Nor Common Sense, Nor Crowd Control Shall Stay Them

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Rabat, Morocco (map)

Alicia's jeans were tighter than anything Morocco had ever seen.
Last week's full-speed-ahead east coast tour left me wholly drained, but was well worth the effort. After eight months here in Morocco, it was a treat to spend a week with family and friends.

Only two factors made my brief reintegration to American life difficult. The first was light switches being just inside, not outside, of each room. All week long I consistently found myself walking into dark rooms after having just turned on the light in the hallway behind me. The second, less mundane factor was English—specifically, the fact that everyone was speaking it. Here in Morocco, I have become very accustomed to hearing Arabic all around me, to understanding only bits and pieces of conversations on the street, and to detecting English spoken anywhere within a mile radius (a survival skill every expat must surely develop). All week in the US, I found myself snapping my head around, unable to control my "English?! Who said that?!" instinct. Like Jacqueline described

Home Awaits, But Only Briefly

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Rabat, Morocco (map)

Go ahead and add Baltimore's Inner Harbor to things I miss back home.
Eight eventful months have passed since Jacqueline and I arrived in Morocco, excited but about the prospect of settling here for a long haul. It's strange to realize that we have just passed the half-way mark.

In our own way, we have each wrestled with a number of frustrations since our arrival—everything from petty street harassment to homesickness to the big questions about our paths in life.

By and large, however, the positives have outweighed the struggles. With new friends or just the two of us, exploring cities, towns, beaches, and mountains throughout the country is consistently invigorating, while the comfortable routine of daily life in Rabat has seemed to dull those old longings for home.

But home—as hard as it is for me to believe—is where I am headed tomorrow morning. My all-too-