Total excitement today. I was asked for directions by a Moroccan lady in a taxi, and I knew the answer! I feel like in some small way I have arrived. However, this mini-triumph of communication, has been trumped by lots of enjoyable and meandering mishaps.
The Moroccan lingua mix of Arabic, French and Berber has resulted in a dialect which sounds like a flock of starlings and is comprehensible only to Moroccans. My Arabic is a bit of a dire mixture itself but is mainly Egyptian with a bit of Levantine thrown in. Luckily most people here watch Egyptian films so can understand me, but I am still getting a bit lost in conversations.
On Sunday, I went to the local flea market/centre of making things called Bab El Khamis to buy some stuff for the house. After lots of rummaging, I came up with a zebra skin rocking chair, a slightly wonky side table and a battered old brass mirror I liked the look of. An hour of bargaining later, and we struck a price that made us both happy – I am pretty rubbish at bargaining so it was probably way too high.
The young guy in the shop, then asked me if I would like him to clean up the mirror, so I said yes, and then smiled and nodded at the next bit. What I didn’t realise, was that I had agreed to a total refurb by adding a new layer of brass, and rehammering in the indentations and decoration.
An hour later, and my shabby chic find, was gleaming and new and being presented to me proudly by the shop owner.
The fact that he spent an hour and a lot of brass remaking it when we had already agreed a price far, far outweighed the fact that I rather liked the shabby chic.