Month: September 2014

For the Fifth Time This Week, Bees Invade My Pain Au Chocolat

*Pictures don’t fully show the horror experienced here. Seriously.

Bees1As I type this report from the trenches of Al Akhawayn’s café, bees swarm around my head and patter over the large picture windows behind me. A bee sucks the life out of my pain au chocolat while ten others slurp obscenely from a packet of honey left open by Darling, my constant and chivalrous freshman protégé. A bee crawls up and down my spine, sending sparking shivers down my back.

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Horses, Dust and Gunshots at a Fes Fantasia

DSCN1755 After the Fes medina and tanneries, my friend and I were quite tired – so tired, in fact, that we almost missed the mass of tents that cropped up to our left as we drove back to Ifrane. When he noticed them, my friend began shouting incomprehensibly gesticulating and jumping as much as his seatbelt would allow him. Turns out we’d stumbled on a Fantasia, a traditional horseback musket shooting competition difficult to track down for those outside local circles. My friend has even traveled to Essaouira, quite a ways from Rabat, to attend one.

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The Fes Tanneries: Please Arm Yourself With Mint

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After scurrying through Fes’s medina – dodging children, talkative shopkeepers and barreling donkey carts all the while – my friend and I climbed a set of dark, steep stairs that led to a vast second-story leather shop. The place was filled with exquisite assortments of shoes, belts and bags.

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Poison Apples, Screaming Music and Gavlin Kleim Briefs: T. and I Brave Rabat

Precisely at 7:10 Saturday morning, T. and I met up at the hallowed Building 34 (my dorm) to begin our journey to the center of Rabat. After walking to Ifrane, we found a grand taxi to take us to Meknes, where we hoped to catch the 9 o’clock train to Rabat. The grand taxi contained three boys. During the 45-minute trip, in which the driver consistently stayed between 20 and 50 kilometers above the speed limit, the boys played numerous Arab and explicit American rap songs, and T. almost threw up because of motion sickness at least once.

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Let’s talk about Al Akhawayn’s gym. Plus, a word from Monsieur Mustafa.

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Every time I visit Al Akhawayn’s gym, I’m floored. The building boasts high ceilings, warm-colored wood and great mountain views. For those of you from Wisconsin, the place looks like a cross between the Lodge at Cedar Creek’s water park, Granite Peak’s ski chalet and Rib Mountain’s forest service building.

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T. and I finally find the Marché, where we eat our meals and those of everyone else at our table

After accidentally exploring most of Ifrane’s surrounding areas on our quest to find electronics converters, T. and I slithered tiredly into some café chairs in Ifrane and inhaled strawberry juice. As we took stock of our leg situations and discovered some muscles we didn’t even know existed, we caught sight of a few other internationals. As luck would have it, they were headed for the marché … , which was not on Avenue Hassan II, contrary to instructions we’d been given by some individuals on campus.

No, really, I wasn’t mad.

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