Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ruth and the Boots Made for Walking (And That's Just What They'll Do)

It's Wednesday. It's raining. A lot. My town has been reduced to a big pool of mud. I ventured out this morning, only for the rain to start the minute I walked out the door, of course. And to find that none of my women were going to work out at the association on account of the rain that I was by then soaked by. So, here I am, back at home, with the whole day ahead of me.

After being drenched, I curled back up in bed for a bit this morning to get warm and read. I'm reading a great book at the moment, called In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams, which my sister sent me (thanks, sis!), by Tahir Shah, who is also the author of the Caliph's House, if anyone's read that. It's the travels that the author goes on throughout Morocco looking for, as per Berber tradition, the story within him. And it takes him from Tangers to the Sahara, and all the great places in-between. But the reason I bring this book up is because there are a couple of really great passages in it, and I thought I would share on this rainy day.

"Settling into a new country is like getting used to a pair of shoes. At first they pinch a little, but you like the way they look, so you carry on. The longer you have them, the more comfortable they become. Until one day without realizing it you reach a glorious plateau. Wearing these shoes is like wearing no shoes at all. The more scuffed they get, the more you love them, and the more you can't imagine life without them."

So I'm still in the shoes-are-pinching-me stage, but they are getting more comfortable by the day. I wonder at what point during the next two years will I look back and find that I've broken my shoes in completely, and I am as comfortable here in Morocco as I am walking around in my beloved Austin boots. It's a long and confusing process, that's for sure. But, like all good, broken in shoes, it's well worth the wait.

But enough reflection for one day. Some of us have an entire language to get on and learn. Must look up how to say "my brain is about to explode" in darija.


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