Saturday, January 14, 2012
Baby It's Cold Inside!
Funny thing about winter here. When the sun shines in winter, it’s often warmer outside the house than inside the house. No central heating will do that. And the days are so short. Seems to me that by the time I’ve rallied myself to go outdoors, peeling the layers of clothes for sleeping off and replacing them with an equal or greater number of clothes for outdoors, it’s time to reverse the process all over again. But I take heart in the knowledge that the days are getting longer now and being cold will become a distant memory; replaced by the effort to stay cool in summer.
I think it’s a good thing to live with the elements (within reason, of course). I like the fact that here in Morocco, the fresh fruits and vegetables are still seasonal. First come the tangerines, then the oranges; it always surprises me that strawberries arrive in the dead of winter but I completely welcome their arrival. And they actually taste like strawberries. Not the beautiful, large specimens I used to buy in the U.S., with absolutely no taste. As spring approaches, I love to see the arrival of the orange blossoms, baskets filled to the brim with the fragrant flowers which you can buy by the handful. In summer, the prickly pears arrive on carts. The vendors stand with paring knife in hand, ready to peel as much fruit as the customer wants to eat. Personally, I’m not crazy about the prickly pears but they are revered for their ability to settle the stomach.
Everyone is waiting for rain as it hasn’t rained a drop in about 2 months. Normally, we are in the midst of regular downpours this time of year. But yesterday, the evening was quite a bit warmer, announcing the impending arrival of rain. The medina could use a good dousing right now. It’s dusty and filled with the debris of passersby who think nothing of unwrapping their cookies or cakes and dropping the paper on the street for someone else to clean up. I hate this; the litter and the garbage so thoughtlessly thrown on the street. But I know the rain will soon drive everyone indoors and the streets will occasionally look clean and debris-free; if only for a brief moment in time. In my mind, the medina of Fes is a precious gem that deserves to be well-cared for.
I guess it’s time for me to step outside my front door and give the area a good sweeping. I do this almost daily. It amuses me when some pedestrians get upset with me for not using water to keep the dust down when I sweep. I try to do this when no one is about and I am conscious of using my broom in a manner that minimizes the dust. And often I wet the bristles of the broom from the fountain opposite my house to help stop the dust from being disturbed. But there are times when I am in a hurry and inevitably I am admonished for not using water. Orange peels, wet mint leaves, donkey dung and foil wrappers are not a disturbance. Dust is. But I have to admit, sometimes I take a perverse pleasure in kicking up some dust.
Posted by Water Dragon at 3:36 AM