Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ruth and the Very Difficult Language Lessons

Darija is difficult. That's all there is to it. There are sounds in Darija that don't exist in English, so I can't make them. We covered greetings today, and then went in to the town and each introduced ourselves to 4 people, who, no doubt, all thought we were barking mad. (And they have a point.) I'm writing pages and pages of vocabulary notes, and my plan is to rewrite each days notes in the evening to help it stick.

I watched a Moroccan soap opera with my family this evening, of which I understood nothing, but it seems to be THE program to watch around here. I've excused myself for an hour before dinner so that I can write this. About twice the size of my old apartment, no joke. Two walls are stacked to the ceiling with bed frames, mattresses, blankets, and pillows, and way in the opposite corner is a full mattress on the floor for me. There's a small table and a chair, and a couple of rugs, and that's it - but it's great. I'm not going to be cold with all these blankets around me! Apparently the snow can start in October - not December as I was previously told. Um, boots. And down vest. And wool socks. Just saying.

We had an introduction to Islam this afternoon, which was very interesting, and useful of course. I've been hearing the call to prayer (muzen) during the day, and while we were in Mehdya I heard the early morning call (ssubH) - but I didn't hear it this morning. I had the privilege of hearing the stray dogs fighting in the middle of the night instead.

(3 hours later) Back from dinner and my first bucket bath - I love it! I have no problem with this - it feels just like I'm at Kabuki in Japantown. I showed my host mum pictures of my parents, and she said, while gesturing to her face: "Nti, maman, kifkif! Papa, lla!" - which means - "You, mother, same same! Father - no!" I look like my mum, but not so much my dad. She's right of course.

And now that I'm all warm and cozy from my bucket bath, to bed I go. Just killed a fly on my computer screen, so I'm all set.


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