Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Lists

We love lists. They prioritize. They simplify. They require no justification. Or supporting evidence. But somehow they bring order to the randomness and that gives us a sense of comfort. That and we're American and we don't have time to read, we just want to hit the highlights and move on so we can skim through the rest of our fast paced day.

So to save you time and undo extraneous words I have broken this post down into lists.

PLACES WE'VE BEEN TO IN MOROCCO:

1. Oualidia
2. Casablanca
3. Fez
4. Marrakech
5. Imichil
6. Tangier
7. Tetuan
8. Meknes
9. Chefchaouen
10. The Sahara Desert
11. Essaouira (Knock on wood.)

PLACES WE'VE TRAVELLED TO FROM MOROCCO:

1. Italy
2. Spain
3. France
4. Egypt
5. Portugal
6. South Africa
7. Botswana
8. Zambia
9. Zimbabwe
10. England
11. Turkey

REGRETS:

1. Not learning Arabic.
2. Or French.
3. Not getting to know more Moroccans.
4. Not volunteering at an orphanage.
5. Not starting my own domestic violence non-profit.
6. Or surfing more.
7. Not being more social here.
8. Or staying in touch with friends and family back home either.
9. That I haven't pursued a publisher. Yet.
10. Then the regret of all the places we DIDN'T travel from here.

ACHIEVEMENTS:

1. My kids for enduring 2 and a half years of culture shock.   
2.  And doing it with integrity.  I'm so proud of them! 
3. Not getting into a traffic accident. (Knock on wood.)
4. Not getting kicked out of the country. (Knock on wood.)
5. Reducing the Moroccan cockroach population by at least 200.
6. Reducing the itching and scratching individuals in country by at least 200 (or somewhere around there.)
7. Supporting the Moroccan economy.
8. And the African, European and Asian economies too.
9. For the first time in my life saying what I think.
10. And for the first time in my life not giving a rats ass what you think about what I think.

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT MOROCCO:

1. The people.
2. The simplicity.
3. The slow pace.
4. The fact that nothing is wasted cause someone will pick it out of your trash.
5. The beach.
6. The mountains.
7. The Sahara Desert.
8. The lack of capitalism.
9. The call to prayer 5 times a day reminding us there is a bigger purpose. (Although I admit I don't love the one before 6am.)
10. The people. (Yes, I intended to list that twice.)

THINGS WE HATE ABOUT MOROCCO:

1. Plastic bags blowing down the street like tumbleweeds.
2. The huge gap between the rich and poor.
3. That fact that many educated Moroccans need to leave Morocco in order to get meaningful work.
4. That there will be 10 traffic fatalities in Morocco today.
5. Moroccan literacy rates are 70% for men and 40% for women.
6. That homosexuality is illegal.
7. But a man is only considered gay if he's the "receiver".
8. The new increased tax on alcohol that profits the Islamist led government.
9. Clause 475 that drops criminal charges against a rapist if he marries his victim.
10. AND the uncertainty of the future of Morocco.

And my number one realization? That I have never truly appreciated the fact that I'm an American before. Especially, an American woman. That I can say what I think and do what I want. And right about now, I think I'm about ready to go home.

(Knock on wood.)

10 comments:

Joy Page Manuel said...

Wonderful list and something to really REALLY envy, as far as I'm concerned. And btw, your Achievements, in my view, FAR OUTWEIGH your regrets. You and your family are amazing!

Donc Jesuis said...

Love it! But I have so many to add your achievements....
-relearning to crawl
-learning to belly dance
-learning what it's like to be invisible (the burka day!)
-making a lot of us laugh

And I think you may miss one more thing - the food. It's true! I thought I had enough of cumin, tagine, cous cous, etc. - but I really miss it! And orange juice - it will haunt your dreams.

Anyway - good luck on the whole moving process. Can't say anything good about that....just endure endure endure.
xo
Susan

Chantel said...

Your lists encapsulate so much in numbered lines. :) I think the simplicity and pace of most other countries that don't have so MUCH, so that what they have matters more...this is what I love.

Totally dig your kids.

Janette said...

Amen! I never really appreciated what I had until I left Saudi dust on the plane. I never take my voting rights for granted anymore.
Great lists!

Late Bloomers said...

Love your list post, I was expecting the expected but you took me by surprise. You know what I admire you most for on your achievement list: #10! If there is a recipe for it would you mind sharing it - pleease? I will trade, promise.

A Brilliant Life said...

Great Lists! I totally agree!

The Loerzels said...

@ Joy you're totally right, I hadn't thought of it that way.
@ Susan Oh my god, I forgot to mention crawling!
@ Chantel Thanks! I dig my kids too :)
@ Janette Oooohh Saudi...you did hard time right there!
@ Barbara I just acieved #10 and I'm hoping it isn't a temporary condition.
@ Carrie glad you like them, especially since you're here in Morocco too.

Lalia said...

Great lists Marie! Some of your things you dislike about Morocco are so distressing :(

Janine said...

Ah I so love lists, and I love your lists. You are ready to go home. I love how you ended the post :) Your new journey back 'home' is about to commence.

MuMuGB said...

Nice lists! It looks like you had a really busy time in Morrocco...you are so right, we only appreciate what we have when we see tht we shouldn't take it for granted. So may I ask you what's next for you?

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