English Curse Words

February 29, 2008

One of my favourite memories from Fes was learning the verb “to remember.” It’s pronounced tuffukker. When the instructor said this, I was determined not to laugh, but when I glanced at one of my comrades, she made a hand motion that I interpreted as “go ahead” so I blurted out “I don’t even know her last name!” and laughed and laughed and laughed.

The point is, any curse word or naughty phrase in english means something in Arabic. Today, while futzing with Shnoo the hell is going on Hna? I am came across another one:

A phrase that sounds an awful lot like “suck it” means “I aborted the fetus.”

So, there that is.


It happened again!

February 27, 2008

So, last week I see that they’ve got a DSC here. I ask how to go about using it (i.e. which form to fill out, etc) and get told. A few days later I ask how high the temperature goes (it goes up to 1600). Today I ask to use it, and I’m told it hasnt worked in a while. Why wasnt I told that at first? I can use the one in Rabat though. And I have to use the FTIR in Rabat, and send stuff there for XRF anyway, so… looks like there are some trains in my future.

A Week With Pater Mihi

February 26, 2008

So my father came to visit this week. It was the most time we’ve spent together probably since 1990 or so when we went to California. The last night he was here we went out to dinner at a fancy hotel restaurant. but before that we went to the bar at the hotel at the train station, where we heard John Denver on the radio.

 At the fancy hotel place, the guy at the piano and the lounge singer, or whatever you’d call her, played “Hava nagila”, or whatever it’s called. You know, the traditional Jewish song. it was disorienting. Tamp that down in your pipe and smoke it, Fox news! Jewish folk songs at an Arab kareoke.

An Open Letter to the People at Fodors

February 20, 2008

This is the first draft of a letter I am thinking of sending to the people at Fodors: 

Dear Fodors,

Your guide book for Morocco is a peice of garbage. Marrakesh is gone over with a fine tooth comb, and Fes and Casablanca are barely mentioned. Further, your restaurant reviews are crimes. You listed the restaurant Aeropostale in Casablanca as having a wide range of Belgian beers: 2 beers is not a wide range. And one of those two is Stella Artois, which is the Michelob of Belgium. Also, the price scale is insane. Aeropostale is listed as a “4 dollar sign” restaurant, but it is cheaper, generally, than some of the restaurants you gave 3 dollar signs. I wont even get into the fact that rating them with dollar signs, and not a hard number, is ridiculously impractical.

Your section on Fes is a joke. It’s a 1200 year old city teeming with interesting things to do and see, and you give it one tenth of the coverage that you give Marrakesh. I assume your main author for the Fes section is my esteemed colleague Mr. Wikipedia.

In short, your book is atrocious and I will never buy another fodors product for as long as I live. Further, I will vehemently discourage my comrades from doing so as well. Even if your book is cheaper, on sale, or even if it is being given away for free.




February 20, 2008

Took a one day trip to Marrakesh on sunday with my father, who is visiting. A lot of Moroccans have told me that Marrakesh is really nice and that I have to visit it.

It was sort of strange. Getting out at the train station, everything was really well kept up. Every building was painted pink, there were huge signs in every language, and lots of groups of europeans wandering about. The medina was strange: there were roads going through it large enough for automobiles to drive on! To me, the word medina means the Fes medina, which has zero roads large enough for an automobile.

Anyway, the place felt like Disneyland. The waiters spoke english, everything was meticulously maintained, groups of blatant tourists roaming about, and we even saw some double decker buses labelled BUS TOURS OF MARRAKESH! We saw a couple of palaces, a museum, and the Saadian tombs. They were interesting, I guess, but why Marrakesh is the huge tourist draw and not fes is beyond me.

Happy Birthday

February 19, 2008

The city of Fes is 1200 years old this year.




February 15, 2008

It has come to my attention that the Right Honourable Alex Moseson, from my group, and my good man Mr. Edward Anderson, from the Earth Cements Are Awesome Project (ECAAP) are going to recieve the GAAN and Grosvenor fancy pants scholarships, respectively. Congratulations and accolades I say! Accolades!

In addition to a fez, I shall need to purchase a top hat and monocle before I return to the US, that I may converse with them in the high-culture manner to which they shall soon become accustomed!