March 28, 2007

Out Of Africa

I’m an American living in Africa and tomorrow I’m going to London “for the weekend”! That’s something a year ago I would have never imagined would be part of my vocabulary.
This time last year I was nursing a serious leg injury that kept me from running The Boston Marathon and counting down the days until “Red Sox Opening Day”. The thought of missing opening day and not seeing JV on his 35th birthday “honestly” makes me homesick more then anything right now. Someone please send him my warmest Birthday wishes from Morocco.

Let’s talk about today.
I took the day off - -I still had clients calling me and I was returning e-mails but none the less it was an official day off.
Earlier in the week I had Rachida make an appointment for me at her friends Salon in Tetouan. I was hoping to get a manicure in London but we don’t get in until late Thursday and there would be no time before the show on Friday. I thought what the heck. Maureen has had her hair done there twice. It turned out quite nice and was dirt cheap. 400dh which is about $45 dollars for a cut, highlight and style. You might want to fly over for that deal alone! I know women who travel hours even across states for a good cut ;0) The manicure is scheduled for 11:30. I made plans with Souhaila to meet me at the Marjane and I would follow her there since she was getting a hair cut and knew where this joint was. She was due to call me when she was leaving the office. I hate being late, no new news there. It’s now 11:15 no call so I head out to the meeting point to be on the safe side. She finally arrives and we get there about 12:00. No sign of the women who is dong the nails but I hear a baby crying in the background so I’m guessing she’s a bit busy. Souhaila and 2 other women who work in the salon are chatting away in Arabic. Interesting shop - some Matrix and Biolage products, other lotions and unknown potions too. Signs written in French and some random Egyptian show on the TV. FINALLY at around 12:30-12:45 the girl takes me in. Her name is Hennah – not pronounced how you would think. It means happiness. Luckily she speaks a bit of English. Very sweet, attractive, young girl. I get the scoop…..she’s the owner of the shop and has an 8 month son named Ryan (pronounced that way, wrong spelling) means doorway to the kingdom and her husbands name is Elias meaning prophet. Thank God we cleared that up. She was meticulous in her work and applied enough lotion to my hands for 10 people. Granted I had not had a mani in over 2 months so there was major work to be done on my digits. The baby came into visit us since he was still crying up a storm. I was freezing, zero heat in the room I was in. The nail color selection was minimal at best. I was scared…..she asked if I wanted a French Manicure but I told her maybe next time. Was there going to be a next time was my thought process. We chatted some more she said if I taught her some English she would teach me some French which is 1000x’s easier then Arabic. At this point I had no clue what the time was. I ended up with a very pale pink, which was perfect and we were finished. At this point I had no clue what time of day it was. We walked out and she said 70dh!! I almost fainted less then $10 I gave her a 20dh tip so the whole thing cost me 90dh about $10. I jumped into my car and looked at the clock 2:15. Well I guess I won’t be running there on my lunch break anytime soon. I must admit she did a very nice job and I would definitely go back to her again. A successful adventure!!!! Next time maybe I’ll risk the brows?!?!

March 25, 2007


Friday night I had the privilege of dinner at The French in Tangier. The have recently added a jazz bar - very nice. I happened to be in the right place at the right time when a bet was placed regarding the moving of earth at Playa Vista. Richard Padget one of the developers lost the bet by approximately 12 hours. While waiting for Richard to show up (he tried all day to get out of it) we sat in the bar and had a drink. I was chatting with Erik enjoying a Casablanca Beer and some olives. The 2 of us stopped talking and started cracking up because they were playing a very jazzy version of "Walking In A Winter Wonderland" How bizarre! Just when you feel like you may have found a spot that makes you feel like your at home for a few hours you are quickly reminded "TIA". For those of you that have seen Blood Diamond ,if you haven't please do, this acronym is from the movie and our new favorite to use. TIA = This Is Africa

The first time we went to The French it was raining terribly and we ran out of washer fluid. Chuck pulled into Afriquia Gaz to get some. No one in the car could speak Arabic so we knew it was going to be interesting trying to explain what we needed. After what we thought was our best sign language, apparently not, the guy ended up washing the entire car. In the end we did get the fluid but it took about 20 minutes for what should have been a 5 minute pit stop.

In one of my previous posts I talked about no power in the complex for over 12 hours. This is one better - - NO WATER for over 24 hours - excellent!!
The new Compass Properties Web-Site is up and running. Check It Out!

March 11, 2007

Let There Be Light

1:00 Sunday afternoon and the power has just returned. This is the second time in a week I have been without power. Last week it was my block of apartments. No power for over 12 hours. Today it was the entire complex for almost 4 hours. There is nothing you can do. Just wait and wait. I can't call up the electric company "Amendis" and report it because I can't speak Arabic. I called Brian & Liza, we all confirmed what we already knew and then continued to call each other to see if there were any updates. I watched Nip/Tuck on my computer until that battery died and then started a new book "Memory Keepers Daughter". Nip Tuck - I never watched it before and had no intention of doing so, but, Jess & Erik left all their DVD's with me before they headed home. They have the first season so I decided I'd give it a try. I'm on disk #2. Somewhat disturbing yet gripping in a strange sort of way.

Memory Keeper's Daughter was given to me by Ginger who said it really wasn't her type of book. She had been in the states over Christmas and brought it back with her. I was psyched! I just finished reading "The Tenth Circle" which I had bought at Logan on my flight out. It was perfect timing. Let me know about any new books that are worth picking up. They will be part of my shopping list for London.

I got "2" packages last week! Many thanks to my Mom and Kath. They got here so quickly. They were post marked Feb. 26th and 27th and arrived here around March 5th. PRETZELS!! 1 bag of the ultimate Rold Gold and another bag of an all time favorite "Kidzels" very yummy, 2 Cliff Bars, People Mag. love the dirt - - and 2 pouches of Premium Albacore Tuna. I think I may have had a break through with the Tuna. Silly I know....yesterday I went to the Marjane and spent some quality time in the canned fish aisle. I read or tried to read can after can to find a proper tuna and I think I have finally found it!?!?! I haven't tried it yet but it may be a winner. I better not get my hopes too high.

I also found balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese in the shaker can, and what looked to be a delicious Olive Tapenade but was awful. I spent almost 3 hours in that place.

Weather Update-64 - Very sunny but it's so windy here today that even with my shutters closed the curtains inside my apartment are swaying.

March 9, 2007

Closer I Get

Sunday March 11th is Daylight Saving Time in the states. Here in Morocco we follow "GMT" or Greenwhich Mean Time. Daylight Saving is not observed so I will be 1 hour closer to all of you starting Monday. I love the thought of that. A 4 hour difference from the East Coast!!

Some more exciting news - - I found out yesterday I will be heading to London the end of March to attend A Place In In The Sun Live property show. As the newbie of the group I never even put it on my radar screen as an opportunity. Apparently I'm doing something right. I can't wait!!!!! We're staying at the Crowne Plaza London-Docklands. A gym, spa, mani's, pedi's, shopping, STARBUCKS - the possibilities are endless!! It doesn't take much to please this girl.

Several other changes were also announced within the past 2 days at Compass. An official org chart was rolled out, the commission structure has changed (hooray) and 2 apartments are being remodeled into offices. I'll have my own space until they hire another sales person. It may not sound like a lot but it's an "enormous" step for these few small changes to actually be implemented.

Jess and Erik headed back to the states for 10 days. They get to enjoy "24" live and St. Patrick's Day along with the most valuable piece of the trip which is spending time with their families - ENJOY!!

March 3, 2007

A Day In The Sun

Today was my first official day on the beach. Out the back gate, 2 minute walk - 11:30 - 3:00. It was the perfect temp. with a slight breeze. Liza joined me midday. She's from Puerto Rico and was as happy as I was to be laying out. My next goal is to find a beach chair. In the states my chair was always in the trunk of my car so I could have access to it at a moments notice. Although my heart still belongs to Boston there is no comparison to this and my many, many days spent at Carson Beach in Southie.

Arabic classes are on hold for a month. Our teacher Sanae has gone back to her hometown of Fes about 3 hours south of Tetouan. She has left us with a book and homework to do that she will quiz us on when she gets back in April. The language is incredibly difficult to learn, read and write. I can write the dialogues out phonetically and read them but I still cannot read it without the cheat sheet. Recognizing words becoming somewhat easier. When I watch American shows here...(watching Rachel Ray right now minus the shoebootty)...the subtitles are in Arabic. Hopefully I wont' forget everything I have learned before she gets back. I'm not very motivated to do self study. Below is picture of Sanae and myself before class. Her name is written first on the board in Arabic and mine is below it.

March 2, 2007


My first real Henna tattoo......the dark brown you see peels off after it drys and then you are left with the lighter brownish color on your skin. I had to sleep with a sock on my arm the first night I got it. Rick had a surprise party for his daughter Casandra who was turning 13 and there was a girl there doing the tattoos. The party was February 23rd and it has just started to fade within the last day or so.

The weather here for the last 3 days has been incredible. It's Friday afternoon at 3pm and 72 degrees!!