lunes, 14 de octubre de 2013
sábado, 5 de octubre de 2013
The pictures bombarding social media sites from the past two weeks of the drunken antics of the student masses, or put more basically, the sheer end of summer carnage on campus is enough to make anyone miss university life, especially when you’re not even in the same country, making even the slightest attempt to get back there for one night impossible. But in typical “the glass is always half full” mentality that has to be taken in this situation, there is always something to do here to get one up over all those people who are suffering from “Fresher’s flu” including the weather which is still in the 30’s, and the ridiculously inexpensive train tickets that take you from one side of the country to another, making Morocco a travellers paradise.
domingo, 22 de septiembre de 2013
Since we've officially started university, the evenings have been consumed by the number one favourite pastime of students, doing homework. A consequence of this was having that worrying epiphany that this year is essential if we're aiming for that First Class in final year. Luckily, surpassing the stage of being a fresher means that the work is actually getting done for the moment; undoubtedly there will be a stage later this year where I'll be found procrastinating, or attempting to do the most menial and pointless tasks such as rearranging my room, or absolutely nothing, in an effort to avoid the ski run of sheets that will have formed from my desk to the front door.
The one major discrepancy that I (and most probably the whole group) currently have is with the colloquial dialect here. It's wonderful to learn, and the locals are elated and equally startled when they see a foreigner learning what is known to be a very hard version of the Arabic language. There have been times where I've mentally curled up in a ball and started rocking back and forth since the word I might have know in Modern Standard is completely different in Moroccan. Despite this the teachers are very patient with us which is a great help, since half the class felt illiterate when they walked into lessons this week.
Apart from being educated, myself and many of the Leeds students have been slowly integrating ourselves into the Medina life, with neighbours and shopkeepers starting to recognise our faces, even having our preferred coffee stall (which provides a better cup of Joe than a certain international coffee chain). The kind attitude of the locals still hasn't waned, and I doubt it will at any point. There's no hiding that we have all enjoyed the feeling of "local celebrity" if you will, or using a standard phrase from university, feeling like a BNOC (Big Name On Campus for non-Leeds folk).
On a final note- I think my blood sugar level has definitely increased due to my continued intake of mint tea which is that sweet you could pass it as liquid sugar. I can't foresee curbing the addiction though.
martes, 10 de septiembre de 2013
I’m currently writing this looking out on the old Medina from the balcony of my Dar. If that doesn’t describe the elation I’m feeling with being on my year abroad, then I’ll put in in layman’s terms for you, ITS AWESOME! I’m still not used to the scorching hot weather, and with having stupidly packed for the winter without thinking of the continued summer here, a trip to the local shopping centre to get some shorts was much needed, which was accompanied with a trip to what appears to be the only remnant of Western culture out here, a Carrefour.
miércoles, 4 de septiembre de 2013
Despite all the apocalyptic chaos that I've described my life in, I can reassure you that it's just exaggeration from the sheer excitement/confusion that I won't be coming back to the lovely shores of Britain for at least three months, and won't be seeing my beloved Leeds University for the whole year abroad period. It also doesn't help that a multitude of people who have been fortunate enough to go to Morocco keep feeding me scare stories of their mothers, sisters or any other female companion being offered up to a shopkeeper in exchange for an army of camels, or the purveyor of the all-you-can-eat tagine restaurant located down some ill-lit alley of Marrakesh who's food hasn't sat well with what seems the entire contingent of people that have graced the shores of Morocco.
I'm sure it has to be said, if not on my behalf then at least for all year abroad students leaving or those that have already left, the level of enthusiasm that I'm facing right now is unbelievable, and I am looking forward to it all now!
sábado, 3 de agosto de 2013
The usual routine of fasting for a whole month is nearing its end, which always gives time for reflection.
Ramadan every year is a weird one, as often enough I seem to spend half of it holidaying somewhere (this year being Benicàssim), meaning I spend the rest of the year making up for lost days, or so I attempt to.
On top of that, going from fasting 20 hours a day to almost half that has kept me sort of sane, albeit for the insane amounts of food being consumed at Iftar (Sunset), which here in Dubai is like feeding time at the zoo, or climbing an Everst sized mountain of rice amongst other Arabian gastronomical wonders, leaving you feeling like your waistline has expanded to the measures of said mountain.
Despite the supposed "madness" many people think you're being subjected to simply because you don't eat or drink for a while, it's definitely the calmest time of year for a lot of people. Thank God it didn't fall in the academic year, I couldn't imagine having to fast whilst being exposed to the endless party season in Leeds.