Thursday, December 5, 2013

The market!

Today on the way to work with my assistant I stopped by the market by her place. I've heard that their market is better - that they are closer to the farms and have fresher, cheaper produce.

I had some stuff still, so here is what I got:

From top left: just over a kilo of bananas, 7.5 dirham. Bunch of mint (don't know price on its own.) half kilo lemons. kilo clementines, 2.5 dirham. kilo turnips, 8 dirhams with the lemons and mint. kilo potatoes, 3 dirham. half kilo green beans, 4 dirham.

Total 5 kilos for 25 dirham. As in just over $3. and all good quality and so fresh that they're mostly still covered in dirt!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


A lot of people ask me what I like better - Morocco or X. X might be America, France, or Tunisia, since those are usually the places I'll say I've been. So in the spirit of trying to give little bites of life in Morocco: phones.

Morocco: Cell phones are more ubiquitous than the US, if that's possible. A good number of people have more than one because they get better rates for different things. Pre-paid phones cost by the second, although at 1 cent a second, it's comparatively expensive to what I'd expect in the US. But, you also only pay outgoing calls - people can call you no matter what and it never counts against you. You can also get super small recharges, even 5 or 10 MAD (65 cents for the lower), and the recharges are available all over the place in the corner stores. Oh, and there are constantly promotions. Like when I charged my phone in AUGUST there was a seven times multiplier if you put 100 MAD ($12.50) on your phone. So I haven't needed to do it again. One company always has at least a doubler, but often triple, making the one cent a minute never really true.

US: Unlimited. Almost everyone has it now. It's nice, but it's expensive and not always necessary. Still, the possibility for limitless is there, which people like. And why wouldn't they?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Henna night

From last Wednesday at the house of one of my adopted sisters.

Small children I've met everywhere love to make faces for pictures and then see them.

A more "full" women's (i.e. married) henna. In the end, her finger tips were completely filled-in, too. This style is from one area in the Sahara. The boy is hers and she's pregnant!

And me in my awesome three layers of pjs with my girl's henna (you're a 'girl' until you're married until you get 35 or 40, they you get to be something like an old maid.)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Trim! And sexy slippers

The ends of my hair were getting icky, but since plenty of American stylists have made it worse, and I've trimmed it plenty of times when it was longer, I decided to try it here. Luckily I found a couple of tips and decided to just take off a little trim.


I was turning my head, but I think it's even.

And look at my new slipper socks!
They didn't have anything that I would normally pick, so I figured why not find the very best ones? And here you have them, bright purple leopard print. It's like that time I asked for a 'plain' hair clip and the seller showed me one with just 3 big rhinestones and 10 little ones. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Buying just a little

I really love that in Morocco it's completely normal to buy just a little. I bought a couple little tubes of yeast a few weeks ago (think sugar packet size) but it was really finicky, even though I attempted to pre-proof it. It's not like I'm new with yeast! So today on the way home I stopped by the small store on my block (there's an average of one every two blocks I'd say, maybe more) and asked for yeast. The guy pulled out an open brick of yeast and crumbled about a quarter cup onto a paper (the typical way of giving some - at least this paper was clean) and asked if it was enough. I didn't recognize it as yeast, but I know I had the word right and I know I've seen that package before and it says it, so I was just like sure! How much? 1 dirham. 13 cents.

You savvy bakers probably can guess - fresh yeast! It apparently has a short shelf life, which makes it even better than I didn't have to buy a pound of it. But if you're nice to me, and it's allowed and wouldn't go bad, I might bring you some. Now to figure out how to use it to make me some cinnamon rolls...

Friday, November 22, 2013


Two participants were filling out my questionnaire when I heard something that sounded like a heavy cart rolling down the hall. But then it got louder. And sounded like the cart was spilling things all over. Then I realized it was an airplane. An incredibly close, loud airplane. Like the kind that makes you cringe and look up wondering if it's gonna hit your head. 

I looked up at the two of them thinking WHAT IS GOING ON?? And realized that they were simply sitting there, writing. They hadn’t even looked up from their papers. Me: “Is that normal?” Them: “It’s the airport.” Me: stare. Them: “It’s only our second year, so it’s not really normal, but it happens a lot.” Me: “What kind of airport?” (It’s my third day here and the first time I’ve heard that.) One: “military” while the other mimes shooting.


Thursday, November 21, 2013


Dude stands on metal ladder, placed in street, only kind of in the lane, and trims branches with a pair of gardening shears. Make sure the ladder you are envisioning is metal and the cross-brace, that keeps it from opening too much, is a frayed old red rope.