Sometimes I think the differences between Morocco and America are gapping. Sometimes, when I think about things, I think they're kinda the same. Just in a different way. Because in the end, no matter what culture you grow up in, we're all just people. And life's challenges tend to be pretty similar the world over. Or are they?
I started thinking about all this on my drive home from pole dance class. I needed just a few items from the grocery store for dinner which I would pass on the way home. The thing is, I'm wearing short shorts and a workout bra because the less you wear, the more you stick to the pole. (Shhhh...that's a little trade secret.) Of course, I have a fleece on over this for my to-ing and fro-ing. Now, if I were in Morocco, there is no way I would have gone to the store dressed like this. So, the whole car ride home, I considered passing the store, going home to change, and then backtracking to the store. Before I convinced myself that was a huge waste of time. That I live in America now and I can go to the store in short shorts without being judged by anyone. Except by me, of course. Although I did go to the store, I ran through it like Joan Benoit, so I could clearly convey to other shoppers I-just-worked-out-see-my-dewey-brow-by-the-way-I'm-not-a-slut. I guess maybe I haven't gotten over some of the lingering effects of Morocco yet.
Every Thursday, we get our organic vegetables delivered from a local farm. I paid a shit load of money for the privilege of walking to my neighbors house to pick up my share of whatever they harvested that week. Whether I like swiss chard or not. Don't get me wrong, I actually love the surprise of not knowing and the challenge of how the hell I'm going to get my kids to eat kohlrabi. I really do. But the thing is, it's just crazy how difficult and expensive it is to eat what's essentially, grown right in my backyard. Unlike in Morocco, where I could go get locally grown produce at the local store for dirt cheap. Now, determining if something is organic in Morocco is much more arduous process. Most of it is, but some of it is sprayed with unregulated pesticides bought from countries who have banned them for being too harmful. That's how America gets rid of it, we export. A pretty hard and fast rule on Moroccan produce is, if it's covered with bugs, it's probably organic. Unless those are Teenage Mutant Ninja bugs.
I'm going to confess, I totally miss driving in Morocco. Sure, I've adjusted to the big luxurious slow moving lanes of traffic, stopping for school buses and pedestrians. You know, all that stuff. Well, most of the time. The good thing is, it's much safer and there are far fewer fatalities from traffic accidents here. But, the disturbing similarity is, the percentage of people riding motorcycles without a helmet. And the fact that it's for completely different reasons. In Morocco, people ride without a helmet due to the lack of availability and affordability of good safety equipment. But, American motorcyclists can just ride out the fact that overall, their odds of being a traffic accident is smaller. Even though 2/3 of all motorcycle traffic fatalities the riders weren't wearing helmets. It's like the helmet-less lottery, but your chances of winning are so much worse. But this is America, where we defend our freedom to make really stupid decisions. Freely.
For 2 the years we lived in Morocco, the house right next door to us was under construction. The noise didn't really bother me too much, but what I couldn't stand was constantly having construction workers being able to look into my house. Not only that, they knew our family routine or when my husband was out of town because they also lived in the house 24/7. Because that's the way construction works in Morocco. So, I was so excited to move back to my own house in the states where I would have privacy. Except, that's not what happened, because our house here in Colorado settled. Significantly. So much so that our windows don't shut on one side of the house. And with winter approaching, and open windows it's getting cold and drafty in here. My friend Jenny thought I was exaggerating the damage, until she visited me this past weekend and saw for herself. Yeah, Jenny can now vouch, it's pretty bad. And our insurance doesn't cover any of it. Fixing it is at least a three step process, involving lots of construction guys. Right outside my window. Where my heat is blowing all of our savings out to them.
I can't tell you the amount of times people have asked me if I feel safer being back in the states now. Are you kidding me? I will take the threat of a revolution, the small chance that I will be at the wrong cafe at the wrong time for a terrorist attack or that maybe I'll be viciously attacked by a stray Moroccan street cat carrying rabies. Because the chances of any of those things happening to me are really, really infinitesimal. But, let me see, since we've come back here in the USA, we've been threatened by a wildfire and then there's always some crazy-guy-of-the-month shooting people. Did I mention that you can carry a concealed weapon in your car here in Colorado? so, while a fender bender in Morocco only results in a slap and spit fight, at worst. Here, it can result in a Clint Eastwood western style showdown. God bless America.
But, it's all the same difference. Right?