Feet on the Ground

Today was the first day in two weeks when we’ve been deliciously inactive. Not a single alarm was set, we read books in bed for an hour after we woke up, we ate a breakfast that we bought the day before in the souq, and we spent all the time until almost lunchtime draped over the sofas to the stirring theme-music of Disney and Bollywood. Gotta love a good fairytale sometimes. I won’t lie – sometimes, though I’m twenty, I love dreaming away. And sometimes, I wander whether a beautiful, unthinkalbe happy ending is really as impossible as our culture says it is. Maybe the Something Better is still out there somewhere. And maybe, it’s for people like you and me too. Sorry for that tangent – the day’s been quiet enough to actually think about this kind of thing! Clearly too much time…
Anyway, once it got to lunchtime, and Rebecca and Charlotte had gone to Casablanca to see the mosque (globetrotting much!), Alice and I decided to go for a wander around our neighbourhood of Agdal, buy some more water, and explore a little bit. It was after experiencing what might have been mini-watermelons, and discussing how the woman begging on the street probably had more money than we did when you consider student debt, that we made the decision that shaped much of our afternoon – we bought henna. After getting one box of powder from one shop for 8 dirhams, and another of exactly the same box from another shop for 6 dirhams, we began the hunt for syringes to draw the patterns through. This was somewhat of a mission, as none of the little shops we looked in at first sold them. Well, they might have done. We didn’t know how to say “syringe”. So we just had to make rather dubious-looking signs. The remains of Alice’s henna helped prevent the shopkeepers getting the idea that we wanted the needles for anything, uh, untoward. Eventually, in the shop where they sold them, we were taught the name for a syringe (‘ibra’), and made our way to lunch. We decided to really push the boat out and go for a pot of ice-cream before the meal (shockers), where the salesman was reallt friendly and spoke brilliant English. Watching him fill the little yellow tub, we realised that you really have to be quite strong to be an ice-cream man. Who needs a gym anyway? We went to Pincho’s again (the pizzeria, before you judge us for going three times in two weeks), and had a tasty-but-made-unremarkable-by-the-service meal, and then made our way home to practise with the henna before the girls came home. So sitting out in the sunshine and the breeze, letting our creative juices flow through the syringe and onto our feet, we had a lovely unwind in one of my favourite places in Rabat – the balcony off our room. Most of the evening was spent with the girls too, doing more of the same.
So, today was not full of adventure or daring or courage. It was not about hardships conquered or dangers faced. But, in its own way, it was special, beautiful, and full of good things.

I am a final year BA International Relations student at Sussex University, and I’m also studying the Arabic Language Elective Pathway. Alongside this, I am acting as a Student Language Ambassador, in hopes of convincing the world that a language is a beautiful thing :)

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