Morocco: We’re Not There Anymore

Well, the great leap across the ocean has been accomplished.  William barfed all the way from Rabat to Paris (you’re welcome, everyone who contracted that virus), but was fully recovered on day 2 of travel.  The pair engaged in mutual, escalating screaming fits only in the single digits, which I consider a big win.  (By the way, if you ever see a parent dragging their young children on an overseas flight, go ahead and assume that they aren’t doing it for a fun romp around Europe.  No vacation would be worth sticking oneself and one’s toddlers in a small enclosed space with a bunch of scowling strangers for more than 8 hours in one sitting…not the mention the week of lost sleep while the confused children try to figure out why the sun is shining at midnight).

So now we are stateside and living the nomadic lifestyle.  It’s kinda like being a hunter-gatherer except we “hunt” for Mexican restaurants and we “gather” bits of information about how to be normal Americans.  We bought a van, got smart phones, traveled the state and even attended July 4th festivities.

See, we’re normal Americans.

We even made a preventative trip to the dentist.

Because that’s what Americans do.

And they play golf.

They eat goldfish,…

…go to BBQ joints, and drink sweet tea.

And they use these handy self check-out lanes at the grocery store.

Don’t laugh, those self check-out lanes are surprisingly intimidating if you haven’t used one in four years.

Being a normal American does not include speaking rudimentary French to a waitress.  It does not involve the urge to flip coins to men on the street so they’ll watch your car.  And it doesn’t require a hardened exterior or a nagging feeling of always being an outsider.  This is my country, even if it takes a while to feel like it again.

We often think of those we left behind in Rabat.  The last two years seem like a weird dream.  Does Rabat actually exist on this earth or is it a parallel universe?  Apparently, it’s real.  And more shockingly, life goes on when you’re not there.  Our friends continue to do fun things in our absence.  The call to prayer continues to bellow from the minarets five times a day.  And the city continues to have amazing weather while we sweat it out here in North Carolina.

But hey, at least we have goldfish…and those handy self check-out lanes.