Wednesday, February 22, 2006

whatever my lot...even if it's tripe

so this week's been a weird one...a lot of sitting scrolling through thousands of recovered images...not a lot of RAW ones back, but a whole wack of good-sized jpgs which is a blessing. I did get some of the best photos from the Moroccan village back but am missing all my shots from that night when the guys took me to the medina and the atlantic...which totally stinks, because those photos were not only some great shots, but they personally represented the first time I officially felt like myself...hanging out w/ the guys I felt I could be expressive and funny and just goof public when I was with the girls I had to act as they did, and women in public (at least in Rabat) do not express themselves openly in public often. Plus seeing the ocean and getting out of the tight squeeze of city existence, if even for a few moments, was the first time I felt I could breathe something other than exhaust fumes and yes, even bbq. BUT, I'm going back to Rabat on my way to Fes next week so maybe if I bribe the boys with a horsemeat meal on me, they'll take me to the ocean and the medina again! The only thing I WON'T repeat will be eating dried fruit and nuts straight from the stalls...I'm not sure if that's what made my insides churn, but I defintely didn't sleep that night!

Aside from endless hours letting my eyes glaze over in front of the screen, I have had a few fun experiences. First off, I unknowingly ordered and consumed tripe. Some of us from the media centre were downtown for tapas and one of the tapas I chose was called 'callos' which was conveniently translated in English on the menu as 'pork'. 'Fabulous,' i thought, 'how could I go wrong.' The dish contained pieces of pork that resembled the animal's innards (no kidding!) and the taste vaguely reminded me of the cow's feet I ate in Morocco. Assuming that it was the familiar taste putting me off, I consumed the entire little dish despite my reluctant tastebuds, only because I figured it was protein and I needed some. Never mind the fact that it had cost me 2 Euros. It wasn't until my roommate Rosie was reading a Spanish cookbook that I'd found out the chunky pig parts fried in oil was tripe. I sighed and added it to my list.

The next day was Sunday and Beth who has lived here in the past, took me to her Spanish church. We arrived early which gave us a chance to meet some people (ha ha, one of whom was a very attractive Spanish guy my age who surprised me twice when he came to greet me: first by telling me his name was 'Francie'...pronounced 'Franthie' and short for 'Francisco'...and secondly, by greeting me in the traditional Spanish style with a kiss next to both cheeks! After being in Morocco where you only kiss those of the same sex, I'd forgotten that this is NOT the case in Spain! I'm always flustered when this happens here!...Don't worry dad, i won't be coming home with a spanish guy named Franthie...he doesn't speak any english!). Once the service began, I was quite surprsied to find that we sung only one song, there was no offering taken up, and the congregation spent a lot of the time conversing with the pastor. Now I assumed that even though this was an evangelical church very much modeled after the typical north american style, that there'd be some cultural alterations made to their service, to suit their particular styles and needs, but I was pretty taken aback by the circumstances mentioned above. I shrugged my shoulders and thought 'whatever floats your boat', and proceeded to spend the next hour and a bit reading my Bible, journaling, etc. After all, I couldn't understand a word of the Spanish being spoken. As the preacher closed, and I started to gather my things, Beth leaned over and whispered, "I just realised that this was SUNDAY we have CHURCH!" If I had to sit in a church for more than a couple of hours back home I think I'd leave, but here all I could do was laugh! What else could I do!!?? So 15 minutes later when the actual service started (and yes we did sing more, the offering was taken up, and the preacher WAS the only one speaking during the service!) I whipped out my spanish phrase book and just read for the next 75 minutes. All I could think was, 'oh well, just another story to add to my blog!' Here I figure if something doesn't work out the way I expected, there's a good chance it'll make a good story!!!

Anyway, praise God for new experiences and for the recovery of a good chunk of photos!!! I'm at peace with what was not recovered, and will eventually get over it I'm sure! It reminds me of the time I accidentally erased the footage of me singing the anthem at a Vipers game...I was sick about it forEVER. Now it's certainly still a regret, but I don't feel angst about it anymore!
And speaking of hockey, I don't get to watch the olympics over here, but I'm really hoping Canada pulls itself together to defend our gold...if the girls can do it, so can the men right!?

anyhow, if i don't get another chance to update this thing before I leave, you'll be hearing from me next from the great imperial city of FES!!! apparently Faasi women are the best cooks in Morocco...can't wait!!!!!



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