Vegetables, Mint and Time

Time – noun – the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.

The other day Mbarek and I went out for a walk.  We walked into town and it’s almost a mile to the coffee shop that we normally walk to.  When we were near it I started to have a melt down.  The weather was warmer and it was very humid out but there was no rain.  I turned to Mbarek and I said I want to go home.  I want to go home right now.  He looked at me and said, “Are you starting again”, in his firm voice.  See I’m an only child and when things don’t go my way I throw a temper tantrum just like a child, I’m selfish.  However, this was the beginning of me being where I am today and how I developed this outlook I have today.  The past week has been rather difficult for me.  Our internet service has been down due to a mistake the power company made at the box on the house next door so I’ve been operating on my phone and luckily it has a hotspot so I can use my computer at least.  At least I can write and keep up with the world even though I can’t watch movies online so I’ve been limited to a few English channels here.  I must say that the news channels like France 24, Euronews and CNN are not what I’m use to in the US.  So with all of this mounting I ran out of my medication and I started to swell due to the warmer weather.  It doesn’t take much to put me in a foul mood when my hands start to swell.  Anyway we started to walk back and I was hot, it doesn’t take much to make me sweat either.  I’m miserable when I’m hot or in a stuffy place like a car with the windows up… I will have a full blown attack.  So I took off my light sweater and walked home with Mbarek.  When we rounded the corner where the souk is I walked a few yards and then I had a full on attack.  I saw the vegetables being sold on the street and a table full of mint and I had a complete melt down.  A COMPLETE MELT DOWN!  Have you ever been somewhere and you just needed to get out and get out right now.  You want to run but you can’t go anywhere, you want to scream but you know that only one person will hear you and that is yourself.  My husband is no fool when it comes to my mental health and me dealing with being here.  What is so hard is that I know there is a world that is like what I’m use to 45 minutes away from Khemisset.  Just 45 minutes away is the world I’m use to being in with all the conveniences of the US.  Here, all I see is the same vegetables and fruits: Onions, green onions, turnips, beets, cabbage, this horrible squash melon thing, oranges, apples, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, artichokes, beans, rice and of course MINT like 20 kinds of fucking MINT.  I thought when I moved here I would take refuge in cooking things that I never had time to do when I worked and lived in the US.  I thought that I’d be able to have fresh seafood here and be able to bake homemade cakes and things.  I thought …. I thought.  I thought that there would be laundry mats that I could go to where I could do our laundry.  Just these two things would fill my days with no problem.  Well to my dismay and disappointment neither of these things are possible here.  There is not a place to do laundry like I know to do laundry.  Here you handwash it or you take them to the cleaners.  Which from experience I’m not trusting anyone with my clothes …  Period.  So I’ve been really struggling on how to fill my time and to be honest you can only cook so much food with very little seasonings.  Maybe I turned on my blinders as I’ve ran into obstacles, maybe I’ve made it worse in my mind that what it really is.  So yesterday I had a really great day.  I was able to get out and get into civilization as I know it.  We went to Casablanca and to Rabat and it really was a great day.  However, I felt bad because my husband was starting to get sick and  I was feeling guilty that I had pitched such a fit over vegetables and had a melt down on the street over mint.  I felt as if I brought on his sickness because he does try very hard to make me comfortable and happy and nothing he did on Sunday could please me. It’s like the time my mother took me to the mall just to shut me up.  She walked through the mall braless because I was so insistent that we go right now.  I wasn’t even thinking about her, the fact that she wasn’t planning on ever getting out of the car that way because we were just running to the bank drive through.  I never thought about how she felt, all I saw was my selfish need to go to the mall.  This has stuck with me for all these years and I have felt so guilty, I still feel guilty because I was so selfish.  I realized that I’ve allowed my selfishness to creep back into my life since being here and this is not something I’m proud of.  It’s the product of me living by myself for so many years, I’m sure, because when I moved to Albuquerque I was not like this, I had successfully overcome this for the most part while in my first marriage.  Now I must confront and overcome the demons again.

So yesterday Mbarek and I went out because we promised our friends we would go with them.  We picked our friend up at the airport in Casablanca then drove to Rabat where we had fresh seafood and got to spend a small amount of time at the beach.  It was just the little visit to the real world that helped me.  I was fine after that but felt bad the entire time because he was sick. The decision to go was not entirely mine but I still felt bad about it.  Then after we got home Mbarek developed a very high fever and was very sick.  I don’t know what his temperature was but I was so concerned that I wanted to take him to the hospital.  Again I felt guilty that we had gone on the road trip and I had a great time while he was feeling so bad.  I just knew he felt really bad and I wanted him better.  I called his sister in to feel his forehead and she went down to the pharmacy to get him some medicine.  I was never so grateful to have his family here because there is no way I could have told the pharmacist what I needed for him.  Finally, around 3 AM his fever broke and he literally soaked our bed.  I thanked Allah that he was showing signs of being better which made me feel better.  We had no money, very little groceries and well I couldn’t have been happier that he was better.  People owed him money from a few computers he’d sold so poor thing got out yesterday to collect so that we could get some of the things we needed.  What most people don’t realize about here is that we live in small spaces so buying up on food and supplies is not something that we do here.  You literally just buy what you need fresh and cook it so our food stash consists of a few potatoes, a couple pieces of fruit and some ramen noodles. We still buy one roll of paper towels at a time and 4 rolls of toilet paper at a time.  We did however have the Spam that my friend from the states brought me.  So yesterday I fixed Spam sandwiches for lunch.  Literally we shop every day here for things we need.

We spent all the day together yesterday, I didn’t want to leave his side because now he’s all I’ve got.  I really realized that I had deep love for him and that coming here was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  He gives me love and someone to love which is more that some people have including myself not long ago.  I was happy to just be here with him and taking care of him making sure he took his medicine and just laying by his side when he slept.  It was then I realized that my life had changed and I have changed because of him.

Last night while he slept I watched 3 movies that were on tv.  I think they were there for me honestly, perfectly timed.  The first was The constant Gardner which was about pharma companies here in Africa taking advantage of the people by testing experimental drugs on them.  It’s a great movie if you haven’t seen it and it’s an eye opener for those who are unaware of how big pharma companies are.  Some of the movie was filmed in places set in very rural African countries of the Sudan and Kenya.  One of the lines in the movie by the airplane pilot is, “we are landing on the surface of the moon”, describing the rural area of where the villages were located.  It seemed as if they were a million miles from civilization and they were.  I realized that I felt that way living in Khemisset.  I felt as if I were a million miles away from civilization as I knew it.  The truth is I’m only 45 minutes from what I know to be real civilization.  At times I think I’d be better off being thousands of miles from civilization at least I’d know the real towns were unreachable without many hours or even days of travel.  I think I’d be able to adjust more knowing that what was there is what I had to deal with instead of knowing a bigger town was just within my reach.  I think it would be easier if I had no conveniences of the real world rather than being tantalized by it being just 45 minutes from me.  I was thinking the transition may be easier if I were farther away.

The second movie I watched was A Little Bit of Heaven with Kate Hudson.  It’s about a young woman who’s diagnosed with cancer, she finds her love then dies at a very young age.  It’s a wonderful movie but sad of course.  Then the next movie I watched was Sweet November, yet another movie about a young woman with cancer dying at an early age.  The one common denominator in both of these movies is that each woman just wanted more time.  More time!  They would have given anything once they found their true love to have had more time.  It was then as I lay in my bed next to my love that I realized he has truly given me the greatest gifts of all, he has given me time and love.  For the life of me I have been racking my brain to try to find my happiness and I realized at about 3:30 AM last night that this is my happiness right here.  I knew Mbarek was/is the love of my life but it hit me that what he was giving me would really be the key to me finding my inner happiness.  He was giving me time.  Time to do whatever in the hell I wanted, time to do whatever makes my heart happy, time for me to be truly happy all I had to do was open my eyes and realize it.  I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want for as long as I want.  I don’t have to work, I don’t have to worry about money, I don’t have to worry about paying bills, I don’t have to do anything or really worry about anything.  For the first time in my life I can just live my life as I want without my life dictating me.  Hell I don’t even wear a watch anymore and I really don’t know what time it is until I hear the call for prayer.  My life has ruled me almost for as long as I can remember so it’s nice to be able to just go and not worry about needing to be back at a certain time.  It’s nice to just get lost in the day and do what I want.  I’ve been a major work-a-holic for most of my days on this earth, just trying to get ahead and support myself, have the basic things, food, shelter, a car etc.  Now I have just a bicycle, a small room, very little possessions and I am happy.  I sit here and ask myself how could I be content with so little and what I have realized that I have much right here.  One of my high school teachers pointed out that a comment I made the other day was not one of my finest.  I really thought about that and she was right.  I have been so selfish recently always concentrating on things that don’t matter, concentrating on the fact that there is nothing to do and being bored. There is everything to do absolutely everything so why am I feeling bored?  I ask myself why am I getting all worked up over vegetables and mint? The fact is my time would be best used in other ways and I know that.  I have been given something that is priceless and I’m being given a second chance to make the most of it so I’m going to move forward and embrace even vegetables and mint.  I’m going to stop looking back because there is nothing that will change in the past.  I’m a very lucky girl.  I have good health, love, family, friends and time.  I have what money cannot buy and that makes me very rich!  Today I prayed at length which is something I have not done really for a long time.  I gave thanks to Allah instead of asking for anything.  I am blessed!  So the next time I want to melt down I will reconsider it, instead I will hug my husband tell him I love him and appreciate him then get on my knees and thank Allah for all the gifts in this life.  Life is too short to be depressed, suicidal, or to indulge in any of the activities that tear yourself and others down.  It’s time to revel in the beauty of the simple things like vegetables and mint then go home and thank God that you are alive to have even seen them.  There is no time to indulge in the devil there is only time for happiness and God.

Today has been a great day.  I only hope that what I’m writing will help just one of you that reads my post.  If it helps just one of you then I will feel like my life is really worth it.  Stay positive and smile my friends because there is a lot to enjoy in this life we just have to open our eyes and see it.


Fyi there have been big changes at the airports in Morocco in the wake of the attack in Belgium.  I am very grateful that Morocco has taken measures to keep all of us air travelers safe.  You can no longer see your loved ones to the ticket counter at check in or greet them upon arrival inside the airport.  Those not holding a ticket must remain at a 50+ feet distance from the building and there are armed guards enforcing this.  This makes me feel very safe when traveling to and from Morocco.



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