Hanane’s brother Mohammad surprised us all by buying a car a few days ago. The only problem is that it’s been 10 years since he took his driving lessons and he hasn’t been behind the wheel since.
Turns out I’m the only experienced driver in the family so yesterday I got to practice my Derrija in a way I never expected. I got to teach Mohammad how to drive in Arabic. Hanane came along to help with those things I couldn’t say yet (like in Morocco the Jungle Rules apply meaning that if there is a contest between you and a bigger vehicle, you need to give way).
Check out the pretty lady in the rear view mirror and the action going on in the passenger side mirror.
Overall, we both did pretty good. Not to be too sexist here, but every accident I’ve seen in Morocco has had a woman driver involved in it. Personally I think it is the hijabs that get in the way of perefferal vision or maybe they blow up over their eyes. yesterday though there was a new menace on the road. Mohammad and all of the female drivers we saw were terrified he would slam into them or drop his transmission in their paths by shifting from 4th to 1st while going 60 km/hr.
Before putting him behind the wheel I got to test out my own skills in the jungle streets and I found that my observation of taxi drivers and my former life as a driver in Hawaii has served me well. I can tailgate with the best of them and have no problem making illegal left truns in roundabouts, dodging pedestrians, and passing gravel trucks on one lane roads. I tried to pass on some of my hard earned skills to Mohammad and by the evening he was doing pretty good…for some reason though, he thought he should avoid 2nd gear, I don’t know, maybe it belongs to a Djinn.
I’ve also started to make the transition from using paid photo services to hosting my own. I’ve put the first pictures on http://photos.vagobond.com using Coppermine and you can see the thumbnails here.
In addition to the driving, I’ve also put some of Hanane and Zahira who I invited to lunch last Sunday in the casbah and who instead showed up and made an incredible fish tajine for the three of us, my neighbors Jess and Ahkmed, and Yassine. They are super sweet girls and man can they cook.
Speaking of fish, I caught Fouad and Raidda cleaning a ton of fish yesterday at the Souidi house.
That’s about all for now except that I’ve named my little house since that seems to be something lots of folks do here. The name? What else?
Dar al Djinn. (House of Spirits)
Who knows maybe I will make it a speakeasy. In any event, my first couchsurfers will be coming next week and it will be interesting to see how they like my very simple diggs. Hopefully the Djinn won’t scare them away.