Making Shebbakiah in Tangier: Because during Ramadan, everything is zero calories


About a month after finishing my year in Ifrane, I returned to Morocco for a Critical Languages Scholarship in Tangier. Dear readers, it is such an experience: I’m living with an impossibly wonderful host family and roommate now, and speaking Arabic all the time. I’m also taking part in an almost brutally intensive language program. Free time is therefore spent studying, talking to the family and, because of the recent Ramadan holiday (Eid Mubarak, dear readers!), eating.

So much.



Leipzig, Germany: Graffiti, J-School and Drinking Chocolate


The day before saying goodbye to one of the best countries in the world, I traveled to Leipzig to meet Mira at McDonald’s, the premier hangout spot for Americans abroad. (A la 90s, I had been forced by circumstance and stinginess adventurously decided to visit Germany without a working cellphone.)

This almost backfired when I failed to consider the possibility that Germans “just couldn’t even” with two separate McDonald’s within a few blocks of each other. No, they needed a third McDonald’s in the station to feed their gluttonous desires.


Leipzig Area, Germany: Sometimes, German men just have to get naked


I am soon welcomed into Mira’s arms – warm, familiar and forgiving of my inability to answer Facebook messages (incurable medical condition). We drink raspberry vanilla tea (Heiße Liebe), consume the cake Mira’s gentleman friend baked, talk for hours and make plans to eventually meet at the Leipzig train station’s McDonald’s (this is important later, for those of you taking notes).


Like us, Barbary Macaques prefer chocolate over that healthy s***


After the mountains, we visited a Barbary Macaque reserve filled with apes, stray dogs, horses for hire and excited children. Like most everyone, we bought peanuts for the macaques and chocolate cookies for ourselves from the roadside vendors.

We quickly learned that the apes are nefarious, calculating creatures. Feigning disinterest at first,


People of the Medina: A more personal look at Fes


As you may have noticed, this blog is mostly devoted to food, landscapes and cats. While these images may seem innocent, they’re actually evidence of a big problem I’ve been trying to deny when it comes to my photography.

Dear readers, I have a fear of rejection.

While I’m completely happy to take pictures of subjects like noodles and kittens, who probably couldn’t care less about their images being posted online, I’m deathly afraid of asking individuals who might say no.

A photojournalist whose work I admire very much recently pointed out that this fear is somewhat bulls***. She told me I needed to include more pictures of people in this blog and, to meet the journalistic code of ethics, ask their permission as well. So, in order to work on this fear and my fledgling Arabic, I decided to employ her suggestions on a weekend trip to Fes.

Here are my first attempts, dear readers: the Fes medina from a different perspective.

After spilling out of the Grand Taxi Saturday morning. T., E., Darling and I hangrily (scientific term) rushed to the nearest restaurant to avoid clubbing each other for the succulent meat we hide beneath smooth flesh. We found a BBQ joint rivaling Arthur Bryant’s, where we consumed kidneys and hearts. Here are the chefs who saved us from a gruesome fate.


At Fes’s hillside medina, the friendly A. crushed sugar canes and lemons for us to drink.


Within the medina’s pinball hustle, a striped little boy enjoyed meeting a donkey.


A young merchant selling multicolored nougat and sesame seed candy fearlessly advertised his wasp nest (note: I did not ask him to do this).


And a woman hustled through a relatively deserted alley reminiscent of the Hodgson Burnett’s secret garden.


Next time, I will try to collect the stories of these individuals.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding visuals or text, please let me know!

Also, for Game of Thrones fans: how many houses are represented in the bronze knockers below?