So I feel that after living here for almost a month, I should provide some update on my daily routine. Everyday around 7 am, my roommate and I wake up, get dressed, and head to ALIF by taxi. We usually wake up earlier than the rest of the family so we don’t usually get to eat breakfast at home. The taxi ride costs exactly 7.60 Dh for both of us. Depending on how early we get to school and how much homework we need to finish (procrastination doesn’t happen only in the US), we may or may not get breakfast at a nearby cafe. Food in cafe is obviously more expansive than those sold on the street. A breakfast combo of orange juice, coffee or tea, croissant, and cheese sandwich costs around 18 Dh, a little more expansive if switching to something like an omelet.
Our first class is from 8 to 10 am. My break from 10 am to 2 pm is usually spent updating my blog, doing homework, checking email, having lunch, and maybe a little nap if I feel like it. This week the weather has been a lot more comfortable than the past two weeks. Walking out of the house in the morning is even a little chilly. Class again from 2 to 4 pm (in the awesome-looking classroom pictured below). Depends on whether we feel like going home or using the Internet, my roommate and I either stay at ALIF to use the computer lab, go to the ALIF Riad in the medina, or go back home. The Sun doesn’t really set until 8 or 9 pm, so sometimes we don’t even go home until 9 or 10 pm (dinner’s at 11 pm anyway, we aren’t missing anything). I didn’t really realize how much time I spent on the Internet in the past when it’s readily available until I get here. It’s kind of scary.
Going home, there isn’t that much to do, as my ability to have a conversation with my host-family is pretty much still zero (although I actually managed to teach 3 of my brothers what duct tape is called in English using Arabic), even though I am starting to understand some stuff they are saying. For people who wonder whether I ever took a shower since that time I went to the hamman, the answer is actually yes. It turns out that the family does shower at home without using an actual shower. I have been “showering” using a bucket and a water scoop. With the weather being extremely hot the past two weeks, I didn’t really mind showering with cold water. I did find out that one of the taps near the floor produces warm water, so it’s pretty nice.
As for laundry, so far I have only done laundry twice, and by I have done I meant my host-mom did it for me. The turnaround time is about 8 or more days, and I don’t have enough shirts to last through the period. So I have been trying to sweat as less as possible, and re-wearing some of my t-shirts. I also went out to buy my first Moroccan shirt, which looks kind of like a robe with short sleeves and is extremely comfortable to wear in the hot weather. I was pretty proud of myself for bargaining it down to 70 Dh from 110 Dh the shop owner was asking for in Arabic. Then I went home and had my host-family tell me that they have a relative that owns a shop and can sell me the same thing for 50 Dh. Oh well, lesson learned.
Dinner is at 11 pm, and consists of bread, small plates of salad and olives, and a big plate of main dish in the center of the table (sometime vegetarian and sometime with meat). Recently the family has also been giving us a kind of pudding thing (different colors ranging from white-ish, purple, to pink) at dinner. I really have no idea what it’s made of. All I know is that it’s sweet and probably is a kind of dessert. Fruit is also a must after the meal. So far I have eaten peaches, a kind of melon that looks a lot like a honeydew but has yellow skin on the outside, watermelon, and small apples. After dinner, the family either stays up a little to watch TV, or just go to bed. My roommate and I usually go to bed earlier than the family.