Tag Archives: morocco memes

Guys, I can’t stop watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.



A Proclivity for Purchasing Pants
and other stories

I think someone should stage an intervention.

“Katie, your recent inability to stop watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has negatively impacted my life in the following ways:”


I can’t think of how it’s negatively impacted your life, actually, except perhaps if you don’t want to read this crap. If you don’t, go away. If you do, Congratulations! MEMES NOW!

let’s talk about HAREM PANTS.

Harem pants are awesome. They’re comfortable, stretchy, and awesome. They don’t show dirt if you buy a brightly colored pair, and they’re quite cheap if you haggle a bit. Harem pants are the best, and I love them. So,

This is how I feel about harem pants.

However, harem pants are undoubtedly daring when it comes to fashion. You’ve got to be really feeling harem pants when you decide to take them out for a spin, otherwise you’ll feel more like:

I’m curious to see if this is how I’ll feel like back in the States, or if I’m so used to people staring at me that I won’t actually notice.

It does make one feel quite comfortable and awesome though, completely worth the confusion come bedtime…

Well, now I’ve done it. I’m in a sort of meme-ish mood.


So. Moroccan tea.

HAHA. For some reason, this makes me laugh. Probably because Moroccan tea is made and servedeverywherehere. EVERYWHERE. Teatime is a big part of my family’s everyday routine, and I think sometimes that Moroccans measure their days by teatimes: morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, evening. The middle of the night. Whenever. I love it. The most common way to make it is with green tea, mint leaves, and a metric butt-ton of sugar. Sometimes, it’s made with absinthe or rose water as well. It’s wonderful.

Taxis are another part of life in Morocco that takes a bit of time here to understand. Petit taxis are simple enough: found in every Moroccan city, and each city has its own color. Rabat is blue, Casablanca is red, Marrakesh is yellow, etc. Petit taxis have a maximum capacity of 3 passengers, making it a rather spacious way to travel, and only drive within the city limits. They’re relatively cheap and easy. Time and a half after 8pm. In the bigger cities, especially Marrakesh, drivers easily fleece foreigners who are used to ridiculous taxi fares (one time, a taxi driver tried to make us pay 100dh for a 5dh ride to the gare. Ridic, we said), but in Rabat they almost always turn on the meter, or do it willingly if you ask them to.

No: it’s the Grand taxis that you’ve got to look out for.

These are taxis with a max occupancy of 6, making a full grand taxi ride a rather squashed ordeal, and they go between cities. So, rather contradictorily, though you can have a spacious ride in a petit taxi for a 5-minute ride, you’re going to be cramped and hot for the 5-hour grand taxi ride.

I still don’t quite understand how they work; grand taxis seem to act a bit like buses; if you catch one on its route, it’s only 4dh. However, if you simply have 6 people and need to go from, say, Marrakesh to Imlil, it’s suddenly a multi-hundred-dirham and immensely complex price-navigation process. I just. Don’t. Get it.

Grand Taxis: something about Morocco that may always be shrouded in mystery for me.

Also, this.

is how.

I feel.



We went over hours on Arabic class, so we canceled it last Thursday and for the entire coming week as well, but to keep up, we’ve been instructed to learn all of chapter 3 by ourselves. I mean, nbd. Whatever. That doesn’t sound properly daunting for anyone that doesn’t study Arabic, and to any one-uppers out there: I’LL TAKE YOUR 20-PAGE PAPERS. I’LL TAKE YOUR DISSERTATIONS AND SENIOR THESES. ARABIC WILL DEFEAT YOU, AND I WILL LAUGH!!!!!

The highest grade I’ve gotten on an exam thus far: 35/50. Good thing none of this has anything to do with my actual degree. TrolololololololololololANYWAY, I really do like it, but in studying Arabic, one goes straight from the Alphabet book (the ALPHABET book. Consider that fact for a moment) to learning shit like: “the linguistics professor is a specialist in his field,” and “the translators (FEMININE PLURAL!!!) work for the United Nations in New York.”


Anyway, I have a lot of free time the next few days, so WATCH OUT.



La Vie en Couscous


I’d totally forgotten that today was Friday, until Boushra called me to lunch and the huge earthenware dish made for serving couscous sat, piled high, on the low round table in the room on the terrace. We didn’t talk much as we ate, though the dialogue from the familiar Darija-dubbed soaps on satellite TV provided the ever-present background noise I’ve grown so accustomed to.

Family life here in Oudaiya is wonderful, though not without its quirks and challenges. My current awkward and silent battle is with the leaky septic tank in the downstairs toilet; after one incidence of desperately attempting to flush it by hand (which, I’ll have you know, takes forever when you don’t have good water pressure. By no-good water pressure, I mean a shower head with uneven water flow), I’ve resigned myself to pooping in the upstairs bathroom. It’s totally fine, I just never know if it’ll flush or not. It makes pooping rather stressful, but also a sort of forbidden adventure. HaHA! I mentally cackle evilly when everything flushes properly. I have defeated you, septic tank.

Other than that, living with Moroccans is fascinating. They are a kind, generous, raucous bunch, with their own traditions and habits that I’ve grown accustomed to and learned to love. Eggs with salt and cumin, salad dressing of vinegar and dijon mustard, flan (FLAAAAAAN!!!!!!). We’re allowed nowhere near helping with the laundry, though I do help with dishes every so often. Someone is always in the house, and so whenever I return I need only ring the birdsong doorbell to be let in, amidst bisous and salaams, to the whitewashed house in the Kasbah that I’ve learned to call home.

The ebb and flow of their conversation (as I begin to understand more and more) doesn’t sound anything like English conversation: their words are more forceful, their speech more intense, and everything is a level louder than it is in English. Oftentimes, normal conversation is conducted at a volume that might indicate a fight in the States, and I’m never sure if it’s because Moroccans just talk louder, or if it’s because the TV’s always on as well.

TV is different here too. Even in the poorest of poor families, there is a TV with a satellite dish; I believe satellite TV is either free or very, very, very cheap, and many researchers (such as Fatema Mernissi, who you’ve probably heard me rave about before) are looking into the effect that satellite TV is having on the creation of a pan-Arab identity, and on North-African and Middle-Eastern society in general. Driving past slums and cities is so strange: thousands of brown clay buildings, thousands of satellite dishes. Satellite dishes are how one can tell if a shantytown’s abandoned or not.

Slowly but surely, the number of programs in Darija is rising; most, but not all, Moroccans understand fousha; fewer actually speak it. The news and most programs are still conducted in either Fousha or Maasri (Egyptian). My favorite soap is “N’Oubliez Pas,” which is a Darija-dubbed Turkish show in which one of the main characters bears a striking resemblance to my friend Kenzie back home. Her character just gave enough money so that her would-be fiancé (-but-isn’t-because-she-married-somebody-else-for-his-money-and-that-guy-died)’s family could afford a lawyer for him so that he wouldn’t get hanged. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Most Moroccans love Shakira with every fiber of their beings, as well as – to a slightly lesser extent – Adele. I’m getting to know their popular artists, too, but I couldn’t tell you their names. The girl with the weird eyebrows sucks, the middle-aged dude’s really good. It’s a science.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the slow days and hazy sunshine, the distant sound of the ocean, the sea breezes and the long walks by the beach that I’ve been taking as the sun sets. I sit on my windowsill and look out at the river, watch the boats go by, and imagine what I must look like to the tourists below: a white girl in harem pants reading a book in one of the windows set high in the imposing wall of the kasbah like some modern-day Jasmine or reclusive weirdo. I spend the slow days folding socks and walking around, and now that I have five slow days ahead of me (most of my cohort is out traveling, but I’m hanging around to enjoy some peace, beach, and whatever else strikes my fancy), I’m really looking forward to all the books I’m going to finish and all the papers (yes, I have papers, but that’s all right) that I’m going to write. My time here in Morocco is truly winding down, and as I reflect a little bit on everything that’s happened, I feel pretty awesome about it. It was a lot harder than I expected it to be, but also a thousand times more rewarding, enriching, and fulfilling.

BUT MORE ABOUT THAT LATER, I’m sure. This sort of rambly type of post is probably going to come back as I wander through my last few weeks here, breathing the ocean air and smiling serenely to myself. It’s hard to believe that this place ever felt strange to me, as crazy as that sounds. Aw, MAN, we say when the topic of conversation turns to our looming departure, I was just getting USED to this place!

But you know what? I’m also excited to get home, so I can hear the inevitable question: “KATIE! Oh my gosh, how was MoROCco?”

I already have my reply ready.

Peace out, kitty cats!

(back to watching Harry Potter!)




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.