Rabat, Morocco @ 11:41 p.m.
Tired (pronounced Ty-red)
While you all were taking a snow day, I was in the air. On the flight from ATL to Paris, I didn’t sleep. On the flight from Paris to Rabat, I didn’t sleep. But about an hour before departure to Rabat, I powered all the way down and went to sleep. My friends woke me and I drowsily got up, drunk with sleep. One person asked if I rested well, and all I could manage was, “Grrruppp,” which meant “No, I want to go back to sleep.” You know the sleep was good, too, because a line from my jacket imprinted on my cheek. When I deposited myself in my seat, sleep returned.
British playwright and poet William Shakespeare once wrote that “sleep is the cousin of death.” Lord, that’s true because I didn’t hear the food cart — they fed us a delicious lunch — or the drink cart, or the baby or any of the events that made noise. My seatmate and fellow teacher, Patrick, saved my tray and when I awoke, the food made its way into my mouth before I returned to sleep. When I awoke the next time, there was an older, short gentleman 4 inches away from my face (no lie) flashing the biggest smile at me.
I looked at him, sleep in my eyes. “Bonjour,” he said, before finishing a long sentence in French that I did not understand.
I responded with one of the only French phrases I know: “Je ne parle pas français.”
“Ah,” he answered, then looked away.
I met a fellow tourist in the airport and wanted to remember the colorful prints she wore in a sea of black and gray. Everyone in the airport, including me, seemed to b joined in the same color palate except her.
When you disembark from any plane after traveling from one country to another, you must complete a customs declaration form. The government wants to know where you have been and what you intend to do while in their country. I completed my slip marking tourist, though I’m not really doing much of that, and easily passed through the checkpoint. Meanwhile, Travis, the only other person of color on the trip was receiving the fifth degree.
OK. So I was a bit of a tourist today.
- I bought a modem stick — in order to use wifi at the school where I’m stationed, I need to bring wifi with me in order to manage parts of my presentation.
- Asked for directions several times.
- Went to Medina, one of the city’s oldest market. It’s situated in and around Medina’s walls. There, I bought a delicious homemade cinnamon bun and bartered for fabric.
- My phone was dead, so no pictures from any of this, but I’ll be revisiting the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which houses the bodies of the current Moroccan king‘s grandfather, father, and uncle.
- We ended our night at a restaurant within eyesight of the Mausoleum, docked on the pier holding one of the best views of the shoreline at night. Tonight’s dinner with fellow teachers was an amazing exchange of stories and laughter. Um, yes, I struggled with staying awake — again.
Maybe Prospero said it best in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, “We are such stuff/As dreams are made on, and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep.” With that I’m turning down and going to sleep ready for the U.S. Embassy’s security briefing.