Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sketchy Men, African Dancing, and Getting Ripped Off

I guess there is a lot to tell, considering I have not had the time to update this thing lately.

Megan, her friend Skye, and I took in some of the World Sacred Music Festival. This thing is kind of a big deal. It snags many talented performers from all over the world and you get an oppurtunity to see musicians and genres that you would not have many oppurtunities to. And most of the shows are held at the babs to the old medina, which is just a surreal place to see a concert.

Anyhoo, we went two nights in a row. The first night was Several singers singing Andalusian songs of the Maghreb, which was pretty neat. The next night we saw a singer from Benin named Angelique Kidjo. That show was really good and we bought her CD afterwards. People were getting up and dancing around and it was just a lot of fun. These Moroccan guys came over and tried to dance with us. It was...kind of sketchy but funny. They were fun, trying to teach us weird dance moves. The show ended and we tried to catch a cab back.

The cab dropped Skye off at her hotel. She tried to give us her share of the cab fare to give to the cabbie after he dropped us off at the end. But he was telling her in French that No, she had to pay now. So she ended up giving him the money and that was that. Then he headed to take us back to our house. I noticed halfway there that he had not changed the meter but I did not know enough French or Arabic to tell him this so I figured I would let it go. After he dropped us off, I paid and then confusion and chaos ensued. Megan tried to insist that the guy had stiffed us for change and refused to get out of the car until he gave us the right change. Meanwhile the cabbie was screaming and cursing and trying to force us out of the cab. I was just really confused and freaked out at this point cuz the cabbie was so frickin scary and, like I said, we did not know enough French of Arabic to tell him that he was trying to stiff us. Then he tried to grab random people off the street to explain to them what was going on. Luckily one of them spoke English and tried to help, but it was to no avail. But the guy, who was actually named Muhammad but told us to call him Seymour, was really nice and talked to us awhile and helped us get most of the rest of the way home.

Then this weekend most of us Arabic students at ALIF went on a day trip to see the Roman ruins at Volubolis, as well as the towns of Moulay Idriss and Meknes. We drove through a lot of the Moroccan countryside and up through some of the more mountainous region. It was so gorgeous. Not much to say about Volubolis...they are interesting as far as Roman ruins go, but then again I do not have much experience with Roman ruins. Moulay Idriss is a really pretty town, built kind of IN the mountains in the shape of a camel. In Meknes we saw some historical medieval graineries and a really pretty mausoleum. Then we went to the medina in Meknes, which is not nearly as big as the one in Fes, but still nice. I got a green leather bag and paid WAY too many dirhams for it because I do not know how to bargain. Seriously, I suck at it. Also used the most sketchy and disgusting squat toilet ever. But let us not discuss that.

Ma salaam, folks.


Corianne said...

I would hate to poop in a squat toilet.

Lindsey Astin said...

I've had to do it many many times by now. And yea, it sucks. I will not mind coming home to my nice prestine Western toilet and be able to use as much toilet paper as I want. Even the Western toilets here aren't really designed to flush toilet paper. Yea.


chris said...

Lindsey, I finally got a job.

I make fast food chicken and texas toast.

Tell Megan, I'm fairly sure she'll get a kick out of the fact that I am constantly drenched in garlic-butter.