Sometimes, you know how you are just in the flow and things are happening? You know how you can feel it? I feel like right now I am riding with the current, I am on the sweet spot of the wave, I am going with it.
It feels good.
Yesterday was a lot of fun. In the afternoon Hanane and I went to Fes and met with Jessica and her friend David. David is the director of the American Language Center in Fes and a very interesting fellow who has been an expat from the U.S. for twenty years. We met in the Hotel Batha and had tourist priced refreshments (100 MAD for an orange juice, hot chocolate, and two waters! Should have been more like 35 MAD, but this is what you get in tourist areas.)
After that, we joined Jess and David at the beautifully restored home of David and Sally, an English couple who bought a 700 year old Riad in Fes and using Sally’s skills as an interior decorator and a lot of patience, they turned it into a truly beautiful place. Also gathered there was a veritable who’s who of the Fes expat community. A really nice and interesting bunch of folks. Mike the owner of Cafe Clock in the Medina, Helen of Fez Riads and The View from Fez, Kerstin of BareMinimumTravel.com, and a many more.
I’m happy to get to know more of the folks from Europe, Australia, and elsewhere here who have chosen to make this their home and very pleased that as expat communities go, this is a sophisticated and intelligent crowd. I’m sure there are low life expats here as there are everywhere, but last night, none of them were present. So it was really quite nice. Of course, I’m also happy to be making my life in Sefrou where the community is much smaller since that really gives the opportunities to live a Moroccan life and not a displaced expat one.
In any event, we had a really nice time and came back to Sefrou around midnight by taxi.
Sadly, Fatima’s marriage did not happen before her Belgian husband to be left to return to his home and work in Europe. What stopped it? The Moroccan authorities wanted to have the word ‘definitely’ in front of divorced. So he will return to Belgium and have them reissue the papers with this word. Honestly, I don’t think it matters, if it had not been this, they would have found something to prevent or create more paperwork, or to make the process impossible. The courts and government are remarkably short sighted in terms of the benefits of having Moroccans married to foreigners. Remunerations, travel from abroad, family tourism, and more all equal a stronger and healthier Morocco. Just look at Tonga where something like 65% of the GNP is from remunerations alone.
So, the bureaucracy wins for the moment. And time slowly marches onward, but I think there is a strong and genuine connection between Fatima and Lionel, so I am sure he will be back ready to tackle the Pashas of Paperwork again sometime soon.