Monday, July 15, 2013

Morocco Journals - Part 11: Sad Moments in Morocco

So ... there've been some awkward but terribly sad and painful moments lately. I won't reveal all of them, but basically, due to some circumstances, my roommate and I had to be removed from our host family house (well, we basically chose to leave due to certain stuff), and now we're at a location that, for me, is almost worse than before, but for roommie, it's still better. This place is called a riad, which refers to a traditional Moroccan house/living space that has a courtyard (the word literally means "courtyard," actually). Read more about it here.

I appreciate the way the center has been managing the whole thing, but unfortunately, there too many misunderstandings I'm really unhappy about. I hope to help make things better in the next two weeks before I head back to the U.S.

I'm here in the riad temporarily, the center tells me, and will be moving in with a host family as soon as they find someone for me; roommie will be staying here - I shall miss her so much! But I'm thinking whether or not I should spend just these last two weeks at the riad or move in with a family. Don't know yet, but so far, it looks like I'm leaning towards moving out of here asap because ...

Uh, basically, it's so far really bad, and I know this not just from my own experience here so far but also from the folks who already live here. The program I'm in is supposed to provide 2 meals for us (breakfast and dinner) in addition to the living arrangements and tuition with the amount of money we pay them. And because it's the most expensive Arabic program I've come across yet, I have high expectations from them, and I'm quick to issue a complaint any time I believe I should. So get this: Earlier, the cook didn't provide me a meal, and while one of my housemates was eating, roommie and I sat along with her just for the heck of it. I finally asked the cook if I'll have a meal eventually, and he goes, "What? No. You didn't say you wanted any." I'm like what the hell - there should be a meal unless I say I don't want any. Apparently, he doesn't provide us with water for free and we've to pay 10 dirhams for it (!!! It's 5 dirhams from stores, the kind of water he has here.) And he's so impatient with us :( I was asking him what time suhoor and iftar would be ready and whether I should wake up for suhoor or not since I'm fasting, and he got really frustrated while explaining things to me because he just wasn't using the word "iftar" and I'm like, "No, no, I don't want breakfast; I'll be fasting." I eventually figured out he meant IFTAR when he said "breakfast" (same word in Arabic, so - iftar (breaking your fast, like in Ramadhan) and futoor (breakfast!). He be like, "You'll have your breakfast in the evening," and I'm like, huh? And then "evening" = maghrib in Arabic, and Morocco = al-Maghrib in Arabic, so I'm like, "Whaaaaaat?"

Well, I think when you study a language somewhere, the better option is to stay with a host family for a fuller experience if you're comfortable around people. If I don't get a family in the next 2-3 days, though, I'm just gonna go ahead and stick with the riad. So sad this had to happen, though :( Lots of love and blessings and prayers for the previous host family with Host Momma H. and Host sisters M. and N. Mwahs to them!

Previous Morocco Journals

10: The Food

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