While I was working my way through college, I cleaned a doctor’s mansion that needed this floor cleaned with vinegar and that one cleaned with mopping solution and the other one wiped dry, and well, yes. Continue reading Why I don’t understand white
I decided it’s time to learn to cook the North African cuisine. I’ve put it off for years, learning things here and there, but always timid because of how unforgiving the culture can be with their own cuisine–“You used milk in your harcha?!” Continue reading Cuisine and pirates: what’s been happening recently
“Pero que hacemos? Hay que aguantar.” But what do we do? We must endure.
The phrase caught me off-guard. I am used to hearing North Africans talk like that, especially if they throw in a “praiseGod” or dozen and shake their heads with wry smiles that say what their words don’t. Continue reading We must endure
A man in the front of the bus was deeply unsettled by a roaring conversation between a gypsy family and the bus driver. When the family got off, the man snarled about how loud and obnoxious they had been. (In truth, my nerves were a bit shattered too.) Continue reading Spotted recently
My acclimation to Mytown is taking longer than I had anticipated. When I mentioned this to a woman at the bus station, she peered at me over her glasses and explained that I shouldn’t just be friendly to everyone I meet because there is no reason to trust them. You have to grow your friend base slowly and carefully, she said. Continue reading Welcome to Mytown
This tomato-based soup is a classic North African dinner, served especially in the winter and during Ramadan. Although unfamiliar as a dish, you might find something familiar in the mild, comfortable flavor. Harira tastes like a food I grew up with, even though I didn’t. Continue reading Recipe: harira
We approached what we hoped was the bus stop, our suitcases rattling along behind and a disgruntled (and tipsy) beggar peering after us. Since disembarking the ferry, we were well aware that we were in foreign territory once again. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Spain anymore!” Continue reading Some ups and downs of language learning
I wanted to hold on to some of those moments. I tried to savor them while they lasted, but when I look back, their ghostly flavor still lingers in my mind, proof that I never finished tasting them. Continue reading When in North Africa- Part 2
Last year, a fellow immigrant in Spain asked me to visit her when she went back to her country for the summer. I didn’t.
But this year I did. Continue reading When in North Africa- Part 1
“He’s dying,” she says, /
As life seeps away /
In voiceless submission /
Of what it was taught, / Continue reading “He’s dying,” she says