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6/1/10 Stuff I Didn't Know I'd Missed

When I was in Morocco, I didn't miss too much *stuff* from America. I've never been particularly materialistic (which drives people nuts when they want to know what to buy me for Christmas), and whenever people offered to send me care packages, I'd draw a blank as to what I wanted from the USA.

But now that I'm here, I keep seeing things and remembering how much I like them. I'm delighted to be reacquainted with things I didn't know I'd missed.

Like pretty cars. Most cars in Morocco look ... weathered. They're the rugged old cowboys of cars, the ones whose leathery, lined faces tell stories of thousands and thousands of hard, sun-drenched days. Replace sun damage with dents and dings, and you get the idea. But here in America, I keep seeing shiny MiniCoopers and classic Corvettes and VW Bugs (new and old, but all shiny and well-maintained). Cars that just make me happy.

And root beer. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed root beer until a year ago, when I was in the home of our Country Director, and he had a bowl of American sodas on the table (courtesy of the Embassy Commisary), and the root beer made my eyes bug out of my head and I found myself bouncing with excitement at the very idea of drinking some.

And bookstores. OK, I did kinda know how much I missed bookstores, but it wasn't till I walked into the Barnes & Noble on M St. in Georgetown - a store where I've spent many, many a happy hour - that I realized just how much. Smelling that unique scent of paper and ink, faintly overlain by odors wafting down from the upstairs cafe...hmmm... I felt positively lightheaded with glee. I spent hours wandering among the shelves, reacquainting myself with the printed English word, discovering what Americans are (apparently) buying these days, and rolling my eyes at the enormous Twilight exhibits. Bookstores make me happy.

And TREES!!!!!

I love my Berber village, from its scrubby prickly ifsi bushes to the top of its brown mountains, so I hadn't let myself dwell too much on what it lacks. Because while we do have poplars lining the stream/river banks, and a handful of apple orchards, Berberville is otherwise naked of trees. And nearly naked of grass. But here in America, trees are EVERYWHERE. So's grass. I'm getting drunk off all the fresh oxygen, and reveling in the profusion of green everywhere. These aren't carefully cultivated and irrigated lawns, or lovingly transplanted and handwatered trees...America's hillsides burst with a wild explosion of vegetation. (Well, eastern America. The great West is different, but I haven't gotten back out there yet.) I just can't get tired of it. I hope I never take it for granted, this profligate profusion of photosynthesis...

So, yeah, it's fun to rediscover all this. I think it's part of my generally positive disposition that I tend not to miss things when they're gone, but I'm still sooooo grateful to have them in my life again! :D

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps