On Leaving Rabat
September 12, 2007
I enjoyed my stay here in Rabat but I feel it is time to be moving on. I can walk the streets here anonymously, which is something that I do not mind after being in India and China for so long, but I also have not had an actual conversation for three days. The isolation that this city provides feels as if it could be a little much. I also really want to get into this country- to the interior.
Mira should be joining me in a few weeks. I really look forward to her arrival, as I think that we would really enjoy Morocco together. This is her kind of country: it is warm, the people seem friendly, and there are little sidewalk cafes that are strewn about everywhere. Mira loves nothing more than doing nothing. The only thing that she wants to do is just hang out, drink tea, and watch the world go by. She always yells at me because I cannot sit still, because I always have to be doing something. “Just sit here with me,” she urges. But I get fidgety after a few minutes and want to go and “do nothing” somewhere else. “You really suck at hanging out,” she says. It is true, I do not really know how to do it. But I am trying.
I figure that since everyone is sitting on the sidewalk drinking tea, that maybe I should give it a try. I went for it a couple of nights ago but only got through one cup before I wanted to go clamber up something. I am trying though, and by the time Mira gets here I should be pretty good at it. So do nothing but hang out, make friends, and read books will be my goal for Fez. By working diligently in my room writing and studying is not going to get me any closer to the culture that I am living in. The people of the world practices “time-pass”- doing nothing- and to get to know people, I am going to have to slow down a little and do the same.
I think that I am going to make a break for Fez tomorrow. I took an internship with the website/ magazine Café Abroad, and, in addition to writing articles, they want me to make a city guide or something like that. I can do that, I suppose. It is kind of what I am trying to do anyway with the Vagabond Field Notes site: http://travelerguide.googlepages.com . I also want to study a little French and Arabic before going south to Mauritania and Mali, so I will be able to take care of all of this in Fez.
So on to Fez I go. Rabat, I enjoyed your charm, but I think that you are a little too refined for my taste.