Marhaba ya Maghrib!

Qalam center
Qalam center

BEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEP. What’s with the way people drive here? There are no rules. People drive in the left lane, right lane, in the middle of the two, barely dodge people, park in the side-walks, park on the roof tops! (don’t ask.) I thought NYC was merciless. Then I thought Korea was merciless. No, Morocco takes the cake here! Congratulations! Crossing the streets in Morocco will take a unique skill, one like no other! Bring. It. On.

Yes, I’m safe in Morocco. The first two days looked rough and for the first time I experienced culture shock in my life. Really? In Korea I had absolutely zero and I knew little to nothing about the culture, and assimilated just fine. But in Morocco, a culture I have studied for the past couple years, hit me like a bullet train. The host family placement started out rough. My room was awkward with no where to put my stuff and no door. Also, I had no way of getting on the internet anywhere – even the school’s internet was down! Contacting home  was a very expensive process with my international phone. Anyway, host family is very kind and fixed all the issues. Thanks to a employee here at Qalam who does his job prompt and well – so everything was magically fixed within a day. I bought a Marac Telecom modem, so I have 3g net everywhere I go. SO EXPENSIVE. RIGHT? no. holy crap. it cost about the same as 5 USD a week. SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN THE U.S WOULD COST HUNDREDS….you think 3g will work in the Sahara? lol. Camel and facebook- hell yes 😉

My host family’s house is, well to say the least, Moroccan. Something like 6 stories. But it’s so different. First floor – bathroom living room. Second floor, two rooms bathroom. Third floor, kitchen room another living room. And the rest is just more living areas, and prayer areas. Something I didn’t expect, but it’s very interesting to say the least!

Last night I went on a random adventure with a Canadian guy studying here at the institute with me. I needed to get to a shopping area to buy a towel and other amenities. Turns out, thank God, he knows one that’s within walking distance. I got what I needed, then we decided to go fine some high quality dining. In Morocco is actually hard to find a restaurant that serves Moroccan food. Families make Moroccan food at home; they go out for French food! Which is what we did, a high quality dining experience at one of the best hotels in Morocco – Hotel Rabat. Servers speak French to you, serve you on silver platters, organize your table for you as you eat – everything. thing is, the food was about the same price as, I don’t know, an Apple Bee’s in the U.S. My Moroccan standards- expensive. By U.S standards for what cha got – CHEAP.  I hated the fact my plate ended up having Pork on it……but we WERE in a Western style hotel (French actually) So I should have expected as much. Nevertheless, pork aside, was still pretty good. Before had we actually get to a pub and listened to music and had a drink – the singer was amazing!

I type this as I use my 3g, sitting outside under an Arabian style tent with pillows, rugs and blankets! It’s beautiful and I think this is going to be a great adventure! I got my class placement just now and I did get into the level I am supposed to be at. (Advanced Beginning – Low Intermediate ) I’ll be where I need to be upon return to Michigan.

(AS ALWAYS: Pictures come eventually! I have not been able to take pictures as of yet, but I will tomorrow for sure!(EDIT: Pictures come flowing in! 🙂 )

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Tent

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Back yard of Qalam center
Back yard of Qalam center
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