Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Moroc and Roll
Well, it's been a good half month since I left the winter wasteland of Calgary....and this is only my second travelblog update. (tsk tsk, I am scolding myself properly, don't worry). I HAVE been writing almost constantly, daily,in my proper paper journal, although the writing there is more scattered and personal than I am eager to transcribe and post here. I have greatly been enjoying my mornings spent in little coffeeshops with Cafe du Creme and Pain au chocolate, writing furiously in the company of old men wearing hats, french cigarettes and wicker chairs on the sidewalk, i will say that much. Complain as you might about the wrongs of colonialism, one can't deny the spoils left behind (cuisine, language, style and most importantly, quality of coffee), are rather marvelous. Regardless, as much as I am writing plenty with pen and paper and pastry in hand, I don't want to completely forsake my online documentation, so, quick, let us write now while the impulse is hot!
The current setting: I am typing this from my quiet little bedroom in the capital city of Rabat, Morocco, where I have found myself working as an Au Pair to an extremely wealthy couple with 2 kids. Amine, 10, and Sarah, 6, are sweet but due to their rather luxurious upbringing, give new creedence to the term "high maintanence" (aka: spoiled brats). I am not sure how much longer this will last, to be honest, as being the primary attention giver to 2 very needy kids with a very absent upper-crusty socialite mother, is hardly how i want to spend my time in this gorgeous country, particularly for the pittance of 500 dirhams (about $50 bucks), a week. My days consist of rising with the sun to prepare hot chocolate for the children, then cooking softly fried eggs (and generally spoon feeding them to fussy Sarah who refuses to eat most times), brushing teeth and putting on shoes...then a few hours of free time until they come home for lunch, where the feeding/washing cycle continues. The evening is the time I fear most, where tears and screams take over the residence Merriam, as little Sarah explains to me how she hates her mom and nobody likes her, usually while screaming my name and to treat her like a "princess" as I try to persuade her to wash her own feet in the tub (lest I truly begin to feel like somebodies slave).
Marrakech feels like my proper home-away-from home at this point, and I have the opportunity to work at a hostel there instead, 2 minutes from the chaos of Djemma El Fnna square; free bed and breakfast in exchange for teaching guitar lessons to the owner, who's pretty orange acoustic is just sitting there, begging to be played! This appeals to me on so many levels, least of all the prospect of NOT working for the next month, and just having time to become a good guitar player again, write, draw, write, suntan on the terrace, write. As well, hostels are such a great chance to meet other travelers and share tales of life on the road...a place to inspire and be inspired. I'm very eager to do this! I think this week will be my last here in Rabat...I am simply not cut out for this Au Pair business and need to do what is right for me, as selfish as that may sound.
Marrakech feeds the absurd chaos of my soul, and I love it; the busy narrow streets of the medina, the markets, the vivid colours... the snakes and monkeys in the square, the street theatre, the cafes, the general noise and banter. I was there, with this Rabat family, visiting last weekend (staying in an absurdly serene,posh hotel, I might add), and was recognized by several people in the streets and cafe's that I had frequented in my first days there. It felt nice to be remembered in a city that surely gets its fair share of backpackers....it felt like a sign saying "come back Julia, come back!"
This is a rather scattered entry, so I think I will cut my losses and make a quick graceful exit....and perhaps write again once I am back in the inspiring city of Marrakech, as the call to prayer echoes from the Koutoubia and street cafes spring to life with tagines bubbling and people dancing dizzily at dusk.
Until then, bonsoir, and massalaama!