Monthly Archives: May 2012

Or I could make my OWN meme…


It’d be something like “study abroad student comes home,” probably featuring a confused-looking college student wearing vaguely ethnic clothing (christ, doesn’t this girl realize how hollow words like “ethnic” are when used in that context? How insensitive. Culture Shock is no laughing matter, nor is the Inappropriate Use of Cultural Symbols Like Clothing. Jeez).  There would be captions like, “LOOKS AT FACEBOOK/WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE!?” or “/BAGELS” or “WTF IS THIS SHIT / $ ”

I suppose that last meme would apply to anyone who didn’t go to a Euro country, for whom the dollar would be a blessed relief. I, however, have found myself far less rich than I was in Morocco, where a kilo of fresh oranges cost me 6 dirhams (remember that exchange rate? Actually, the dollar’s struggling; it’s up to 8.8956 MAD to one US dollar).

That’s still around 67 cents for a kilo of oranges, though, so no complaints here.

Anyway, we’re cooking Chinese food for dinner tonight. SWEET. Holy crap, this blog is getting pretty boring now that I’m spending my days folding clothes. HERE IS A COOL PICTURE THAT FORREST TOOK!!!!! Forrest is Angela’s pal, who studied with her in France and came to visit us in Morocco during our last few days there. She takes awesome pictures.





  1. That last post, Beginner 1, was my 100th post on this blog. Holy moly.
  2. I just learned that Molly Ringwald – yeah, Sixteen Candles/Pretty in Pink/Breakfast Club Molly Ringwald (can you tell I’ve been watching a lot of John Hughes lately?) LIVES IN ROSEVILLE. TRUE FACT.

    And now you all know where I live. Good thing I don’t have any readers COUGH I mean stalkers that might take advantage of that information! Even if I did, though, I’ve helpfully diverted any potential stalkers with the information that Molly Ringwald lives in Roseville, and she’d probably be a lot more interesting to stalk than I would. You could even stalk Cake if you wanted to. They’re a whole BAND, and they’re from where I’m from too!!!





Also, I sunburned the patootie out of my legs the other day. I think I already told you that, so let me add that it’s getting better, and that the peaches are nearly in season. STOKED FOR PEACH SEASON.




Beginner I!!!


Our final Arabic class, our teacher Wafe’ in the middle there. Yes, we wore Moroccan sombreros. Yes, we had a blast. Left to Right: Mali, Angela, Olivia, Wafe’, Rachel, me, Marissa.

Front: somebody else’s camera, also on a timer. PERFECT.

It’s sort of bizarre coming back here, after having been used to their company for four months. LUV MA GIRLZZZZZZZ

Book Club: Episode 4!


Somehow, I feel as though now I’m not halfway across the world, I’ll be doing more Book Clubs in a desperate attempt to infuse my new (old?) daily life in California with the Excitement and Exoticism that characterized my life in Morocco. Nope, I haven’t learned anything, especially not that the whole Exoticism thing is stupid and shallow. Why not? I dunno, I’m too busy distracting myself with BOOKS like

The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s childhood pal

by Christopher Moore.

(The title looks awesome when it’s Centered.)

Anyone who knows me knows that I was raised so Catholic that I practically farted incense (and I’m hell-bound for that one), except that from a tender young age I believed most Churchgoers were trapped reciting the Nicene Creed by alien mind-control and that the infallibility of the Pope had to be some kind of dogmatic mistake (I let transubstantiation go, though, so give me a break).

I generally pinpoint my break with being Officially Catholic around the time of my Confirmation at the end of 8th grade (I find this fabulously ironic, but that only boosts my ego), which coincided with a Newfound Freedom from my parochial school’s clutches (8th grade graduation), the end of forced confessions and penances (though I found 7 rosaries in my bedroom yesterday, there must be some symbolism in that), and the many opportunities for wanton sinning in the Dionysian pits normally referred to as High School (SINbolism? No. Embolism? Causing many, probably. I really hate excessive use of parentheses, don’t you?). I generally regard religion from a safe, comic distance, and I’m a sucker for a comedic rendering of all things Biblical.

So you can imagine my delight reading Moore’s book, Lamb, in which the Messiah’s best friend Biff, resurrected from the dead 2,000 years later, writes his own story from a hotel room, with a TV-watching angel and a Bible in the bathroom for company.  You know, I’ve always suspected that Jesus was pals with the Abominable Snowman. It’s funny, it’s poignant, there are crazy people and lepers and Chinese concubines, and it’s a great story.

Christopher Moore wrote some other books, too, but I haven’t read them yet. Am going to, probably.

You’re welcome for the plug, Christopher Moore.

Anyway, apart from Books, how am I doing with the whole transition thing? Great, I’m pretty sure. I’ve been eating bagels and chocolate chips compulsively, just got so sunburned that I radiate heat to the entire neighborhood, and am giving away piles of Clothing and Other Shit that’s just been buried in my closet for centuries. That’s how I found those 7 rosaries. Seven. I was going to run a 10k with my mom this morning, but my legs were so sunburned it hurt to walk, so screw that. I found a place to live for next year and am moving in around June 16, so if you live in Seattle and want to help move my only piece of furniture (a couch), hit me up!

I’m chatting with some friends and stuff, though I haven’t quite grasped the idea of inserting myself back into the School and Social Life bubbles yet. That’s fine, because I’m really not too worried about it anyway. I’m too busy cleaning, watching John Hughes movies, and trying to get over Judd Nelson’s nostrils.


A country where they take roller coaster pictures


No, I haven’t been on a roller coaster yet in this country.

Day 3 in America: reflections and blargh.

I’m wary, at best, of this place, but let me start with my thoughts as the airplane landed at JFK. I’d looked out the window and seen the vague shadow of land on the horizon, before I went back to my book. The next time I glanced out the window, we were suddenly zooming over the coastline of my home country. Whoa.

I’d watched the Moroccan shore until the Hassan II mosque disappeared behind the wing of the airplane, my head craned backward at a weird angle, the grandpa from New York sitting next to me shooting me quizzical, sideways glances. After 8 hours of deep blue sea, I suddenly found myself zooming over green hills and suburban homes. I saw a baseball field, a small church with a fenced-in graveyard, a bumper car track. Morocco already felt faraway and ephemeral, like some bizarre dream, and I was weirdly suspended in a kind of limbo, high above New York.

As I knew I would, I’ve found myself in a world that understands nothing about Morocco, nothing about the experience I’ve just had, whose inhabitants possess no concept of my current head-space. I know that soon enough, I’ll be around other people who’ve done the developing-country-abroad thing, but for now it’s pretty stupid and frustrating. I can’t say anything that means anything, and I can’t even explain why, because nobody gets it. This SUCKS.

This is the truth that I’m going to have to get over: I now live in a country where even Georgetown graduates don’t know the difference between Abdullah II and Mohammed VI, a distinction that, to me, is as simple and obvious as the difference between Abraham Lincoln and Audrey Hepburn. And they don’t even understand how faraway they sound to me, how stupid and elementary and obvious things like King Mohammed VI should be. And none of this is fair, obviously, because I LIVED there, and should cut these people a break.

I just don’t yet comprehend or accept the moral perversity of a world where nobody knows the word schwiya, where Arabic is a mildly interesting abstract concept, where I make light of my culture shock and experiences in order to make myself somehow accessible to other human beings. And in the midst of that, a couple people are real dicks about it to me, though I guess they don’t realize it.

I am having a good time, don’t get me wrong. I’m having a blast with my cousins, it’s really awesome to see my family, and I love them all to pieces. It’s also frustrating. My immediate family is great. They also suck. This is great. It also sucks. That’s all I have to say about that.

Quick Update: AMERICA.



When I have more than two seconds to write an awesome post, I will, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m currently sitting in a hotel in Washington DC with my family. We are getting ready to walk to Pat’s graduation ceremony; I’m still sitting on the pull-out couch bed. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet, but you can BET I’m going to toast a bagel and drink a GIANT CUP OF AMERICAN COFFEE.

From Morocco to the capitol of the free world (where, as Patrick says, nothing is free): somehow, I feel as though this adventure is only beginning.

Pardon the awful cliché of the previous sentence, it’s early in the morning.


Peace out, one and all. Hi, USA!