Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Cat in Castile

I haven't slept in weeks, passing endless nights tossing & turning & stealing the covers in anticipation of those impending moments - moments of ineffable magic and delight - when I can once again:

* walk without my eyes fixed to the ground, secure in the knowledge that I won't fall & disappear into a hole in the sidewalk, break a foot on the stub of a cement parking pylon, or snap my ankles slipping on wet pavement.
* walk in a straight line without having to weave in and out of cars parked on the sidewalks, dodge trees planted in meandering patterns in said sidewalks, and avoid the aforesaid holes and stubs of cement parking pylons.
* walk down the street and not be stared at, not be the unwilling recipient of stares, wolf whistles, and lurid comments (today it was a police officer in uniform).
* walk (see the theme?) across a crosswalk and not get beaned by oncoming traffic (yesterday it was a police cruiser), where getting to the other side does not mean standing in the middle of a street on the yellow line and wait for an opportunity to dart across frogger-style, where pedestrian traffic lights exist and/or are in working order ... oh stop! stop! I'm becoming gitty!
* drink liquor outside. And by outside I mean not inside. In public. Where people (and Allah) can see you and not feel compelled to judge you. In a bad way.
* order a veggie burger - hell! - go to a vegetarian restaurant. A restaurant that doesn't consider anything not a cow or a sheep a bonafide vegetarian option. Eat so much tofu, tvp and seitan that I'll never want to eat a meat-substitute again, that I'll run towards the first abbatoir I see when I get back to Morocco, knife and fork in hand.
* browse in book & music stores where they sell books and music. Books and music! Books and music that don't begin by invoking any god, regardless of how merciful and compassionate he (or she) may be.
* gawk at breath-taking works of art. Guernica! My dream - first conceived in a grade 9 art class - of standing in front of Guernica and hearing - of feeling - the screams of Picasso's terror-stricken horse pierce my brain is but hours away from reaching fruition.
* drink liquor (it bears repeating) outside. And by outside I mean not inside. In public. Where people (and Allah) can see you and not feel compelled to judge you. In a bad way.
*greet people with a sing-songy hola. Truly hola is the world's cheeriest hello. How can anyone say hola and not be happy? There must be another greeting for cranky people resembling a grumble or a snarl or pretty much anything in German.

The German comment was uncalled for (although wholly accurate) which clearly bears out how desperately Cat in Rabat needs a holiday. Cat in Rabat needs a holiday ex Rabat. For four days I'll be a Madrileña in spirit (and hopefully in spirits) and then it's back to reality. Back to Rabat and its treacherous sidewalks. Four days ...

Adiós babies - hasta la jueves!

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