Tag Archives: art

Yogurt and Dates and SONG and Art Talk, Part I


Sometimes all we have time for is a quick lunch of yogurt and dates, purchased from a hanout in between the university and Qalam.  That sounds really exotic and cool, but really it’s just liquidiy go-gurtish stuff and dates.

Also, on our way home today, Allie bought EFFloads of ingredients for trail mix. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday lunch problem = SOLVED. I got next round, guuuuuurl! YESSSS!


Today, Allie, Sarah and I decided to explore Marjane, a faraway department store, which is tucked behind a mallish sort of thing full of pricey European-ish shops. The sharp divide between rich and poor jumped out of the ordinary and seemed so strange all over again as we wandered, bewildered, through aisles of clothing, food, toys, and office supplies. Everyone there looked pretty posh and bouzhie (I have no idea how to spell that), and though it looked familiarly U.S.ian, it was a bit off-putting. What is this place? we asked one another. It’s hard to understand how this sort of store can even exist within a 10-mile radius of the medina and kasbah we are learning to call home. I bought a notebook for school and a bar of chocolate, and was slightly relieved to leave.

Here in Morocco (though I have seen exceptions to this rule), it seems as though either people are loaded and rolling, or lower-middle-class or poorer. A longstanding and controversial question amongst Moroccan sociologists remains: is there a Moroccan middle class? If so, who are they, and how do we define middle class? If not, how should we go about creating one?

All this and more, when Katie returns to Social Issues, sometime in the future. And now, for something completely different!

I’m starting a new series in this blog, just like Gender Talk, except this one is about Art, and it’s called Art Talk.

Art Talk, Part I!

Welcome to Art Talk, where self-consciousness comes to DIE!!!!!

(Stroke mustache, educated flim-flam flobble wobble. Imagine me wearing a monocle.)

(wait a minute)



Let’s talk about Art! For the longest time, the only piece of original music I’d show anyone would be a sanitary final draft, after lots of takes and edits, with layers of stuff on top of layers of stuff, and it would all be very self-conscious and excuse-ridden. NO MORE, I SAY, declares Captain First Draft, NO MORE!!!!

This is something I Thought a little while ago: thoughts don’t have to be profound, and art doesn’t have to be good. All too often we try to show off only the flawless and seemingly effortless final version of whatever it is we’ve created, whether it’s Art or Writing or LookAtMyGreatPersonality or whatever. What about a celebration of bad art? Of works in progress? What about the pursuance of lower-case art, without getting caught up in all that guilt and self-consciousness?  The rough draft exhibits the raw creative energy we put into creating the song in the first place; who would want to lose that?

Now, when I make silly videos of me singing: instead of trying to sing perfectly, I just decided to sing happily, sing like I’m super glad to be singing, sing honestly, and (most of all) be excited for people to see it, flaws, awesomeness, all the above. So, due to overwhelming popular request (one person), I think it’s time for another video of me sinnnngiiiinnnngggggg!!!!!!


EDIT: the first video I uploaded was the wrong one, hahaha. It is still included below, because that’s hilarious. I’m uploading the right one right now, but it’s taking forreeeevvvverrrrrr.

EDIT 2: Okay, here’s the right video, lulzipoops!

…and THIS is me telling off Photo Booth for being dumb and not wanting to record audio.




Yesterday, in a quick cab from the Hassan II Mosque to the Casablanca train station to catch a train home, the driver pointed this out to us as we drove by:

…Let me blow that up a bit for you.

You muusssst remember thiiiiis, a kiss is still a kiiiisssssss,


“It’s the original Rick’s,” he said earnestly, “the original. Vous avez vu le film?”

Beezy, pleasy, I thought. DUH HAVE I SEEN THE FILM PSHAW BUT I ALSO KNOW THAT THE entire film was shot in the studio in L.A. I’ll believe you, though, snap a photo out the window, and say I’ve been to (driven by) Rick’s!


I rather dumbly sprayed chocolate milk all over myself with a straw this morning, but it was worth it because MOSQUE.

WeeeEEEeee (by we I mean a few girls in our cohort and our Moroccan pal Qaiss) went to Casablanca today! Sadly, I must inform you all that Casablanca is neither romantic nor well-liked among Moroccans; it’s not a cultural hotspot, it’s all business and is considered just a big, stinky city. Still, it’s Casa-friggin-blanca, which I insist is awesome no matter what you say. We went to a book fair (trilingual book fair, cool! I got a free Islamic sex-ed book, and bought a cookbook), and visited the largest mosque in Africa, the third largest mosque in the world: the breathtaking Hassan II mosque. It’s…big. And art. It’s big art.

This is what it looks like on the outside:

Look at how small the people are. This place is HUGE!

After a strange pizza and questionable Maghribian ketchup that tasted like a cross between Cholula and Sriracha, we ran to catch a tour of the mosque that we quickly abandoned and that nobody listened to anyway.

We were encouraged to take photos, but were also called Japanese tourists once or twice, so I’m not sure what their deal was with cameras. After an attempt or two at photographing the cavernous, beautiful interior…

And many jaws dropped that day.

…I concluded that the wings upon wings, the pillars, the alcoves, the carpets, the floors, the doors, the chandeliers, the ceilings, such an overwhelming amount of beauty all in one huge place—was all too much to attempt to capture in a photo, or twelve, or thirty-six.  Relaxing the pressure to prove I was here and felt emotions while here made the experience much less stressful, and I found myself instead wandering around the enormous mosque, clutching the plastic bag containing my shoes, mouth open and eyes cast upward.

I thenceforth relegated myself to preserving bits and pieces of the intricate details and patterns inlaid everywhere throughout the mosque, which I hope you enjoy!

Slightly blurry, enormous hammam in basement of mosque. Yes, that’s a giant bathtub.


After a lot of staring at things, we finally stepped back into the bright Moroccan sun, and the overload of art-beauty-awesome-big caused some kind of blip in my excitable system. I proceeded to skip around, yelling stuff like “PRETTY THINGSSSSS!!!!” and “THIS IS BIIIIIIIIIIG!!!” and taking pictures with wild abandon.

…And that’s all I have to say about that.

Latte = etaye, even in posh euro train station coffee shops where they make lattes


Yeah, that was stupid. Still, at least we ended up with tea, a welcome hot distraction as we waited, bleary-eyed and shivering, for the tram to take us to meet our pals at oh-god o’clock this morning.


Asilah: Sand Dunes and Fish Eyes

So we went to Asilah today. It was beautiful. Oh, but first we stopped in Merja Zerga National Park, and went boating.





I’m not sure this photo adequately conveys how friggin steep and large this sand dune was, both to climb up and hop down. We are badasses.

AND IT WAS PRETTY AT THE TOP (we took pictures facing away from the military bunker on the hill, which we weren’t supposed to even really look at)



That’s what I look like. Now all you people I don’t know who are following my blog can TOTALLY stalk me. WOO! Also, Angela’s the one in pink to the right. Lulz. Angela.

Kay. Then we continued on to Asilah, where we ate some pretty scary food,

(note the smaller fish with its tail in its mouth just to the right of big scary fish head with eye. That fish used to have a body, till I ate it. This is in the remains of Carly’s chicken tagine, which was good till we found feathers in it…it was a weird lunch.)

Asilah is known for the paintings and murals on its whitewashed walls, which are painted and repainted frequently. We took pictures because it’s so incredible that these works only last a little while, to be replaced with more beautiful art.

This is a detail from an incredible painting spanning an entire wall; impossible to photograph effectively, but even this bit is absolutely stunning. This town. WHOA.

And then there’s the whole fortified city on the Atlantic coast thing.

…with fishermen. Catching fish. To cook. And eat. With their tails in their mouths.

After a long bus ride full of 90’s and Disney sing-alongs, Allie and I stopped to grab a quick cheeseburger at a sandwich stand. Yeah, a cheeseburger. Purchase food from Moroccan street meat vendors, check! It was the most satisfying cheeseburger ever, though unlike any I’ve had in the States (it may have been the green olives?!). We also got what looked like these giant chocolate balls, but they turned out to be this strange, rich, delicious gingerbread-ish stuff that I probably shouldn’t have finished (it was a belly bomb if there e’er was one).

Then we listened to Moroccan music on LOUD up in the room on the terrace, and danced the night away in our PJ’s with our ridiculous host family and neighbors. They just dance for fun, as they watch these Arab music concerts/TV shows (nah, WAY better than Arab Idol, though they watch that too) and dance just for the hell of it. No special occasion or anything. Hooo boy, you should SEE my host moms move their hips! I’ve never seen anything like it. They’re amazing.

LET’S PRETEND that I put some culturally relevant stuff and things into this post as well, and all take a nap now. YESSSSSSSSSS!