The travel bug has officially bit my tuchie! My roommate, Emily, and I traveled to Tanger this weekend. It was my first time staying in a hostel and was impressed by the idea of it. I met many students from around the world: Quebec, France, Argentina, Germany, and Spain, to name a few. I found everyone’s dialect to be unique because even though we all spoke English, our accents and culture has changed the pronunciations of the words and sometimes difficult to understand. During the day, I toured the city with Emily. Sitting on the north coast of Morocco, Tanger has a European vibe to it with their choice in Architecture and Spanish influence. I was able to exercise my Spanish speaking skills to get meet new people, ask for directions, and call a taxi driver. The food was colorful and delicious. The typical Moroccan meal had about 4 entries, starting with an appetizer, small dessert, entrée, and fruits. The city was beautiful and so far, one of my favorite in Morocco.
The orphanage just received another new born boy this following Monday who was born on June 17th. Not too far into the week, another new born girl was placed at the orphanage. Her information has yet to be written on the board so I know very little about her. One morning, I was giving a baby arousal to help her breath in which the medicine that was being used made me feel woozy and light headed. A teacher was able to catch me before I hit the floor. The teacher gave me a cup of water with sugar as I rested for a few minutes. After, I continued to help out with the babies.
The one thing I have notably noticed is the amount of men at any location, which seem like they travel in packs. During the day as I pass through the Medina, all I see is men working or sitting around sharing conversations among each other. Women have no social centers, such as bars and cafes, like men do. When I attend a concert at night (which seems to be a popular event) I am completely surrounded by men. If women are present, they are usually with a man. At the beach, the men overpopulate the women, who are covered head to toe, sitting under an umbrella. So, I decided to do some research and found the following:
Women tend to spend their time indoors cooking, raising the children, and talking among neighbors. Many women do not have an education, therefore, usually own no business or engage themselves in social outings. This is apparent in my host family because the host dad is always out with his friends, day or night, and comes home in the wee hours of the morning. Within the Arab culture this is acceptable because men are the “rulers of the house” while women do the house work. Women tend to spend their evenings catering to their husbands. In many occasions I have noticed my host dad come from a day of being outdoors, lay down on the couch, and ask for a drink or food from his wife.
Born and raised in an equal household, I had a difficult time accepting this. I usually offer my assistance when I can tell the host mom is overwhelmed with responsibilities. I offered help not because I should be doing it, but because she should not be doing it all. For instance, if my dad needed a drink or food when he comes home, my dad would retrieve it himself, even if my mom was present. Back home, “catering” to a loved one is seen as a sweet gesture, not a command. Both an opinion I have created.
A recent event that blew my mind was when I saw a woman running across the street not stopping for traffic. Behind her came a man who yanked her hair, making her sling shot backwards, stumbling from the sting of his hand across her face. Right there, in the middle of the street. Other men started to what seemed stop them. However, by then, I was swiftly walking from the drama, unable to watch. The last I saw was the women, still be held by her hair by a man, walking back to the medina.
Two different worlds, I tell you.