May 29, 2008
This has been a less than awesome week. So, monday I go to get my internet dealie repaired. The guy says that although they got a new shipment in that morning, they are now out and that the closest possible replacements are an hours drive away.
Tuesday two young ladies that were taking flights back to the US came over and stayed at Fondooq Sakulich. They woke up at 4am to go to the airport. So at 8am i was at work and tired, but it was okay because I was going to do mechanical testing. I was gassed up for that but it turns out that my formulae are crappy. Not even that; poop would actually be a better building material. And the thing is that I had asked to do the testing three weeks ago… had it been done then I would have known and acted accordingly. Instead I made a ton of samples. So I’ve lost 3 weeks, in addition to making nearly 60 little cubes that can’t hold a cat’s weight.
So wednesday afternoon a professor reminds me that I’d agreed to go to an exposition. I thought it was at the university. It turns out that it’s in an exhibition hall near the mosque Hassan II, almost a 30 minute drive away. The professor says we’ve got to go there to get some badges and the like, and that he’ll drive me to my language class afterwards. Well, he was half right. Guess which half. Thats right! He drove us up there, saw a friend, and went off to lunch. So I caught a cab and managed to get him to the language class even though I dont know what the streetname is.
I went back home and my landlord called to drop off the TV that had been broken. She said it was fixed and that it would cost me 500 freaking dirhams. So I gave it to her and, while it will now turn on, it won’t recognise the satellite. 500 DH per channel seems a bit high.
Oh! And since I havent been reimbursed for class yet, I had to take like 400 dollars out of the bank to pay for the TV and rent. ARG I AM FRUSTRATED AND VERY ANGRY.
May 28, 2008
Okay! So it is bright and early here in Morocco. Theoretically, in 15 minutes I will leave to do some compression testing of samples. Long have I waited for this day! It also means one of two things will happen: later today I will either post a blog called “woohoo” or “damn it all to hell.” So stay tuned!
On an unrelated note, the Lost season finale is tomorrow. I want to make a prediction that I’ve had for some time now just so that I can claim I called it if things turn out that way:
After returning to the frieghter following the atack by the defense system, we see Keamy strapping something to his arm. I at first thought it was some way to repulse the defense system. But then it turns out there’s a giant bomb on the frieghter. I dare to wager that the thing on Keamy’s arm is linked to the bomb, and if something happens to him the bomb will go off. My reasoning is that during their standoff, Captain Gault drew undue attention to it that could only be reasonable if the writers were setting up what I said above.
I also hope that the freaking ghost whisperer eats it, and eats it hard. And it would be nice to finally see what happened to Montand.
May 27, 2008
There’s a young lady here in Casablanca. I guess that’s a bad way to start a story; as there are many young ladies here in Casablanca, but what makes this particular young lady an accomplice in this story is that she’s an American and, as myself, hungers daily for sushi.
Last night we went to this new sushi place, the fifth that we’ve found in this city. It was cheaper than all the others and the quality was much better. When they brough sashimi, it was like some sort of viking sashimi- a hamburger-sized slice of raw tuna. if I had 99 mouths, I would reserve 98 of them for eating tuna sashimi like this. The other one would be used for talking about how good it is.
But that’s not the genius. We met the owner, un bonehomme Francaise, and he was kind enough to send over some free sake. It came in, as it always does, little sake glasses. And when I gazed into the sake, I saw the image of a tiny naked lady. This isn’t unusual- the internet has burned such images directly onto my retinas- but the young lady with whom I was dining said she saw it also! Upon drinking the sake, however, the tiny nude strumpet vanished. “It’s magic!” Blurted my associate. I looked closer at the sake cup, bending forward so as to make use of even the very back parts of my eyes, and I saw that the bottom of the cup was a tiny plastic concave lens.
“No! It’s SCIENCE!” I declared.
They’ve developed a cup that uses the index of refraction of the liquid inside to re-focus an otherwise unseeably scattered image. Without the sake, the woman is all out of focus, but add some booze, and everything is made clear!
I am fascinated by this device and would also mention that it may be the first example, ever, of booze making things clear.
May 24, 2008
So its been a frustrating few days. Here are the highlights:
At work I’ve got many samples to test, but getting it done is like eating red hot nails. Everyone always tells me “tomorrow! No problem, tomorrow!” But then the net day I try and do something and they say “this is today! I thought I told you tomorrow?”
I didn’t wear my hat to work because it’s become so saturated with sweat that it was like wearing a dead fish on my head. Though in retrospect, that would be better than the GIANT SUNBURN that I am now earing instead.
My little internet dealie broke, and after a long-ass walk to the store, they told me to come back monday. Weak as hell, yo.
I still have crippling immodium gas.
Ive started language classes again. Halfway through the first class something seemed odd to me. It turns out that “their” arabic class is actually the guy quizzing me out of the Peace Corps textbook but skipping the grammar parts. It’s not that bad, there are lots of parts to the PC book that I don’t kno, and I need the practice, but I was sort of hoping for something… new. I want wait till the textbook I’m writing is done, so that I can go and teach myself from it.
May 20, 2008
Guess what I learnt the hard way? DO NOT FOLLOW TWO IMMODIUM TABLETS WITH WINE. ESPECIALLY NOT WINE BIZZAF. IT WILL LEAD TO A PROBLEM THAT I AM CONSDERING NAMING ‘SAKULICH DISEASE’ OR ‘SAHARA WIND.’
May 20, 2008
So I started taking language classes again because, although cab drivers flatter the pants off of me by telling me I speak great Arabic, I can barely understand the world around me. Especially since everyone talks so fast.
Anyway, I go to the class, and the teacher walks in and says, in Arabic, “hello.” I say “hello.” He says “So, you want to learn Arabic?” and I say “I want to be better at Arabic.” He looks startled and after a little more talking he says “You already know so much! You don’t need classes!”
Either I am the least confident super genius on the planet, or an American that can speak even the slightest Arabic is regarded as an amazing rarity over here.
May 19, 2008
So, monday was all right. Last night Robert and his crew caame to Casablanca because he’s going back home, which of course just meant that we all had to fill ourselves with beers. But I had my first language class since december today. The guy was shocked, he kept telling me my arabic was really good. Cab drivers say that all the time but I thought they were just buttering me up. Anyway, it felt really good to be in language class again. Gen-u-wine-ly productive.
Oh! And I went to a TGI Fridays in Rabat recently. They have buffalo wings, hemdulillah! The manager over there is an ex-football player named Rusty Russell. He seems to have taken a rather circuitous route to get here. In fact the whole thing was sort of trippy.