I understand its affordability and convenience, it just doesn’t hold a flame to a dual-exhaust LOUD Harley. Chances are, you won’t find a ’67 Chevelle layin’ around anywhere, either. Cancel the “Scoop the Loop” date.
THINGS MY MOM WOULD LOVE
1) Jammies at all times. (I mean come on, who wouldn't love that?) Yep, there’s no need to get all dolled up. It’s perfectly normal and acceptable to wear your lounge clothes during all hours of the day. When it’s time to leave the house, you just upgrade and throw a robe over your pajamas and BOOM! you’re ready to hit the streets. Not only can you wear PJs and robes around town, it’s encouraged! And your hair? Pshhhh…forget it. You just throw a scarf on and go. Makeup is reserved for your husband so when you leave the house, you don’t bother with that either. Could it get any better? The best part is that this is what most people in Agadir do. You fit right in. No fuss, no muss. (Side Note: does anyone even know what muss is?)
2) Fresh fruit and produce. We are talking like THEE best fruits and veggies ever. And they’re dirt-cheap. Why? Probably because there’s still dirt on them when you buy them, that’s how fresh they are. Sure you might have a sink full of mud after you wash your taters, but if you’re paying like 2 cents a pound, who cares?
3) Grocery prices. You can shop at the souk and buy a week’s worth of food for the whole family for less than 20 bucks. The food here is really cheap so it makes cooking more fun when you have such cheap fresh ingredients available every day of the year. (But still no Fresca).
4) My art gallery of a house. I’ve turned my whole house into an art-filled gallery of sorts. I’ve done so many things in there and taken a lot of inspiration from my mom and her minimalist/bold sense of style. There’s a peacock feather painting, a chalkboard fridge, cool jazzy stuff, and glitter everywhere. (ok, so the glitter is all me). I think she’d like to see my creativity come to life in the design of a funky Moroccan pad.
5) The cool jewelry. My mom LOVES unique art and also unique jewelry. Her wedding ring is by choice diamond-free and in the shape of cool net/web pattern. It’s SO cool and so her. I’m sure she’d have a field day here with all the artisan one-of-a-kind pieces. You can also get just about anything custom-made for next to nothing. The Moroccan style is sometimes very apparent, and sometimes just subtle enough to be mixed with modern design.
6) The camping. Nothing beats the camping here. You can camp in the mountains, on a cliff, next to waterfalls, in a cave, in the desert with camels and toureg nomads, in a grass field in the middle of nowhere, or in a sea of sand and palm trees. The African sunsets are insanely beautiful and there’s so much variety in the terrain here that you could spend a lifetime exploring this small country. By far, my mom’s favorite part about Morocco would be the… “NAY-CHUR!”
|Private camping on an oceanside cliff|
|One of my favorite spots in Paradise Valley|
|Sunset from the kitchen window|
THINGS MY DAD WOULD LOVE
1) Lounge clothes. My dad is a huge fan of comfort over fashion and that attitude is perfect here. He could wear the traditional saggy-booty pants, sweats, breezy linen pants, and flowy robes like the rest of the guys do here. The fuqiya is a dream come to to the not-so-haute-couture dude. Total plus.
2) Pizza on every corner. Yep, there’s a pizza place every few hundred feet. My dad and I used to eat pizza like 3 days a week (yeah, for real) and even had pizza one year for Thanksgiving. I mean, who wants to baste a turkey for 4 hours? Get real. I think he’d be more than happy to partake in the ol’ pizza pie. Fun fact: Moroccans love sardines, calamari, and even tuna on pizza! What the?!
3) The man café. 99% of the patrons in the cafés here are men. It’s where all the dudes go to drink coffee, socialize, smoke, or watch the big football (soccer) matches. Everyone just sits around and chills. Since my dad is retired, I bet he’d like to just hang out and relax with the locals.
4) The motorbike. Despite its missing “bad-assedness” the motorbike is actually fun. I could totally see him scootin’ around town, hair blowin’ in the wind. Perhaps with a leather Harley-Davidson jacket on...
5) Golfing. Agadir is home to some gorgeous courses. They hold big national and international tournaments here and Agadir is known for its lush green fairways. Since the weather is always nice, it’s available almost every day of the year and there’s plenty of different spots to choose from.
6) Hearing the call to prayer every morning. The calls from the mosques are very loud and can be heard as early as 4-something in the morning depending on the time of year and the sunrise times. My dad likes to get up really early anyway, so he’d probably be up before the call. You can usually hear 4 or 5 men calling from different mosques because there’s usually that many within earshot of any house. There’s a certain sense of peace associated with it and hearing it so early is very calming. I bet he’d like to watch the sunrise and feel the city wake up.
|It's TEE time.|
|...and now it's TEA time. Note the robes. Chill mode.|
|Gitcha motor runnin...|
I think my mom’s favorites would be the artsy stuff and nature and my dad’s faves would be the golfing and the laid back attitude. He’s pretty laid-back himself and if he saw the fam on the moped he’d probably be like, “There ya go! It’s cheap thrills for the kids!” Either way, it would be interesting to see how they’d do in this magical, crazy, enchanting, lovely, warm and welcoming place called Morocco. Now hurry up and book your tickets. (and wear long johns for the X-Ray Vision scanners).
|Show me whatcha werkin' with.|
|This guy's nuts.|
|Food on a stick. Yes.|
|It's not a lamp-shade. It's a sun-shade.|