Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day List

These things have changed in Rabat lately:
1. The medina is now full of knockoff Crocs
2. One out of every five teenagers is dressed in a Moroccan version of Oakland indie rocker circa 2002
3. The other four out of every five are no longer dressed in knockoff Dolce and Gabbana, or if they are, it is no longer in three-inch letters
4. The typewriter guys at Bab al-Had are back, but they are no longer in the Bab
5. All of the city walls have been "restored" with the injudicious application of Marrakech-red spraycrete. The walls are now boring.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Couscous! Couscous! Couscous!

So, I'm in Morocco for the week, where I'm madly trying to find things that I hadn't been able to find before, and I walk around the medina with my Disto and a compass to reconcile the (not so good) official map of the medina (courtesy the Ministry of Culture) with my (soon to be new and) improved, AutoCAD version.

Having spent a huge amount of time when I was here in 2005-2006 not getting access to buildings and not finding things, at this point I'm working on a comparison of houses that I believe to be Andalusi here with their counterparts in Granada. So I'm just knocking on a lot of doors and making not a lot of floor plans.

But that is neither here nor there (and I really should go to the library in a minute): what this entry is really about is couscous. As you may imagine, I don't eat much couscous in Spain, and when I travel, and someone inevitably says, "hey, there's this great Moroccan place; why don't we go there?" I'm the first to say no, and suggest that we find something Indian or Thai instead
I just don't see the point in eating disappointing couscous, and in Spain, it's both disappointing and expensive.

As you can imagine, I partially planned to arrive on a Thursday and leave on a Saturday so that I could have two weeks' worth of couscous. I report with great joy, however, that in two days I had three weeks' worth of couscous: for lunch on Friday, for dinner on Friday, and again for lunch on Saturday. Saadia (the friend I'm staying with) made it three times because her son, who is doing his military reserve service, came home on Friday evening: he'd missed the lunch couscous, and so she made it again. And since he eats so poorly where he is stationed (he was a skinny kid to begin with; now he is an even skinnier kid with a buzz cut), couscous was made yet again on Saturday.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Owner of a Broken Heart(-Shaped Cookie)

I´m sure it´s just as tasty as all the others, though.

I was particularly pleased with the way the pulmonary veins came out on this one:

You can have all of my hearts. Even the slightly-burnt ones. Also, this plate reminds me of Cairo, and how there they would (and probably still do) sell organs in trays:

Happy Valentine´s Day!