Disappointment number 1.....I learned this isn't the Eid where they slaughter goats en mass as I posted in Cooking with Fatty. That's the Eid in November. Ok, at least I have a couple months to perfect my goat wrestling and try to somehow obtain a front row ticket to the festivities. I'm gonna start working on that.
Disappointment number 2.....if I can't be part of Eid we can take the 3 day weekend to get out of dodge and travel. Unbeknownst to me, travelling during Eid is much like travelling Thanksgiving weekend in the states. If you haven't made your plans and bought your tickets months in advance you ain't goin' nowhere. Even if you are going to see your family you may have to weigh if the crowds, travelling and destination are truly worth it. How much do I love Uncle Fred? Is it really worth it to listen to his same stupid jokes over and over again and you know how Aunt Stella's cooking gives him gas...
Let me hit the highlights of the weekend:
*When the doorbell rings and wakes you up in the middle of the night and some big Moroccan guys are at your door they aren't terrorists. You only know this because you reason that they probably wouldn't ring the doorbell if they were. It's just the garbage men asking for their Eid gift. Of course you can't figure that out right away cause you're groggy and disillusioned from being awoken in the middle of the night and on top of that you don't speak French! It will take an hour or so after they've gone to figure out what they wanted and by that time they are long with only your garbage. Oops....can you say social faux pas?
*In fact, the doorbell rings all weekend long with people we don't know asking for an Eid gift.
* The kids do homework. I can't believe I'm actually excited my kids have homework to fill the void. It's also apparent that I should not help with geography homework in addition to math...*We got Flat Stanley sent to us from our friends in the states for a school project. We could go take pictures all around town, but all the interesting stuff is closed. Damn it!
*The kids come up with a crafty I love Maddy sign for the cat so she can read it while she eats. I personally think that they hung it a little too high for her to "read" it. Oh yeah and she can't read cause she's a cat. But at least the project filled a whole whopping 30 minutes!
*We look at the kids school vacation calendar and our travel wish list. We figure, if we can't travel at least we can plan our next travel adventures. Turns out our wish list is much longer than the kids vacation time which is turn is bigger than our travel budget.
* We are so desperate for something, anything to do that we go to a casting call looking for Caucasian extras. What we lack in talent we make up for in our overwhelming "exotic" whiteness. The casting director must be a foreigner like us because even though he told me to come on Friday the building is locked up. I can't even reduce myself to stage mom on Eid. But at least it got us out of the house!
*We pass a McDonald's and it's open. Oh my god....something is open! And since we have no food in our house, we are the hostages of American Capitalist fast food at it's worst. McDonald's in Morocco sucks as bad as it does everywhere else in the world. But I'm sure you already knew that even if you haven't been here. Now we're bored, bloated and lethargic. Unfortunately kids are resilient and regain their energy quickly....
*Whining, bickering, fighting, teasing, wrestling, biting.... (ok....this isn't the Eid special, it's actually everyday in our house with 4 kids). It's only 1 in the afternoon on Friday and they are on the verge of killing each other. I'm on the verge of setting up a ring and charging admission for locals to view the festivities of the exotic Caucasian kids duking it out when I realize no one would even come because...oh yeah...it's Eid and no one is around!
*Then there is the revelation that changed the course of the weekend. When the kids are tired of fighting among themselves, give them someone new to fight with. So, we outsourced 3 kids to sleepovers and had a sleepover at our house too. Not only that we went from 4 kids down to 2! When you have 2 kids there is only one other kid to fight with. Statistically this significantly reduces the amount of discord. Not only that...apparently when you aren't related to another kid you can actually play and get along together. Oh my god.....SWEEEEEEETTT!!!
*What are we going to feed the sleepover kids? Pizza. Is anywhere open? Pizza Hut is and will deliver if we can order in French which is a challenge. We should have put our bilingual 8 year old sleepover guest on to order for us. I, of course, think of this too late. Now I normally have ice cream for sleepovers, but we don't have any. But..... I do have frozen margaritas! Shhhhhhhh.....don't tell your mom ok? But if you must this is called a lime slushie ok? Is that bad? (They slept great by the way.) Note to self always keep frozen margarita mix in the freezer.
* When kids are having a great time at their sleepover do NOT rush coming home and allow them the longest sleepover in recorded history. Did I mention that we had reduced our kid inventory from 4 to 2? I think I might have. Plus we have the sweetest, most polite bilingual kid at our house. I wonder if he could call Maroc telecom for us and straighten out our internet phone problems a la Francais. Damn it, it's Eid...they're closed.
*Just when we're wondering how to fill Saturday night and what in the world we are going to eat (and I wonder if KFC is open and that makes me barf in my mouth a little) we get an invitation to an impromptu party at a friends house. THANK GOD!!! The kids play with their friends again and we get to talk with real live adults in English and discuss....well...some details should not be shared. And at this point does it even really matter?
*Impromptu trip to the beach with same party friends the following day at frou frou beach resort that we get into for free. The fast food extravaganza continues with an overpriced cheeseburger at the restaurant. I feel gross from fast food yet again. That is until I see a wrinkly thin tanorexic woman of about 70 doing yoga in the water while smoking a cigarette simultaneously. What a perplexing and awful contradiction and I wish I could get the visual out of my head. At least we weren't in Europe, so she wasn't topless. I've never been so happy NOT to be on a beach in Europe.
*Wait when did this weekend stop being about mere survival and become fun anyway? I don't know, but I like it!
*When we get home from the beach the kids shower and scrubthe sand off to a shiny polish. Then we have a home cooked meal (including vegetables) with stuff that we got at the grocery store that was finally open. So none of our plans worked out for the weekend. We didn't see Eid and we didn't go anywhere, but we totally had a blast.
* We finish off the meal with the best chocolate of all time that I have only recently discovered: Lindt's Chilli Dark paired perfectly with a glass of Montepulciano. Compared to everything else over the weekend this is health food. The sweetest ending to the weekend that almost wasn't.
*And four exhausted and exfoliated kids fall into bed Sunday night after a weekend of partying......PRICELESS!