Travelling for Blog's Sake

2011.09.26 by Josh Erb; 735 words.

Joy and rapture! After two of the longest weeks I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing in my lifetime, I have finally finished my intensive Moroccan Arabic course. This means that to date I have had 50 hours of class in around 15 days, give or take. It was awful. I would like to tell you that this means I have achieved a respectable level of proficiency in this language. Sadly, this is not the case. I cannot tell you the words for "I am hungry" or "Where is the bathroom," BUT if you ask me, I can look them up in my notebook and subsequently mispronounce them for you.

This past week-end we took a group trip to a small town that is known by the locals and tourists as Asilah. It was probably one of the most beautiful cities I've seen to date. Its old city, where our group spent the majority of its day trip was postcard picturesque with a little dash of cute, though I'm hesitant to use such a feminine word after living in a patriarchal society for the better part of a month.

A good summary shot of Asilah

Of course, we did other things aside from visiting Asilah. In fact, even before arriving at Asilah in the late morning we stopped by a small fishing town and took some boats out for a bird watching session that can only be described as "lacklustre". That's to say it was the embodiment of what the French call "l'ennui". Apparently the location was an ideal environment for birds because it was a sort of alcove or enclave right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and there were sand bars galore paired with lush vegetation. Unfortunately, if you're like me and don't get very excited about looking at birds from extreme distances for two to three hours that could have been spent eating breakfast, then the little excursion wouldn't have done much for you.

However, at the end of our pre-scheduled bird seeing our guides were kind enough to bring us around to a natural sand dune that over looked the alcove and the Atlantic. Now I might be exaggerating just a small bit, but the view was gorgeous. In a Gisele Bundchen kind of way. Maybe even more so. The pictures do not do it justice in any way, though many of them turned out extremely well considering the fact that my camera is gradually falling apart. (I mean that literally. A screw literally fell out into my hand this weekend.) Here's a small taste of the morning, for those of you familiar with Facebook I've dumped a lot more pictures of the weekend on there.

(Here's a link to the photo album.)

The Seaside Town

Climbing the Dune

The Vista

Andrea's another student here that's good at seeming introspective

So that's my most recent weekend here in Morocco. There was an option to continue on to Tangier after this day trip to Asilah. Much to the chagrin of my fellow students, I opted not to go. Well maybe they weren't filled with that much chagrin, but that's what I've been assuming. Either way, there will be plenty of time to travel during the multitude weekends I have ahead of me here. There's even talk of taking a long weekend and trekking through the neighboring mountains of Marrakech this upcoming weekend, which I am profoundly considering.

What's that? Oh, you're wondering why I completely neglected my opening haiku? Well, as a matter of fact, I have neither neglected it nor forgotten it. I merely saved it until the end as a way of thanking you (or punishing you, I'm concerned about the quality of my Japanese-style poetry). So here you are. Please to enjoy:

My host-mom now makes
Morning black coffee for me
I am whole again

After staring at it for a while, I am again inclined to reconsider using haikus as my gimmick of choice. My previously mentioned plan of Google searching possible ways to distinguish my internet writing turned out fruitless. Fear not. I will come up with a better plan. But until then, thank you for lending me and my adventures your time.

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