Thursday, March 18, 2010
St. Robinson And His Cadillac Dream
Spring break starts tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Officially it doesn't start until Monday, however I've decided to begin mine a few days early. Amsterdam is first on the itinerary. Saturday to Wednesday. Then Marrakech for the duration of the break. Thursday to Sunday. It is a much needed break. While my opinion of AUI 90210 grows steadily lower, Morocco continues to fascinate and enrich my life. Two parties at the mayor of Ifrane's house, I still question the logic of being able to rent out the mayor's house, have ended in a clouds of cigarette smoke and pools of vomit. Traveling around the country has been, at times, tedious and expensive, the damn grand taxi drivers are vultures, has given me first of all a completely new perspective on myself and the world in general and a renewed love for my own country. No matter what anyone says about the United States, it is still the greatest country in the world. Last week Morocco expelled a number of people who worked at an orphanage about an hour or so north of Ifrane. They were accused of proselytizing these children, which by Moroccan law, is illegal. The big stink happened because these people were simply expelled from the country, they were not put thru the due process of the law. It was a hot topic on campus, the Americans expelled taking the bulk of the insults from the Moroccan students. Maybe they didn't realize that people from Australia, Europe, South America, as well as Canada, who worked at the orphanage were also expelled. It does bother me the way people talk about the United States on this campus. One of the most prominent words you see around campus is "tolerance." Yet I see very little tolerance amongst the students of AUI 90210. You see more tolerance when you leave Ifrane. Tangier has a huge Jewish temple in the center of the city. In Fez, people actively come up and talk to you, asking where you are from and how you like Morocco. And Chefchaouen is like a hippie haven. Being American, German, Finish, Canadian, it doesn't matter. Most of the Moroccan people I have spoken have been very nice and accommodating. I hate to say this but it seems as if some of the Moroccan students, who like hanging out with the internationals, have some kind of personal agenda. Like we can hook them up with one of the international girls, or we have access to drugs and alcohol or something. And the way the Moroccan boys, and I stress the word boys, look at the international female students is quite disturbing. I think they watch too much porn and have it in their head that what they see in porn is how every American female is. Like all the females have the word "EASY" tattooed across their forehead. I would like to see AUI 90210 offer a course called "How To Court A Western Woman." Of course the vast majority of Moroccan students won't even talk to the international students. It's like they think all the Americans love George Bush. Always remember, diplomacy doesn't come on the wings of a B-52. One peculiar thing, I get the sense that the Moroccan students think that we meaning the international students, are loaded with money. Like it grows on trees for us. I don't think they realize that most of the exchange students are here on scholarships or student loans. In actuality, the Moroccan students are probably better off financially then any of the exchange students. My apologies, I started ranting. This whole experience has been an experiment for me. My hair is longer then it has been is probably five years, I've been trying all kinds of food, that in the States I never would have touched, and I am getting to do something I always wanted to do, see another part of the world. I feel like I'm better for the choice I made in coming to Morocco. A lot of people asked me "Why Morocco?" I always said "Why Not." I'm not sure I knew then or now how else to answer that question. Other people told me that, at 29, I was too old to come over here, live in a dorm for the first time in like eight years, hang with people that were seven, eight, nine years my junior. That always pissed me off and it still does. That's dismissive thinking and thats bullshit. This experience has been one of the best things I have ever done. I feel like I accomplished something simply by getting on the plane. I stepped out of my comfort zone and everything that I have known for most of my life, and came to live in a third world developing country for four months. Not really liking the university is an unfortunate reality in an otherwise brilliant thing. The morning I left my mom said to me she hoped Morocco was everything I wanted it to. I had no expectations in coming over here. All I really wanted to do was to be a part of something different. I have done that. AND IT AIN'T OVER YET.