Rabat: A Capital in Repose

Rabat grows more beautiful to me by the day. Maybe I’m just sentimental, but the lush palms are open to the sun and line every major boulevard. The manicured lawns are a healthy green. My logical side says that it’s because there’s tons of embassies around and just about everything important is a government building. Any self-respecting city based around governmental structures will want to look beautiful, but I hope that the rest of the country has this same beauty. There’s also something nice in knowing that I am in a small city that doesn’t receive as many tourists, comparatively, as the rest of Morocco. It feels like I get to actually know the city, rather than speed date it and simply add more mementos to my photo collection.

My host family is lovely, but I forgot what it was like to be a teenager and a preteen. It’s full of yelling, parental guidance, and moods that are only ever punctuated with a door slam. It’s weird to be an outsider in this framework, where I am both part of their lives and yet still a guest. How do I make them and myself feel comfortable when they have loud disagreements? Or when I get caught in the middle? Take this example: My host brother is moody with me. He was so sweet before yesterday, but last night he was incredibly rude, kicking a ball around the house even when I asked him not to. It was loud and I was tired. He just kept doing it, though, so I closed my door. I have a key in my door so I can lock it, and I did because he was making so much noise. I didn’t want to be bothered. I went to the bathroom, and when I came back, the key wasn’t in the door. I asked him about it, and he said he didn’t have it, but then he started to crack a smile and tried to stop his impulse. I was tired, upset, and I just closed the door right then and there with him on the other side.

It reminds me why I don’t want to have kids.

We went to Chellah today as part of our activity. It was lovely to go back. I had my camera this time, so watch out for the photos I will try to post later. I’m also deciding whether or not to make a Wix or a Tumblr for my photos. It would be SO much easier.

I don’t like rereading books, but it turns out I do kinda like revisiting places. There’s always something new that you notice. Plus, Chellah has these verdant garden walkways with hibiscuses and all sorts of plants. One of the guides told us there’s more than 20 different varieties. It’s beautiful.

Tomorrow is my last day of classes for the week and then I’m off to Chefchaouen for the weekend. It feels like I’ve been here longer than two weeks. The U.S. feels like a lifetime away. Different, and yet the same.

More things to come soon!