Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Story Time

When I was in Morocco, we had a tour guide called Mizouri Abdul. "Like the American state?" my aunt asked. "Yes," he replied. He tried to pronounce her name, but couldn't, and said, "I call you Mississippi!"

He was an incredibly funny man, and the first thing he taught us was how to say "UN-BE-LIE-VABLE!" in his very specific, overexcited way. (He also taught us how to say Shukran.) He also had the habit of stopping with a grandiose wave of his arm to indicate some sight with a proclamation, "wherever Mizouri stop, is a beautiful picture to take!"

One day on the bus my aunt called "Mizouri!" He barely turned around to response, "Yes, Mississippi!"

He regaled us with stories of his wedding night and was very frank about his love life, told us about the hard work his monarch did for the country, was very firm in his opinion that Saddam was a hero, and since he had to take care of us, he had to mutter his prayers even as he led us through Casablanca. In Old Fez, he said, "don't go far away, because if you get lost-" he pointed to the sky "-you might end up on the moon," because Old Fez is kind of a maze to stupid tourists like ourselves (and amazing).

Anyway, there wasn't a point to this post - I was just thinking about him tonight. Morocco made a huge impact on me; memories of it were a factor in taking Arabic in uni. I did not have a completely good time in Morocco - it was singularly one of the worst holidays I've ever taken with my mother, who was displeased with my choice of an undergrad English degree in Canada and had no qualms about shaming me in front of the other tourists, and my aunt, who decided to take my mother's side against me (despite having had the same fight with her own mother, a generation ago).

But for all that, memories of Morocco still remain a balm. I want to go back someday.

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