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seven months in Morocco

6 April, 2011
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Today marks seven months since I have arrived in Morocco.

In the last seven months, I’ve had the opportunity to see lots of new things, meet lots of new people, and more or less adapt to life in al-Maghreb. These seven months have also given me time to reflect on things I miss from back home, and have given me a much keener appreciation for how rich my life was and still is.

Before I left Chicago, I listed the top ten things I thought I’d be missing and fully intended to revisit that list a few months after landing. I’m just getting around to it now.

The top ten things I’m missing:

10. The Chicago Public Library. I failed to take into account just how many books I go through when I’ve got the time to sit around and read. I’ve read almost all of the books I brought with me, and will be donating them to my university when I go. I’ve found ways to get my hands on new books, but its nowhere near as convenient nor as cheap (free!!) as getting books from the library.

9. Having native speaker language skills that are the in the same language as the folks around me. My language skills here are such that I can get around fine, but I make mistakes all the time and while its funny sometimes, its exhausting other times. Life is so much easier when you can quickly and clearly communicate.

8. Knowing all of the little social rules native to the place I’m in. The big ones are easy, but I find myself continuing to stumble through the do’s and don’ts of life in Morocco.

7. Having access to convenience foods. We’ve got some kick ass produce here, but sometimes you just want to quickly make dinner and shelling those delicious fresh peas for 30 minutes is nowhere near as convenient as taking 30 second to open a bag of frozen peas and let them start cooking.

6. Having a variety of foods I want to eat at a number of stores/restaurants near to my house. Chicago is teeming with restaurants, grocery stores and markets filled with all sorts of wonderful things. Now, if I want Doritos, veggie maki, or ice cream, I have to spend at least 6 hours on the road to get it. Eugh.

5. My dishwasher. I’ve always hated washing dishes, and while my bucket system (take bucket to shower head, fill bucket with hot water, add dirty dishes, wash dishes, rinse in cold water in kitchen sink) is not bad.. its much more time consuming than popping the dirty dishes in the dish washer and pressing a button.

4. Being free from shouts of “bonjour gazelle!” and whispers of “sex madame?” when I walk down the street. The almost complete lack of sexual harassment on the streets of Chicago is awesome, and I miss being able to walk down the street without being noticed.

3. Being able to quickly, easily get somewhere. Having to fly over the mountains (flights happen 2x a week) on someone else’s schedule or having to endure a 10-12 hour bus ride in order to visit friends, buy necessary supplies, etc., is nothing short of obnoxious. I miss being able to hop in my car and be at a family gathering, having dinner with a friend, or stocking up on household supplies within an hour tops.

2. My bath tub. We’ve got hot water now and a shower area in the bathroom to get cleaned up, but nothing compares to soaking in a tub full of hot water, relaxing and enjoying a good book.

1. My family and friends. I’ve met a bunch of great people here, but no one can replace the folks I’ve got back home. Thank you all for your letters, emails, Skype chats, and visits. I’m blessed to have you in my life.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    7 April, 2011 21:26

    Thank you so much for all your posts, Tracy! It’s been so fantastic to read about your adventures- Can’t wait to see you soon, but glad that you’re embracing everything with your usual wit and style 🙂

  2. The Mother permalink
    8 April, 2011 01:50

    Oh Sissy, you make me cry! Not that I am counting, but you will be back home in 91 days! 🙂 I am so grateful I was able to visit you after not seeing you for six months. And I am pleased you have continued to use my method of bucket washing your dishes in hot water. 🙂 You amaze me and of course love you so very much!

  3. Julie permalink
    8 April, 2011 04:36

    My heart goes out to you Tracy! Hopefully you are having fun though too!

  4. Pops permalink
    8 April, 2011 13:28

    You mean you’re not extending your stay another 3 years???

  5. Aunt Chris permalink
    8 April, 2011 15:11

    We miss you Tracy and can not wait until you are back home! Thanks for keeping us updated! Love you!

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