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November 20, 2008 Snow Day

Snowy Thursday = Travel challenges --> Will there be Souq in Berberville tomorrow? Time will tell. [Update: No. But a few tents straggled in for Saturday.]

This morning’s tranzits down to SouqTown weren’t running, because the road was snowed over. The plows came out around mid-day, though, and the afternoon tranzits were on the road. I was supposed to meet the 2:30 tranzit, so I was out by 2:00. (I reeeeally didn’t want to miss it.) I hung out with my favorite buHanoot. We had a great conversation, first about the cold and snow (who doesn’t like talking about the weather!), and then, as the minutes ticked by, about more wide-ranging topics.

By 2:30, I was describing Thanksgiving to him. [Update 11/27: My sitemate, “Fatima”, stopped by his Hanoot to get some last-minute ingredients yesterday. He said, in English, “For Thanksgiving?” She did a triple-take.] Like the other Moroccans I’ve talked to about it, he understood the importance of taking time to be grateful for your blessings.

By 3:00, we were playing at intellectual gamesmanship. We could both rattle off the names of the past fifty years’ leaders in the US, USSR/Russia (except we both forgot Brezhnev – I eventually remembered it), and Morocco, but he had me beat on France and Spain. When I goggled over the breadth of his education, he confessed that he’d not only been through junior high and high school – itself quite an accomplishment here – he’d completed college, majoring in organic chemistry. Unfortunately, though, there aren’t many jobs for organic chemists – there aren’t many white-collar jobs in Morocco, period – so after several futile months of looking for one, he came back to his parents’ village, bought some space, and set up the first Hanoot in Berberville. There are now half a dozen or so, of varying quality, but his is my favorite, mostly because he’s such a nice guy. The fact that he has a convenient location doesn’t hurt, either. :)

At 3:30, the tranzit finally pulled in. The plows had only hit the town areas, expecting the big, heavy tranzit to muscle through the intra-town snowy roads. Which it could, but slowly. [Update: The road did eventually get plowed along its entire 140 km length, lhumdullah, but it took … I don’t actually know how long, because I wasn’t on the road. But a couple days, I think.]

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