makethislast

travel and the 15-minute taxi ride

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on March 4, 2011

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous, love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.

– Bible

NYT: The Disposable Woman

NYT: For Young, Sex Falls in Survey

Check out this ad: Let’s Colour Project. It’s a feel-good type of message. iLIke.

LATimes: 10 reasons to travel.

Speaking of travel, I need to renew my personal passport. My passport is one of my coolest and most valuable possessions. Looking through it, I’m reminded of my travels to Asia. If I include my two work passports in the count, my next passport will be my fifth. Sweet. I can only hope everyone gets the chance to experience the world outside of their own country, if just once in their life. It’s pretty amazing.

While browsing the US Embassy in Morocco’s website, I came across this:

Internet Romance and Marriage Fraud

Many Americans befriend Moroccans through Internet dating and social networking sites and these relationships often to lead marriage, or engagement.  While many of the marriages between Americans and Moroccans are successful, the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca warns against marriage fraud.  It is not uncommon for foreign nationals to enter into marriages with Americans solely for immigration purposes.  Relationships developed via correspondence, particularly those begun on the Internet, are especially susceptible to manipulation.  Often, the marriages end in divorce in the United States when the foreign national acquires legal permanent residence (“green card”) or U.S. citizenship.  In some cases, the new American or permanent resident then remarries a wife he divorced before, around the same time as entering into a relationship with a sponsoring American citizen.

Some of the signs that an Internet contact may be developing a relationship with an American in order to obtain an immigrant visa through marriage are:

Declarations of love within days or weeks of the initial contact;

Proposals or discussions of marriage soon after initial contact;

Requests to the American to visit the foreign national’s home country soon after the declaration of love or proposal;

Responses to messages from the American friend are along the lines “I love you/Sorry I missed your call,” or similarly one-sided conversations;

Once engaged, married, or an immigrant visa petition is filed, suddenly starts missing scheduled appointments to chat or call.

While chat rooms, dating and social networking sites are great ways to make friends across international borders, the U.S. government urges Americans who meet foreign nationals on the Internet to take the time necessary to get to know them well before considering marriage keep in mind the signs noted above.   Entering into a marriage contract for the principal purpose of facilitating immigration to the United States for an alien is against U.S. law and can result in serious penalties, including fines and imprisonment for the American citizen and the foreign national involved.

Yeah, this about made my day, haha. Once again, I’ve no intention whatsoever to have an internet romance or enter marriage with a Moroccan. lHamdullah.

case and point: right after I leave the doctor’s office, having shared some of my frustrations and challenges with serving in PC Morocco as an Asian American volunteer, I hop into the point-to-point taxi.

On the ride from point A to point B, a 10 maybe 15 minute tops ride, I am propositioned by the passenger sitting next to me. At first, he tries to speak to me in French. In Arabic, I say repeatedly, “I don’t understand French.” Finally, irked by his repeated comments, I exasperatedly say in plain loud English, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND FRENCH.”

A few moments later, he asks in Moroccan English, “What time is it?”

Oh okay, maybe I was giving this guy too hard of a time. I show him my watch. It’s 3:10pm.

A few moments after that, he starts trying to talk to me again. This time he’s leaning an inch or two closer. He’s trying to say something like, “the two of us should…” I don’t understand the latter part. Honestly, I don’t need to. I reply in Arabic, “No, thank you.” He continues. This time, I say, in Arabic, “I don’t want to.” He continues. I continue, louder, “NO, I DON’T WANT TO.” Repeat until we arrive at the taxi stop.

At this point, I’m sure the taxi driver and other passenger know what’s happening. But they don’t do anything to stop. They don’t interfere. WTH. Then again, typical – Moroccans aren’t exactly the most confrontational people. They’re more passive aggressive.

At the taxi stop, I push at the door, it doesn’t budge. I try the lock but it’s already open. The taxi driver can’t put the breaks on the taxi fast enough so that he can get out of the door and open mine. As I step out of the taxi, I hear to driver, embarrassed, say, “perdon.”

Morocco, Morocco…not everyone is available for hire. Not everyone will be interested for a fee. Not everyone wants to touch you, even with a 10-foot pole. Ugh.

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