I can honesty say that this morning was the very first day, in nearly 4 months, here in Morocco, that I felt a tiny pang of homesickness. I had barely left the house on my Wednesday walk to the souk and it hit me. I thought of my best friend in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, and wished he was here. I had a flash of our mornings together in my head. I spent my last 3 weeks in the States with he and his Mom. While I was walking, a picture of us, with the dogs, having coffee and talking washed over me. For a split second, I missed my old life. I missed my friend, our talks, my dog, and the familiarity of it all. Of course, I texted and told him how I felt and followed it up with the realization that it will only be another 4 months till summer. We are hoping to make a trip to the US then to visit everyone and there was a fleeting feeling of hope that the next 4 months would fly by as quickly as the first.
I am someone who literally has 5 people I consider forever friends… Wayne, Maureen, Nana, Rebecca and Deb. There is something that binds us that’s intangible. We all have this way of just “getting” each other. Some I talk to frequently, others I share a simple text with every few weeks. Even with this, the love I have for each of them never waivers and I know in my heart that if they need me I will always be there for them… and I know that they will always be there for me. The 5000 miles we live apart from each other will never ever change this… because the friendships are real. In some cases the relationships border on a kind of love that you share with family. I may not have but a handful of friends, yet, I know that these relationships are real. So when I have a flash of homesickness it’s just a reminder of the love we share, the comfort I find in them and respect we have for one another, as different as we may be. Not that I dont have others in my life I also consider friends…Joni, Johnny, Carol and Angi … also people I have a special bond with but, with the others the feelings run a bit deeper.
Im not sure what caused this little feeling of nostalgia. I had spent the past two days with my boyfriend… so, it wasn’t out of loneliness. Although, we had expected to walk to the souk together today… until he found out he had classes to give. Maybe the disappointment snuck up on me… a feeling I wasn’t even conscious of. Yesterday he only worked a half day and we went to Agadir to pick up my background check information for my carte sejour. Maybe the low level anxiety I feel about my residency caused my flashback moment … who knows.
After my moment of longing, I continued my walk and came across a local man. I generally get funny looks if someone hasn’t noticed me around the village. I got that look from him. So, I have him a chipper “Salam!” and he responded “Labas?”. He asked if I was fine and my mind went right to… ” can he tell I’m missing home … is it written all over my face… do I look not fine?” …And kept walking. Once I cleared my head of these thoughts, I realized I should have responded “Labas, shoukran. Onti?” ( I’m fine, thanks. And you) Damn it… another missed opportunity to use my words. I swear one day, I will calm my monkey mind enough to fully live in the moment here… and in that I will start using the little Darija I do know, with confidence. Hey, my vocabulary is up to about 40 words… I just have to start using them.
I continued my walk to the souk and stopped at Cafe Inou to have some mint tea. The sun was shining and for the first time I got a sunny table. Because of the way the building sits, the patio is usually in the shade and a bit chilly this time of the year. Today, I got the best seat in the house and decided to start writing this post while I rested my aching feet and sipped my tea. In all honesty I was hoping to catch a little tan as I sat facing the sun. I also took the time to chat with Hassan, the barista, as I always do. After my tea was finished, I wrote and soaked up some more sun before gathering up my veggies and walking home… I would finish the blog post later. Today my feet and especially my toes were acing and sore. The walk home wasn’t something I was looking forward to. Some days are better than others for my injured feet. Last week they felt good… this week not so much.
I tried to distract myself on my walk by looking for another turtle. Tuesday at the souk we looked at the baby turtles they had for sale, considering buying our turtle a friend. I noticed that the biggest one, who was about the size of ours, didn’t have the little spikes on the back of his thighs… these were the other species that are here in Morocco. In the past week we have fallen in love with our crazy, funny, sweet little turtle and want him to be happy. So maybe finding him a friend would be a good thing. As I was walking and searching for a turtle friend a strange sound caught my attention over the sound of the traffic. I looked to find what this strange sound was. Lo and behold, it was a goat on the slope on the other side of the road. It was like he was yelling to me because, as soon as he had my attention he stopped his yelling, stared at me and started looking around. I laughed and just had to take a photo of him. Silly goat. He did have two sheep friends with him a bit lower on the slope. The sheep were just quietly standing together. I continued my walk and thought to myself that the animals here seem to communicate with me. I know its strange for me to say that but, its how I feel. The neighbor hood sheep, cats, dogs and random goats on the side of the road. I feel a connection with these Moroccan animals. Maybe they sense that the humans here dont communicate with me… or maybe thats the exact reason I feel connected to them. Without them, I know most days, the lack of human interaction might just drive me crazy. I am thankful for the sweet, innocent animals, here, in Morocco that make me feel normal.
Today is another warm and sunny day in Tamraght. The winds this morning were whipping down the mountain and howling through the house. Now that it is just before 1pm, it seems to have quieted down. I spent the morning in my usual routine. Coffee, house clean up, yoga, shower. Now that Im about to wrap up this blog post, the plan is to study my Moroccan Arabic. I’ve been using the Memrise website to learn my Darija. I love it but am nearly through the course. It is interactive and makes learning easy. I really wish there were more than just the two modules because I would just keep learning. Its teaching the numbers and days of the week now. I really need to learn those damn numbers. It will make souk shopping much easier, thats for sure. Well, I guess its time to study…unitl next time… xo