makethislast

moroccan hospitality

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on June 4, 2010

All I can paint now are the colors of my dreams.

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Never say never. That’s a phrase I like to remember because “never” is a word I try to refrain from using. In that vain, I’ll say that no two days are ever the same here.

Picnic lunch consisting of fish sandwich, fruit, and Poms for 13 dhs. Ate at the cannons overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Good food, good company, good view. No way this view will get old.

During a stroll through Essa’s medina this afternoon, myself and another PCV popped into a shop to look at their clothes. (Okay, fine, I was looking for a new top.) The heat is starting up at our respective sites and I wanted to get a non-Hshuma breathable cotton top.

As we were in the middle of bargaining, the store owner’s mother appears and starts talking to us. Of course, this is in Tashleheit. She’s pleasantly surprised that we speak her native tongue and that my site is on the same road that leads to her family’s village. Before we realize it, she’s inviting us to tea. Not to a cafe but to her friend’s place in the medina. The other PCV and I look at each other, our eyes asking, “Is this really happening?” Luckily, she and I are always up for a new adventure. We accept this woman’s offer.

Off we go through the medina, down one of the smaller paths, and up a flight of stairs. Before we know it, we’re walking into an urban Moroccan home. It’s an apartment, smaller than the houses in the bled. It’s nice and cozy.

This woman introduces us to her daughter, friend, and her friend’s little children. The other PCV keeps the conversation flowing while I start playing with the children. The kids are brought up speaking Arabic but the language barrier doesn’t stop us from getting along. It’s awesome.

The woman whose apartment we’re in is preparing tea. In Morocco, that means setting out cookies and cakes, bread, jam and oil, and sweet green tea. Often times, as was the case today, all the sweets are homemade. Delicious. The first woman, the one who brought us to this house, excuses herself but tells us to stay and enjoy ourselves.

We end up sitting there for 2-3 hours, just chatting with these new friends and playing with the children who are adorable. The younger son is supposedly mute (that’s how they described him) – he’s three, understands but doesn’t talk though he makes noises.

Finally, after several pieces of halwa (sweets) and glasses of tea, the other PCV and I manage to excuse (extract) ourselves from this woman’s home, but not before she invites us to her daughter’s 1st birthday party, taking place tomorrow evening. (Seriously, what is the likelihood of this ever happening in the US? Moroccan hospitality might just one-up Southern hospitality.) She’s already inviting us to stay the night as we thank her for the scrumptious tea.

Back outside, me and the other PCV return to the store. The owner is surprised that we’ve returned. He doesn’t speak any Tashleheit and he isn’t super fluent in English, so he speaks French to the other PCV who then translates for me to understand. The owner shows us his birds and guitar before I complete my purchase.

For dinner, I have a bowl of Herrera askif (Moroccan soup). Only 3 dhs and so yummy!

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