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6.24.2010

6/24/10 Missing Morocco

So I've been in America almost a month now. (One month tomorrow, actually.)

And I already miss Morocco.

I don't miss everything. I don't miss the ice-cold tap water, or the never-ending language confusion.

But I do miss ... so many little things.
I miss my baby brother's smiles.
My host mom's hugs.
And her cooking.
Especially her couscous.
I miss seeing people light up when they realize I speak their language.
I miss the pace of my self-structured days.
I miss walking. (Here, all transportation is car-based.)
I miss having people understand me when I speak Arabic or Tam. ('Cause I still do speak them both, if I'm not thinking about it; just now, my sister asked me a quick question, and my reflexive answer was, "Isul l-Hal." Which I then had to translate to, "Not yet.")

And I miss the physical intimacy of Morocco.

I know I've talked before about it, but it's probably been a while, so here's a refresher:

In Morocco, you have to greet everyone you see. And by "greet", I mean touch and speak to. If you walk into a crowded room, you take a minute to walk around and greet everybody. (Unless it's really crazy-crowded, in which case a quick wave at the crowd can suffice.) If you pass a friend on the street, you stop. Extend a hand. If it's an opposite-gender friend, a quick touch of the fingers passes for a handshake, and you ask about each other's well being, then move on. If it's a same-gender friend, you grasp hands, kiss each other's cheeks, and keep hold of each other while you ask about each other's well being, the wellbeing of each other's families, friends, etc. Then you might even kiss cheeks again before saying goodbye.

And when you're sitting in a room with someone of the same gender, you sit *with* them. In each other's personal space. Usually touching them.

I miss that.

The firm press of a friend's/sister's/neighbor's leg against mine as we sit cross-legged against a wall. The weight of a little one leaning back against me.

When I first got to Morocco, I found myself oppressed by all the constant touching. I craved personal space and alone time. I still need both of those things, but now only in moderation - and I now find myself craving the friendly physical contact that is so readily shared in Morocco.

And couscous.

I really miss Ama's couscous.

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