As it starts to get cold in Sefrou, I realize that one of the challenges of living here is figuring out what the hell to do with one’s self. I am writing a lot. I am also reading a fair amount both on my computer which I am getting used to (I downloaded about 100 e-books from Project Gutenberg). When the connection is good enough in the cyber cafes I am downloading movies but lately the connection hasn’t been very good at all. I cook, I eat, I walk around and sometimes engage in the unsatisfying agreement that is Moroccan bargaining in which the seller never gets the price they want and the buyer always feels that they have paid too much. But honestly, I can’t afford to buy much at the moment. I’m pretty broke.
So what to do?
My neighbor Jess is trying to figure out the same things and doing a good job of it with her website http://culturevulturesfez.wordpress.com, so maybe something exciting will come up.
It’s challenging because there aren’t really libraries, bookstores, cinemas, theatres, concerts, museums, or anything like that here. Not to mention pubs. There are a multitude of coffee shops but when I sit in one reading I get odd looks like “Look at the crazy foreigner, actually reading a book.” People in Morocco don’t read, it’s why this country is probably doomed to a future of chaos and turmoil.
Since people don’t read they don’t really have conversations about the types of things that are in books and since they don’t talk about that, that leaves talking about the neighbors, talking about Islam (but not discussing it, there is no discussing it), and watching television. Oh, they love to watch TV here. They watch Korean soap operas, Turkish soap operas, Bollywood films, Egyptian films, and a few Moroccan programs that are reminiscent of 1950s TV in the United States, slapstick comedy and Lawrence Welk. And Oprah, they watch Oprah. The most powerful woman in the world.
But I don’t watch TV. I walk a lot, but I get tired of being ‘Bonjoured’ by the touts and glue sniffers. So, while I can easily sit in my house and draw, read, write, cook, and eat…I’m not really into becoming a complete recluse…so …what should I do? Any ideas?