Wednesday, June 15, 2011


     After a 10 hour flight to Paris, a 4 hour flight to Madrid, and then a 1.5 hour flight to Fes, I'm exhausted. I'm sick of airports and screaming children and Americans mocking French accents like they can't understand English. My advice: avoid the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris if at all possible. My plane landed, we took a bus to the terminal, I took another bus to another terminal. I went through customs, then immigration, then security. Then I went to the gate, where they bused me to another gate, where they bused us to the plane. RIDICULOUS. I am not sure what time it is right now because my computer says 1:15, my phone says 8:15 and I think I crossed through 5 or 6 time zones. I just know it's getting dark so that means I can sleep!!
     In the Madrid airport, I was lucky enough to introduce myself to a girl, Colby, who looked to be in my situation also. Turns out, she's doing the same ALIF program and had a reservation at the same hotel as me! This worked out perfectly because we were able to talk and get all of our nerves out. While I was waiting for my backpack (which was stuck under a baby carseat), a guy and a girl walked up and introduced themselves. They're also doing the ALIF program, but are way more advanced in Arabic than Colby and I. Their names are Evan and Bryn and have studied in Morocco before and seem really cool. I shared a taxi with them to my hotel which is a really nice hotel. Although I have to put my key in a slot for the electricity to work (super ghetto), it's really clean and pretty. Of course they're no air conditioning or a clock, which would really come in handy right now.
     The city is gorgeous. I'm in love with the architecture already. There is actually a lot of vegetation which surprised me and it's very metropolitan which I didn't expect at all. The streets are crazy with a mix of European and American cars and no stop lights and the city is framed by the Atlas Mountains. The one thing I don't like, though, is the fact that every decent restaurant is filled with men. Colby and I walked around to find a place to eat and we couldn't find one that wasn't filled with men calling out to us or just staring and nodding. Two guys actually followed us but they were easily shaken when we said we didn't need any help. We ended up eating at the hotel restaurant which was fine because we were both famished and didn't want to deal with nonsense. Tomorrow I'll find out the situation about a host family and explore the city more!

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