My professor had us over today for couscous and pool-relaxing, which was…. awesome. It is so hot here. Sitting by the pool, eventually jumping in, and reading the book Angela lent me was just what I needed :D We hung around the pool for about an hour, tossed around a purple ball with some neighborhood boy (whose worried looking… nanny? kept stressing out over him falling into the pool). This two year old knows more Arabic than I do :/. The good news is, I now know “laa” means “no.” I know what “yes” is when I hear it but can’t remember what it is right now. Also “le bez” means “what’s up” so that’s useful I guess…
After sitting around the pool, we had couscous with my professor’s family, including his brother and sister-in-law. The conversation was mostly in French so I had the upper hand on my fellow students for once! Yesssssss… They were talking about the elections (today was not only the election in Iran but in Morocco too. For the parliament anyway) and the whole experience was just very cosmopolitan. He lives in a spacious and well decorated house, you can tell he has money, and they were having conversations about politics in two or three languages all at once. Yes, very hoity-toity indeed.
I am now at my host family’s house… my house for the next six weeks. I was placed with them because they speak French! They are actually related to my residential director. I got here around four or five PM, and had nothing to do but shoot the breeze with my host dad… in French. My conversational French skills are completely lacking. There’s something wrong with my brain’s ability to convert thoughts into words… I can write OK in french; I don’t know what’s my road block as far as speaking goes.
Luckily I can communicate OK. I can only imagine what Brynn is going through. She had two “easy” years of Arabic and her family doesn’t really speak English. She wasn’t that confident in her ability to speak, so I guess I’ll find out tomorrow how it went. Like I said I am having an OK time communicating but they probably think I’m super boring because I can never think of a reply to any questions until like 5 minutes later–by that time we have moved on.
A note on dinner… here they eat dinner REALLY LATE! Like, not until 9PM! Luckily lunch is always humongous so I don’t really get hungry until then anyway. They keep forcing food on me! I am going to gain like a zillion pounds over this trip. Gym membership here I come!
Also, I took the bus today, with Selema (host family’s daughter, 18 years old). Is it bad I feel more confident on a Moroccan bus than I do trying to navigate the San Diego bus system? Also, the bus is SO CHEAP– about 4 dirhams one way which is like… 50 cents? Nice.