I need a course that teaches “French for Domestic Disputes.”

Today has been a weird day.  There’s no food here, so move on if that’s what you want! I got the fried sweetbread they sell by the side of the road to try, and it’s delicious, but not worth a picture.

It’s a holiday, in case you were unaware. Last night was the Muslim “Night of Destiny,” marking the time the first part of the Quran was revealed to Muhammad. Some believe that it is the time God hands out each man’s destiny to the angels for the coming year. A night of prayer is magnified, so some stay up all night in prayer.

Anyway, the next day is a holiday. I’m guessing so that everyone can get some sleep. The streets were pretty empty. (And yet, the cat-callers still managed to make it out).

First of all: turns out some of the mats really are just for prayer. I had wanted for some time to get a few of the small mats that are used for ‘prayer or sleeping.’ I’ve seen them used in a number of ways, and they’re wonderful because dirt (read: sand) goes right through them. I thought I’d get some as gifts. They’re light and pretty and will cushion my laptop on the way back in my suitcase (bah to the travel restrictions). I’d been told that even though they can be used for prayer, nobody cares what you use them for.

This may not be true of the little ones I wanted, for size purposes. The vendor was convinced I didn’t want to buy them. Carrying them back, my neighbor remarked about them, grinning. “A gift,” I replied sheepishly.

So now my neighborhood either thinks I’m Muslim or an ignorant foreigner, and only one of those is right.

Second of all: people are people everywhere. Around 10 AM I heard a couple quarreling. This is not that rare, actually, and it’s always the woman totally handing it to the man. But this time, it was accompanied by loud noises. So I look out the window, and see stuff jettisoned off the balcony and onto the car parked below, like small missiles of anger. I hope it was his car and he deserved it, because the windshield is now cracked.


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