photo dump

June 16, 2011

We went on our tour of the medina today, really amazing!


I mostly just got pictures of some of the archetecture we saw, and the tanneries.  It didn’t seem like a good idea to just snap photos of the locals.


The view from above the tanneries in Fes

The tanneries really were pretty strong smelling, but you would have thought they were way worse from the way my classmates were whining.  The tour guide told us that it was decided by whoever decides these things that working here is the third hardest jobs on the planet.  He added that the first was crab fishing in alaska, after which one of my classmates chimed in “No it isn’t, being a mother is!”


More images of the tanneries follow:



Next up, I’ve got a string of photos from from the Madrasa, an Islamic school set up by the Islamic University in Fes (which, apparently, is the oldest university in the world.)

The handsome one is in the middle.

Group Shot!

This shit was crazy. The courtyard of this school is HUGE, and the walls are covered with engraved plaster.  All that detail work was done by hand, and is about a half an inch deep.  The pictures really don’t do it any justice.

These mosaics were on the walls below the plaster, going from the gound to about shoulder height. They were also done on the wall, piece by piece.  I usually find people who gush over stuff like this distasteful, but this was simply one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

This one is a little farther back, to give a sense of scale.  When I said the mosaics started at shoulder height, maybe I meant head height.  That is our tour guide on the far left.


I’ve got to move locations, but there’s more to come later tonight or perhaps tomorrow afternoon.







June 15, 2011

Hey, sorry everybody! I know it’s been a while since I updated, but while I was still in seattle I didn’t have much interesting to write about. Since I’ve arrived this side of the Atlantic, I’ve been having what I refer to as ‘the great adapter crisis.’ For those of you who don’t know, English power outlets are different from American ones. And French outlets (which are what Moroccans use) are different from English and American ones. This translates to me being unable to charge any of my Yank electronics.

And now I only have internet until 6pm.

Anyway. Now I’ve got it. I’ll be able to upload pictures pretty soon, although I haven’t really taken that many. So here is a rapid fire list of anything worthwhile that has happened to me:

-About thirty minutes into my 9 hour flight the elderly gentleman sitting across the aisle from me had what appeared to be a heart attack. Fortunately(?) there was a doctor on board who used the limited equipment in the plane’s emergency kit to keep him alive for like 8 hours until we landed in London.

-London was a little dull, but my hostel was above a pub in Tulse Hill, which is just south of Brixton, which is pretty far out of the city. Finding it from Heathrow was pretty interesting. London transportation is pretty good if you know where you are going though. I spent most of my time in the UK drinking expensive pints and eating plates of full english. Also, should it ever come up, take my advice and don’t fly RyanAir.

-Fes is pretty fucking cool. Despite my usual susceptibility to the laws of travel disaster, my bags made it and I had a hotel room waiting for me when I got here.

-I’ve been eaten alive by mosquitos.

-There are lots of stray cats here, which is cool both because I like cats and they are less dangerous than stray dogs.

-My host family is great. The father is really animated and they are all very generous and excited to be with us. (when I say us, I refer to myself and the other student staying with me.)

-Food is fantastic. Not what I expected entirely, there is a little less meat, and it is much simpler than I expected. I of course don’t mean that in a negative way, simply an observation. Also, Moroccans tend to eat lunch at a little after noon, and dinner at like 10:30 pm. I’m getting used to it, but the first few days were a little rough.

Pictures are probably coming soon, so stay in touch!

Welcome to my shiny new blog!

The primary purpose of this blog centers around my upcoming trip to Fes, Morocco where I will be studying Arabic intensively, although I’m sure that plenty of other subject matter will sneak in — especially after my return this August.  Because part of my studies requires me to post to the course blog, I will put the same posts up here and categorize them as “academic” as opposed to “personal” which for now all other posts will fall under.

If I — for one of the first times in my life — decide to follow through and continue this blog on my return, things may change a little.  I’ll cross that bridge when (and if!) I get to it.  I’ll also take this time to mention that you should check out my dad’s blog, which is currently the only link in my blogroll in the sidebar on the right.  It’s strictly op-ed, usually quite funny, and only occasionally offensive.

I’ve compiled a master-list of the things that absolutely need to be done before I leave town on the ninth (although some things have due-dates sooner than that), in order to avoid actually doing any of them.  I figured that writing about what I need to get done is better for my psyche/health/waistline than simply lamenting during my many ‘ice cream breaks.’  It also doesn’t require me to wash a spoon.

Jordan’s Morocco Adventure Todo Masterlist:

  1. Afrikaans Project – I need to write a several page sketch of the Afrikaans language for my Germanics class.  Due “some time this week” according to the professor. coooool….
  2. English ‘Cohesion analysis’ project – This class is so boring that I’m genuinely concerned it will make my forehead cave in before the end of the quarter.
  3. Arabic homework – oh you know just some fun little exercises here and there.
  4. Arabic Final – Saturday, 10:30 am sharp!
  5. Set up this blog – check that off silly old bear.
  6. Figure out a cell phone situation for while I am overseas.  I was told when I bought my current phone that it would work pretty much ‘out of the box’ but I remain highly skeptical.
  7. Get my last paycheck from the Attic – see ya suckers!
  8. Deposit final paycheck, and notify bank of my overseas spending.
  9. Germanics final – some sort of as-yet-unassigned paper.
  10. English final – see above
  11. Haircut – I’m starting to look like cousin it with a beard.
  12. Check in with RyanAir about my flight from London to Fes – do all discount euro airlines insist that you check in online and print your own boarding pass?
  13. Copy/print important documents – things like passport, credit card, insurance information, etc…
  14. Reserve hostels? – I’m assuming I need to make reservations in youth hostels for my nights in the UK. Should probably get on that.
  15. Have my going away party – This Tuesday the 7th! At Liberty on 15th!
  16. Plenty of other things I’ve forgotten about – sleep, eating, spending time with loved ones, etc.

OK so I think that’s all for now.  Subscribe if you want to follow my Moroccan exploits in the months/weeks to come ان شاء الله!