Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Really New Orleans?

 You didn't want these two guys playing together?


I suppose I understand. I mean, really who wants to see that?

 Or this,

 paired with this?


And this,

with this?  

Nobody would have wanted to watch that.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ways I Have Been Woken in Morocco

Some of these would be normal in America, some of these would not. Can you guess which???

-       My alarm clock
-       Melissa using her computer
-       Wind storm
-       Packs of dogs attacking each other
-       The egg man walking down the street screaming, “Eggs! Eggs!” (6-7 AM)
-       Sunlight
-       Being hot
-       Guy yelling at a donkey and whipping it while they ran around in a circle (6 AM)
-       Being cold
-       Allergies, sneezing
-       Large wedding parade of screaming people playing trumpets and banging drums (3:30 AM)
-       Having to pee
-       Having to poo
-       Bird cawing
-       Hotel maid bursting in room without knocking
-       Rancid smell of sewer
-       Melissa yelling in her sleep
-       Nausea
-       Herd of 100 goats trotting by and bleeting (7 AM)
-       My host brother shaking my shoulder
-       Car door slamming
-       Bloody nose
-       Tiny, stray piece of metal screen from makeshift window screens is stuck in sheets and pricks my arm
-       Cell phone ringing
-       Call to prayer
-       Numb arms
-       Motor bike
-       Men loudly chatting next to my open window (6-7 AM)
-       Excessively itchy bug bites
-       Excessive thirst
-       Back pain
-       Weird dreams
-       Desire to check status of fantasy baseball team
-       Old woman banging a rusty, dented garbage can with a giant rock (7 AM)

And I know there are some I'm forgetting. When another especially interesting one happens I'll be sure and let you know!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Andre the Giant

Consumed, on average, 7,000 calories of alcohol a day.

Would routinely drink a 12 pack of beer before a wrestling match.

Would average a case of beer every 90 minutes on road trips to wrestling matches. In one instance, he consumed sixteen bottles of plum wine before wrestling three matches shortly thereafter. The wine showed no discernable effect.

Rarely drank enough to pass out. One of the few times he did was after consuming 119 beers in six hours. That’s roughly one beer every three minutes, nonstop, for six hours straight. 

When asked how much it took him to get drunk, replied, "it usually takes two liters of vodka just to feel warm inside."

Good thing he didn't live in Morocco!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Pierre doesn't smoke cigarettes, but he has nothing to do and nowhere to be and it's a sunny morning and old country songs are playing from the cafe speakers and a cool breeze is blowing down the narrow cobblestone street in front of his table where a clean, blue ashtray rests next to his small cup of black coffee on its perfect white saucer. His umbrella provides a calming shade. He inhales carefully so he doesn't cough, so he can enjoy it, taps the ash into the clean, blue glass, sets the Gauloise in the tray, and stares out at the street, watching tourists stroll by, fat cats search for more fish, gulls float in the sky. He takes a sip of his coffee and its smell mixes with the sea and the smoke on his fingers. He picks up the cigarette, takes a few more puffs, sets it down again, leans back in his wicker chair, and feels the pleasant softness of the cushion beneath his buttocks. He watches the cigarette disappear as it leans on the ashtray, smoke curling from the end and hanging in the air briefly before it is whisked away. He begins to feel hungry, perhaps a little dizzy. He wants to keep feeling the breeze and watching the gulls and smelling the sea, and he takes another small puff, but its near the filter and it burns his throat, and perhaps it wasn't hunger but nausea he felt so he crushes the butt and leaves a black smear on the clean, blue glass. He leans forward in his chair, tapping his toes and flicking his tongue against his teeth. He has nothing to do and it makes him nervous, jittery, bothered. The nausea has passed and he is hungry, thirsty too. His mouth is dry. He must find the waiter to pay the bill and leave and find something to eat, maybe nap. Does he have coins? Will the waiter be angry he can't make change? An old woman approaches him and with her hands out. The skin on her face is worn and loose to the point Pierre can barely see her eyes. He has to pee. Where is the toilet? If he doesn't pee now he will have to wait until he returns to the riad. Can he hold it? He stands. Where is the waiter? Dogs start barking. A motor bike roars by. A gust of wind blows dust in his eyes. He glances down at his blurry table. He sees the brown watermark on his empty coffee cup on its perfect white saucer, the lone smoked cigarette lying in the blue glass, surrounded by ash, sunlight creeping across it. It would make a nice picture, and he takes it with his mind, and stores it in his memory with other fleeting moments when things flowed together, and senses blended as they were supposed to, fleeting moments more unpredictable with each passing hour.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Moroccan Cuisine

Perhaps you are curious about typical Moroccan fare. During our homestays it was usually some type of grain, boiled vegetables, sometimes meat, and lots of bread (side note: the best Moroccan meal I've had was prepared by the wonderful Nancy and Greg back home before I left.)

If you go to a restaurant here, which nobody does and I would never recommend, you may find something similar to this. But if you get Moroccan catering, which I would especially never recommend, you may find items similar to the ones listed below. For 10 days this month our whole group was put up at a hotel for training. The hotel prepared meals for us, buffet style. This was the third such experience we have had since arriving in country, all of them similarly fascinating, so I kept a log of some of the dishes offered. When I say "spam" I'm not actually sure what it is, but it's a tube of dry, usually red meat that sort of has the look of bologna, but a firmer consistency. I believe it may be mostly turkey.

-Rice with mayonnaise, chopped beets, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and canned tuna
-Macaroni with diced spam and ground turkey
-Sliced tomatoes and spam
-Sliced tomato, kiwi, mozzarella, two colors of spam, on a bed of shredded lettuce
-Sliced spam with heart of palm, drizzled with mayonnaise, on a bed of shredded lettuce
-Hard-boiled eggs, halved, dyed red with beet juice
-Hard-boiled eggs, halved, dyed yellow for some reason, with a date on top, drizzled with mayonnaise
-Shredded carrots and cabbage with oil, golden raisins and sliced cucumber
-Shredded cabbage with mayonnaise, chopped peaches, and raisins
-Shredded carrots, sweetened
-Beets, chopped, drizzled with oil