Sunday, September 5, 2010
The Return to Fes
Well, I am back in town and it feels like I've passed through a portal into another dimension. The life I experienced in the U.S. this summer was so incredibly different from what awaited me here in Morocco. I must say it's a bit of a shock to the system.
After a 2 hour drive from the beaches of Delaware where I spent the last week in America I traveled to the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C.'s airport. Once there, I had 3 hours to wait for my plane's departure. About 6 hours later I arrived in Frankfurt, feet and ankles so swollen I could hardly fit into my sandals. I found a lounge chair (the best thing about Frankfurt's terminal) and raised my fat feet up to relieve the swelling. I had a long, 10 hour layover in which to catnap, walk around, hydrate myself and eat. The flight from Frankfurt to Casablanca was a little over 4 hours. My feet swelled up to their previous elephantine size and I hobbled through customs to find Hassan waiting for me outside baggage claim. It was very good to see his smiling face. We stayed in Casablanca for the night and arrived in Fes around 6:00 the next day. I put my luggage down and hurried off to the school to get my assignment for the next day. Books in hand, I returned to the house and wept a little bit for all the work ahead of me to right the house again and to mourn a little bit the carefree summer that was now completely and utterly over. But that's the life of the working class. And these days, I count myself lucky to be working at all!
I have been warmly received by my co-workers, neighbors and friends now that I am back in town. This is the last week of Ramadan and schedules are topsy turvy. But this, too, will end soon and life will resume it's regular pace before long. Meanwhile, I am cleaning a little when I have the energy and motivation and preparing my lessons for the intensive course which is now in full swing. Slowly but surely the expats who left the heat are returning to Fes and everyday is a new opportunity to reacquaint myself with the people who have become such a large part of my life here.
This life is like a dream sometimes. One minute you are watching dolphins cavorting in the ocean while you sit in a rocking chair and enjoy the cool ocean breeze. The next minute you are hurtling through the air towards a different destination, enduring the torture of sitting in a small space for hours on end with bad food and recycled air. And then, before you know it, that, too is over and you are sitting in communion with a Muslim community patiently waiting for the call to prayer signifying the end of the long day's fasting. The swifts in the sky above are feeding on the insects and the sky is darkening and the busy area around Bab Boujloud falls strangely silent as everyone momentarily concentrates on eating and drinking.
Posted by Water Dragon at 4:02 AM