Morocco, Week Eight

At the beginning of week eight, I acquired a new roommate. One with spindly legs, abundant whiskers, and a very pink nose.1 Like the old nursery rhyme, he followed me to school one day. And though it was against the rules, I have to admit that it was difficult to resist scooping him up and installing him in the library. I shouldn’t have worried, however, because he was still sitting on the front steps waiting for me when I left school that afternoon. Shortly thereafter, Loki2 was installed in his own little room in my apartment, complete with armchair, big cushy pillow-bed, and plenty of toys. I’m thoroughly convinced that out of all the kittens in Tangier,3 I’ve got the very best one.

During the second week of school, the library was a flurry of activity. Reading my favorite childhood stories to the kindergarteners,4 revamping the library card system,5 meeting with the editors of Al Tanjaoui, the student literary journal,6 organizing student volunteers, sorting through and cataloging summer book donations,7 meeting parents, installing three computer stations, and eating rushed lunches of bread and cheese between elementary school library visits and high school study halls. Continued work on Super Secret EdTech Project.8

On Friday after school I kidnapped a couple of weary colleagues for a peaceful picnic dinner in the Kasbah overlooking the ocean. Fresh bread from L’Italienne (my favorite local bakery so far), cheese, melon, flaky pastries, cucumber and tomato. Saw Spain on the horizon and enjoyed the evening breeze. On the walk home, I made friends with several cats and one tiny child.9

Saturday was my catch-up day. Blogged week seven, had a long meeting for work, and spent some quality time with Loki. On Sunday I made a scrumptious vegetable curry with couscous, which I shared with a friend.10 In the early evening, I took a leisurely walk around town, wandering through a hillside cemetery (complete with a grazing flock of sheep, shepherd, and sheepdogs) and following the road down through the verdant Spanish part of town. In the Kasbah, I admired tilework I’d never noticed before, found a cat with oceans for eyes, and passed two little girls walking hand-in-hand down a curved passageway. I walked through the city as the light faded and tantalizing smells rose through the sloping streets. I walked past cobblers packing away their wares for the night, and honeybee-encrusted cake peddlers selling one last sticky treat. I tasted honeysuckle and inhaled tagine-flavored air. My walk ended with a freshly baked baguette and a meandering conversation on the city beach, under a star-speckled sky. (Toes buried in cold sand and the wind carrying secrets from the ocean to my ear.)

 

  1. No, not an old man. Or an anorexic walrus. []
  2. Ten points if you can identify his namesake and understand why it’s such an appropriate name for a kitten. []
  3. And there are a lot. See photographic evidence. []
  4. Heckedy Peg, Strega Nona, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. []
  5. This involved a lot of cutting, gluing, taping, and recycling old wooden card catalog drawers. []
  6. More on that in a subsequent post. []
  7. Speaking of which, the library badly needs book donations! If you have books you don’t need anymore and would like to send them to Morocco, shoot me an email. []
  8. I know, I know, I’ll tell you all about it soon. Just need to make a few final touches before I unveil it. []
  9. The previous week, I was walking through the medina one evening when a small girl said “Hola!” to me. I said hello back, and she ran up and hugged me. When I couldn’t figure out how to make her let go, I picked her up and spun her around, which made her giggle and smile shyly. Her brother walked up to me and announced, “Ten euro.” Morocco is full of smartasses, and I love it. []
  10. Loki thought I wanted to share it with him, too, and stuck one tiny paw in Barbara’s lunch before we caught him. []

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