*Pictures don’t fully show the horror experienced here. Seriously.
As 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.
Below, a snapshot not of war, but of a grueling series of battles fought every day by the good students here to protect our bodies and food from Sahara black bees and yellow wasps. These, dear readers, are the grim realities we face at Al Akhawayn’s café every day.
So, yeah: hide your kids, hide your wife. For the last three weeks, bees have taken over our café. They have crawled through every pastry and over every uncovered melloui, harcha and schneck sold here.
Like a drug-resistant and highly contagious virus, the worker bee thrives on human contact and is impossible to get rid of.
Not that the school has tried. Let’s be real: open, unscreened windows and exposed sweets do not exactly create a hostile environment. And the students, though still slightly imprisoned by the thought of “bee bites,” have grown accustomed to the visitors in a queer version of Stockholm syndrome. Rumors have even reached your faithful reporter that the black bees don’t sting. Students save those who land in their mango juices and (impossibly tiny) coffee cups.
Even I, sympathetic reader, caught myself cooing over two bees this morning: one had covered itself in honey and was unable to fly. Another bee cleaned its sister for several minutes until she was able to walk and whirr her wings menacingly once again.
The situation may not be as dire as it seems. Despite initial animosity, it seems these two species are learning to coexist peacefully. Perhaps – and only perhaps — we are traveling toward a tolerant, inclusive and happy future for all.
*At publishing time, a student was heard screaming angrily because a bee had hidden inside her candy wrapper, probably hoping, nefariously, to ambush the poor woman
In other news, Monsieur Mustafa reads a book on a Moroccan woman’s journey to find herself: