Week 4: All the dialects and all the homework

Hello everyone! I just capped off my first month back in Morocco with a trip to the hammam. For those who don't know, a hammam is basically a spa, but unlike in the US, both men and women frequent hammams and they are gender specific. The layouts of hammams vary somewhat but in general they are like big shower rooms with a single sauna room. You usually start by spreading a special olive or argan oil infused soap over your entire body. You can do this yourself or pay someone to do it for you. After sitting in the sauna for a few minutes you use a rough wash cloth called a "kish" to scrub all off the dead skin off your body. After that you finish with a shampoo and body wash of your choice. You can either bring shampoo and body wash with you or buy some there but not all hammams sell shampoo and body wash. It's about 20 or 30 MAD (2-3 USD) to go and 40 to 50 MAD (4-5 USD) if you want someone to do the scrubbing.

This past week was our first week of Formal, Egyptian, and Moroccan Arabic all together. Every day we have 4 hours of class for a total of 20 hours a week. We have 2 hours per day of Formal Arabic and 2 hours of a dialect. On Mondays and Wednesdays, we have Moroccan Arabic and Formal Arabic. Tuesdays and Thursdays we get Egyptian Arabic and Formal Arabic. Fridays we get all three; 2 hours of Formal and 1 hour for each dialect.

A received a request from last week's blog for more info on my daily routine. It's not all that much different from routine in the US. Classes start every day at 10am at the Center and I live about a 25 minute walk from it so I get up every morning around 8:45am to get dressed and eat breakfast around 9 or 9:10 after which I brush my teeth get my things together and am out the door between 9:25 and 9:35 each morning. Normally, I get a break for lunch between 12pm and 1pm and there are two places I frequent. A sandwich place and a lentils place, the former of which is my favorite. The sandwich place makes sandwiches with an egg, cheese and your choice offried meat (Sausage, turkey, Kefta, liver, or intestines). No, I have not tried the intestines (but I might). The lentils place sells...lentils, among other things. But they also give you bread and a big jug of homemade pulpy juice (I had carrot and orange, which was delicious) to go along with your meal. The mother of the two owners makes everything in the morning and they carry it to their shop for lunch everyday. You can get a complete and filling lunch at both places for less than 20 MAD (about 2 USD). Classes usually end between 2 and 4pm depending on which day. I then work on homework for 2 to 3 hours. Additionally I have to meet with my language partner 4 hours each week, which I prefer to spread out across 4-1 hour sessions. After I finish with school work, I will sometimes go running in a park across the street from my homestay before eating dinnerbetween 8 and 9. I'm usually in bed and asleep between 11:30 and 12am after reading for a bit.

Keep the questions and comments coming!


Johnny M.

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