Monday, April 23, 2007


This morning, I found what can only be described as a filthy beast in my kitchen.

Here are the events of the morning:
I hit snooze a few more times than the world normally deems necessary. I had forgotten all about the plan to head to the school early this morning. So, Denise had come to the door when I was less than half ready to go. I dressed myself. I grabbed by toothbrush and paste and sleepily wandered into the kitchen to brush away the funk.

Side note -- Had to brush my teeth in the kitchen because the bathroom sink is controlled by the same water valve as is the toilet. That valve is shut off because the toilet is undergoing repairs. See, on Friday my birthday gift from my apartment was a flood. I arrived home to hear the beautiful sound of an ever running toilet tank with the cascading sound of water falling into water. Ah, that would have been the 2 inches of standing water at the foot of my toilet. The cause of this indoor fountain was the broken piece of metal in the tank that was no longer holding the floater in place. It had rusted in two. This toilet is only 6 months old, mind you. Why would anyone bother to rustproof any metal intended to live under water inside a toilet tank, right? This is Morocco. Don’t let anyone tell you they run on efficiency and logic here. Welcome to the third world.

Back to the funk. I was brushing. I turned off the water because I’m an environmentally savvy chick in that way. I walked out of the kitchen, still brushing, and tidied the toothpaste and towel back into place. Turned to walk back into the kitchen and HHHWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHH! That’s the best spelling I can do for that closed mouth half-shriek intake of air that let Denise know I had found a monster in my kitchen. I had heard tales lately of an invasion. Denise’s husband Lahcen was innocently lounging in their living room watching TV when he felt the house shake with giant footsteps. Legend has it that he was forced to battle another such beast on the roof yesterday. I never thought the war would come home to my apartment, but it has.

Cockroaches. No, don’t laugh and shrug like I built up the suspense for nothing. These things are not the usual petty nuisances that I have learned to deal with. Morocco is a lot like Midtown Memphis in the way that the war cannot be won. Your enemy will never stop fighting. And never stop reproducing. In Memphis, I learned that one must sign the treaties and accords, and then go on with life trying to defend your territory. Life in my first Moroccan apartment was the same. There were frequent invasions, but mostly by young soldiers unaware of the fate their curiosity would bring them. There was the occasional ½ inch scout sent to see if the territory was still occupied. I think their poisoned screams of agony sent my message well. We have been fortunate in the new Moroccan apartment. We sent the message early that borders would not be crossed with no consequence. And then it was winter. The hibernation of the enemy calmed my nerves. Alas, his time of sleep is over. And he grew. The three beasts we have bested in three days have been 2 inchers. I do not exaggerate. I just stood up and walked across the room to the ruler to check my figures so as not to mislead my public.

I haaaaaaaate cockroaches. I seriously just squirmed typing the word. Here they’re called Ser ahk uh zeet. Oil is zeet. So, it means something like “one who eats the oil.”

My wonderful new husband has the day off today. I finished off his to-do list this morning with “kill ALL giant cockroaches!!!”

Aren’t you glad I blog about the important issues in life?

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's a no go...

We got to Casablanca early Tuesday morning to find that, indeed, the drivers were going on srike. No taxis to be found. Luckliy we found an enterprising young man using his minivan to shuttle some of the people left with no taxi. We found a hotel within walking distance of the consulate, just in case we were still taxi-less on Thursday morning (we were). Then for a couple of days we did little save relax, which was nice. Thursday morning at 7:30am we were at the U.S. Consulate, and after 2 hours of waiting in lines and rooms, Hassan had an interview of about 5 minutes. He was told that he did not currently qualify for a visa. That means I'll be travelling without him when I visit the States this summer.

We had both tried to avoid high hopes, but we're still both pretty bummed. Which made it a less than thrilling trek across town to the bus station (again... no taxis). When we bought tickets at 12pm, the first bus we could get on was at 7:30pm. So, we passed some hours, got on the bus, and got to Agadir at 6am Friday (today). There was one lone taxi at the bus station, which someone else got to first. So, we hauled our bags and tired bodies home on foot. And then we slept.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Off to Casablanca again...

It's 9pm Monday night here. In two hours, Hassan and I board an overnight bus to arrive in Casablanca Tuesday morning. His visa interview at the US Consulate is early Thursday morning. Originally we planned to go up on Wednesday, but the rumor is that the bus drivers may strike on Tuesday and Wednesday over some new law. So, off we go to avoid getting stuck with no ride.

At 7:45am local time Thursday morning, we'll be at the Consulate for the interview. If they like him, he gets to come with me to the States this summer for a visit. If they don't, well, maybe next time. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.