Over the Hump

I always try to anticipate the un-anticipatable and as often happens with...well, the un-anticipatable I didn't expect to go through such an adjustment period here in Morocco.  I think I thought (and not without a good amount of hubris) "I've been to the Middle East, I've been to an Arab/Muslim country.   It will be just like old times!"

And in truth, many things are similar but the last few weeks we have been realizing the very different circumstances in which we find ourselves compared to previous travels.  All mostly good--like we have jobs and a non-cinderblock apartment--but different non the less.  When I told my Mom a few nights ago we had had a bit of relocation anxiety she said "Well good.  Then you are human."

BUT I'm glad to say that I think we are on the other side of the new place blues!  And not really even blues, just a slightly unsettled feeling.  I can't tell if the following activities have helped me get through this part of our transition or if they are the fruits of coming out the other side - but here are some things that have helped me feel at home in my home and in Casablanca over the past few days.

-I made french vanilla ice cream yesterday with a hand mixer and tupperware. mmmm mmmmm.  It would have gone perfectly with the fig tart I made last week come to think of it...  I've never been much of a treat maker, but those days they are a changin'.

- At the market yesterday a few of the venders recognized me from previous shopping trips and I was elated. The fish man taught me how to say "That's enough" in Arabic and then laughed at my terrible pronunciation.  It makes me feel like I'm putting down roots and establishing routines.

- I know several routes to and from work, the grocery stores, and various bakeries throughout the city.  I am getting to know the areas around where I live pretty well and that's a terrific feeling.

- I'm working on a project for the consulate which has kept me a little busier lately until my job starts.

- My French is improving.  I'm studying on my own a bit and I have class twice a week.  I successfully told a woman on the phone today, in french, that she had the wrong number and exchanged all the appropriate pleasantries to complete a conversation.  Small triumphs.

- I peeled and deveined fresh ocean shrimp today for the first time.  It's a little gross BUT so worth it!  Perks of living by the ocean.

In theory our last batch of house hold effects has found its way across the Atlantic and we should get it late this week or early next.  The Husband has sorely missed his guitar and after buying leather in Fez I am itchin' to make a book.  So shwia shwia as they say in Morocco (different than the shway shway of the Levant).      Little by little we are making this place our home and settling in.  


  1. I totally understand what you're saying, Brooke. And I agree with your mom - it means you're human (a mighty awesome one at that).

    I'm glad to hear the initial transition period is over. Miss you!

  2. This post made me smile. That's wonderful you are settling in and finding your groove. I can't wait to see the book you are making!

  3. I really enjoy listening to the little details that make up your life in Morocco. Way to go on the phone conversation! I think I would feel really good about that, too. =)