Goodbye Fes

One year of Arabic curriculum in seven weeks was a daunting task, but now I am officially done! I don’t think I have ever taken such a demanding and challenging class. The end result has all been worth it. It’s strange to think that eight weeks ago I was taking my final to complete first year Arabic, and now, in such a short amount of time, I’ve taken the final for second year Arabic. I remember thinking the first year Arabic test was one of the hardest tests I had ever taken, but this final blew it out of the water.

When all was said and done, we went out for a celebratory lunch at a restaurant called Café Clock in the Medina. It’s a pretty expensive place, but this was a very special occasion. I was feeling adventurous and ordered a camel burger. It was so good. I enjoyed every bite. It was really strange eating lunch and hanging out without that voice in the back of your head saying, “You really should get started on that homework.”

Tonight is my last night in Fes. Unfortunately I have to spend it packing, but it will be nice to spend one last night with my host family. Tomorrow we are headed for Marrakech for a day, then we will spend the remainder of the week in the coastal city of Essaouira. We are all looking forward to some well-deserved beach time.

Fes is an interesting city. There are things I will miss about it, but there are also things I will not miss about it. I will not miss the weather. I’m definitively a Seattle girl, and I can’t take the heat. I will not miss the crazy driving and dodging cars while crossing the street. I will not miss the food that made me sick.

I will miss the hospitality and the friendliness of the people here. It’s impossible to enter someone’s home without them making you tea and bringing you something to eat. I will miss being able to get an amazing lunch for under three dollars. I will miss going to the hanut (corner store) to buy water and snacks and the friendly owner who would always laugh as I stumbled over my Arabic. I will miss Jahwara Café where we could spend hours studying and drinking coffee. I will miss Maryam the cat. Maryam is a stray cat that took a liking to our group. Whenever she sees us she comes running. I wish I could take her home in my suitcase.  Most of all I will miss my lovely classmates. We handled the stress of class and living in a new culture together. I don’t think I would have made it through without them.