Tag Archives: marrakesh




I’d like to begin this post with a shout out to sharris, whoever you are! Thanks for commenting that my blog is popular in the wider study abroad population here, I realzzzzz appreciate the vote of confidence. YEEEHA! And since I seem to have an ACTUAL audience of real live readers that are people who are real and alive and who read – and are alive in Rabat – WE SHOULD TOTALLY ALL HANG OUT. I’m probably free this weekend. sweenums@gmail.com. Hit me UP.

I’ve also been told – and can see on the handy “my stats” section of the WordPress Dashboard – that people liked that meme post from way back, #moroccoproblems. In fact, it’s my highest-grossing post of all time, after “Homepage/Archives.” I like memes too: awesome internet satire and laughter over shared experiences, what could be better? So, I’m going to do my best to keep ’em coming – if you have ideas for memes, send them to me and I’ll post them!

Also, keep thinking I’m funny. I like that. I like to think that relishing your approval makes me funnier, but then I just get drunk with power and start drooling and giggling and acting like a maniac and that’s MESHI MEZIEN.


Anyway, my recent absence from the blogwaves is due to days of SKETCHY McSKETCHERSON Internet (Maroc Telecom = Problem), a resurgence in my habit of downloading movies and watching them when I should be doing homework or Something Cultural, and the realization that EVERYTHING IS DUE SOON SO I SHOULD REALLY ACTUALLY WORK NOW. This also means that I’m flying back across the pond soon, which I have very mixed feelings about (I’m sure you’ll hear all about them when I’m in a philosophical mood or hungry sometime soon).

I have a few more substantive blog posts in the works for you, but I’m giving a presentation tomorrow on the Moroccan film industry and should probably start writing it now.

Peace out, everyone.


Drumbeats in Djemaa el Fna


Our first steps into the Ochre city matched the rhythm of the drumbeats echoing throughout one of the largest and busiest squares in the world: Djemaa el Fna. Monkeys and cobras, magicians and vendors, orange juice and street food vendors; meters away from one of the biggestsouks in all of Morocco—so much culture, so much history to see, so much AAH THIS IS SO COOL!

…So we went clubbing.

(photos are pretty much all taken by other people, like Angela, Carly, Oumaima, and oh, just everyone. Cameras get passed around like a bottle on New Year’s here.)

This is what we looked like at 3:30 in the morning in Djemaa el Fna:

This is a photo of a successful night out.

Our cohort planned this trip independent of our program’s trips together, and we also planned this trip knowing full well that we’d be returning to Marrakesh once, twice, MAYBE EVEN MORE TIMES THAN THAT so don’t worry, I’m not squandering cultural opportunities on clubbing. Besides, I believe that witnessing the strange ex-patriot and high-class prostitute bar-situation in Marrakesh is a cultural experience in itself. Besides besides, clubbing is fun. Besides besides besides, clubbing in clubs meant for tourists is hilarious.

For example, one club called Matisse had decided that off-beat art was its theme; they had me convinced until I read the profound, artsy-fartsy paint-splatter glowing sign saying:


Good try, I thought, and chuckled.  The club also featured a large picture of the Beatles, a projector flipping through random pop culture/boob pictures, and nooks with bookshelves full of books on Napoleon and Ancient Egypt and Poetry and Art. It was a pretty funny club. Then we did tequila shots and returned to our lovely Riad (legal disclaimer: drinking age for foreigners is 18 here), after listening to enough of the DJ’s mediocre remixes of Red Hot Chili Pepper songs to last us a good long while.

(You know, I don’t go out clubbing that often, so it was sort of like stepping into a different personality…till I hit the DANCE FLOOR. I GOT MOVES. Just kidding, tee hee.)

Anyway, a riad is a traditional Moroccan house, tucked behind the walls of the winding alleys in the Medina, that features a square in the middle that opens to the sky. We pretty much took over the riad (called Hôtel Ni-something-or-other), except for the French chain smoker in the room next to ours. We payed 50dh a night, which works out to approximately $6.01. I love Morocco.


Our cute little room (with beds and beds and beds shoved inside):

Catey/Rambo/Jellaba, Melissa, Olivia, me. YUP.

We explored the souk on Sunday before hopping onto the hot, sticky, but altogether pleasant 4-hour train ride. All in all, a wonderful trip. I can’t wait to return, and tell you all about Historical and Meaningful things in Marrakesh!


Thanks, facebook, for the photos.



I never realized how enormous a role music plays (PUN) in my everyday life, until I began to have these random music cravings. Ladies, it’s like craving a bacon cheeseburger and chocolate and pistachio ice cream when it’s your Happy Week: insatiable. Absolutely, persistently, gnawingly insatiable. It’s not just getting a song stuck in my head, it’s YOU MUST HEAR THIS SONG RIGHT NOW OR I WILL BREAK IT DOWN AND SING IT OUT LOUD ON THE BUS, AND THERE IS NOTHING YOUR PITIFUL EXCUSE FOR SELF-CONTROL CAN DO ABOUT IT.

Before you ask, yes I have done it. Well, not on the bus, on the street. It was faaaabulous. It was Mariah Carey, except US. YEEES INDEEEEEDY.

I realized that I listen to music every DAY at home, so now my brain must be somehow revolting against the lack of Western music; though I do love Moroccan music (ANOTHER BLOG POST, ANOTHER TIME: MOROCCAN MUSIC), and hear it pretty much every night on my host family’s strange Maghribian MTV.

So now I have to plan ahead for my Western music fix, because my subconscious keeps shoving totally rando songs into my head, demanding to be played during a would’ve-been-quiet moment snatched in our bedroom. Yesterday, it was this song:

So I listened to it twice while running in the park, and also danced. SO GOOD. NOT CHRISTMAS? DON’T CARE. MARIAH CAREY IS CHRISTMAS.

Also danced randomly to THIS one today. I was going to make a video of me dancing to it, but photobooth pooped out and it’s late-ish anyway (I promise to upload a silly dancing video eventually!!! PROMISE), so you just get to watch a boring music video. Imagine me dancing to it.

We ate delicious Italian food tonight at Luigi’s, which is our new favorite sanctuary (when we need a little bit of familiarity. Pasta: not frequently eaten here). Barry White and pesto pasta: yes, I do believe I shall, grazie. Sarah, Allie and I were really loopy from a long day and a lot of Fousha, so we giggled a lot and made the waiter laugh with our gasps and cries of amazement when he brought out platters of steaming spaghetti and lasagna.

Tomorrow morning, at oh-god-I-wish-I-were-still-asleep o’clock, we shall part for somewhere outside Casablanca, where we’ll meet with/volunteer for a couple NGOs, and then we shall travel onward to Marrakesh, to do Marrakeshy things (I suppose). We have no plans, no hotels or anything, so I’m excited to see how this’ll work out. I’m packing plenty of toilet paper, just in case. I’m also not bringing Mr. MacBook with me, so please excuse my absence from the tubes for the next three days. I’ll post Sunday or Monday or something, if I make it back alive.

THIS is what I think of awesome Italian food, Darija class, and YOU:

P.S.: Sometimes I wonder about the Quality of the Stories on this blog, and then I remember that I don’t care. I’ll re-read a post (like this one) and wonder should I actually post that? Is it good/eloquent/blahblahblah enough? Then I remind myself that this is all about staying somehow connected with the world I left in the U.S., and sharing whatever the eff comes out of my brain with the Internet because WHY NOT?! Anyway, hope you enjoy Blog, Crazies and all.

Much lovin sent your way! To Marrakesh, and beyond!