New Year’s, Adventures of Lost Luggage

One of the expats has a term for our Christmas adventure. “Cultural Kidnapping.”

Later in the week, we had a Christmas Redo, with more traditional activities: a nice lunch, exchanging gifts around the Christmas tree*, Christmas music.

LM made cornbread stuffing (Texas native) from polenta cornbread, and it was the best thing ever. I learned that you cannot heat up mashed potatoes on the stovetop unless you want a gluey mess.**

Continue reading New Year’s, Adventures of Lost Luggage


Apartment hunting

Update: There are now links to videos of the plantation visit on that blog post. Right after the photos.


Today is a holiday of some sort (another Christian holiday we don’t celebrate in the US, which is ironic given the self-proclaimed religions of the respective countries), and it’s been pouring all day. This means that I have not moved from a 10 foot radius and am still in pajamas. On the other hand, I’m making great progress on Kingdom Hearts 356/2, and organized the kitchen cupboard. (Yes, singular.)

It’s been A Week.

Flight decisions are agonizing. As it is, I have an 11 hour layover in Morocco, which is going to be fun without a laptop or Kindle. Thanks, terrorists, for ruining flight for everyone.

Meanwhile, I’ve been apartment hunting.

Continue reading Apartment hunting

Sometimes it’s just a really unfortunate coincidence.

Also, racism.

Wednesday,  I tried to order plane tickets with Royal Air Maroc, because they have cheap flights with beautifully short flight times. I tried to use the Visa from my bank here, and it was rejected. This could either be because I put my name down wrong or need to give authorization with my bank or both….. But when I obeyed the instructions and hit “back”, nothing further worked. I decided to wait an evening to see if the payment went through anyway.

Continue reading Sometimes it’s just a really unfortunate coincidence.

Fundamentals of Human Nature Part II

It’s been quiet recently as I’ve walked home. At first, I didn’t understand. Then I passed a marquis and saw everyone affixed to a screen, and remembered– the futbol tournament for Africa is going on.

This evening, it was a big game between CI and DRC. People were blowing trumpets. My apartment is in the middle of several apartment buildings, which I never see because they’re all surrounded by walls. They’re also unpainted, so it wasn’t clear which ones were lived in and which were empty. However, just as I reached the intersection of all the back roads, shouts just exploded from everywhere. Surround-sound sports freakout. It’s like the whole country is united in this one thing, and everyone can hear everyone else shouting and blowing horns. Sort of cool.

Last night as I was falling asleep, a car pulled into our building complex, and I smelled smoke. Since I had the fan on and windows open I figured it was just exhaust, which happens a lot. In the middle of the night I awoke to find the fan off. I tried to turn the knob…. and it was stuck. It will not turn. My hypothesis is that it had an electrical issue and fused something together.

I swear, the next thing that breaks…. Please may it not be my Flex 3 or AC…..

The Weather and Human Nature

This morning, I passed a balding, middle-aged, beer-bellied man rocking out to his iPod in a hotel parking lot. Must be a fundamental aspect of human nature to forget your surroundings when your favorite song comes on….

Listening to Ivorians talk about their experiences with winter is my favorite. French-speaking Canada is a popular destination with them for obvious reasons, so it’s cold cold. “You’re not prepared for it. Nothing prepared me for it. A friend told me to stick my hand in the freezer for five minutes, and I did and thought, no way, it’s not true, no human would survive that. But they DO.”

No matter how stressful or awful things are, it’s so nice to not worry about the weather. I no longer have to plan my life around whether it’s supposed to snow, or whether the pipes might burst, or how to stay as warm as possible, or if I can endure stepping outside one more time, or darkness at 5PM. No worrying about whether the car will start or my ignition will be frozen and not accept the key. No agonizing over whether to stay somewhere (like work) and risking winding up in a ditch, and spending hours worrying about it. I no longer have to deal with permanently numb toes and scraping the ice off my car and shoveling snow out of the driveway.

Most importantly, no more planning my life around the weather. You no longer control me, winter.

I don’t really want to discuss the scheduling thing right now. Maybe later, when I’m less worried we all hate each other. It’s resolved with the class, anyway.