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The first day in Rabat
Today for the first time I wake under the Rabatian humid sky. For the first time in my life, alone, in a unknown home, away from all family. Morocco has always been to me a family place, too young to make my own friends, that was all I knew. Now in this squeaky bed, inside of this adventure movie like traditional riad home, something feels different. The feeling is so strong I am destabilized and anxiety rushes trough my veins. What am I scared of, the unknown, or my deeply hidden fears. A negated, left away part of me, maybe because of shame, maybe because of pure coincidence. My blood home Morocco went from being my youth home to a place I turned my back on.
Today I will look back, I will walk back. Down the waking medina, passed the Mohamed 6 avenue and back to my father, wating for me with is arms wide open and a smile only the proudest of them fathers could have. I kiss him, and we drive to my old aunt’s home. As Moroccan habit we are welcomed royally and served platters of food like kings. My three aunts live together without husband or children, they live a very humble life, but they share as if they had it all, something unseen in other parts of the world. A resilience to monotony and loneliness, recharged by the next guest visit. There is a warmness in my heart every time I talk to my Aunt Mitou, or when I giggle with Aunt Fati or dramatize on serious issues with Aunt Anisa. Three loving ladies, that kept my faith in Morocco alive, and no matter how, when or in what way, they made me feel that at least, in their small old house, Morocco was my home.
It’s still morning after breakfast and like the last times when I came here, all my documents are outdate, and the couple of days after arriving are strictly reserved to tedious errands with my father. This time waiting for the pasha, waiting here and there, unknow deadlines, redirected in circles. The Moroccan way of course is an art and not a handicap! A way of seeing life, and time, as if they were the single things that most abounded. Maybe that is why they smile more here. But luck is on our side, again… And in less than an hour the paper work is done. How is it possible people here are so dam lucky. My dad knew it all along, for him it was just the way things work, wait and luck will arrive.
We follow up by the second most important thing to do in the whole Moroccan society, chit chat and sip on tea with friends. Since I do not speak enough Arabic to actively enter conversations that don’t have to do directly with me. I stay silent, nod a little and laugh when jokes are made. Sour blurry memories fill my mind, when I was younger, sitting in oversized chairs, in a setting too serious for a child, anxiety boiling, I wanted to play and discover the world not listen to some adult I don’t even know, let out all his arduous opinions on life. And now the same feeling fills me, and all I want to do again is still play and discover the world. On the corner of an old italo-morccan restaurant I start by disconnecting my head and maybe why not, get some writing even, if uncomfortably on my phone notes. But one can only disconnect to an extent, and that same feeling that boiled inside of me when I was 8 peeked out to say hello again. But luck gain… And sooner or later I am out, and I can be back to spend time with the person I am fond to the most in this world : my Dad. I even feel guilty for behaving like a careless teen, but that’s past and time goes fast.
Last of the pillars of errands is the visit to grandpa’s. He has passed away a few years ago and his house is completely abandoned since. One of the strongest feelings of nostalgia and sadness fill me when my dad opens the front rusty door that “Swooshes “like a palm tree broom. My sadness transforms into anger that quickly melts into fear, fear I might once be in the same spot my dad is right now, right there standing besides his son, starring into a dusty forgotten mess. The visit is brief, we will be back soon to do what we really came here for. We head back, but the vision of the forgotten rooms, frozen in time, slowly turning into dust follow me around the city.
Now night has already fallen, so fast, and I am already back to my Moroccan room, alone. A weight comes off with my backpack that I set on the colourful beldi sofa. But luck is not yet done. I will get to meet up with an old friend of mine from first grade in Morocco.
We go have a coffee near the beach, and instantly the almost 15 years that separated our life paths felt like nothing. How amazing is it to connect again with so old friends, I believe our friendship is about to begin again. Nassim has this smoothness from the way he talks to the way he walks, a cool guy indeed. Inspiring in words and energy. We laugh and have a good time sipping on tea and coffee.
When finally back home, now for the third time I start to a sense of comfort walking up the pitch black stairway. But luck has one more surprise for me.
In the kitchen sitting alone, with comfy beats headphones on, Bambino sits on the bench of our shared kitchen. A giant smile and a handshake that felt like a high five is the way we say hi. Little did I know I had met one of the most interesting human beings of my entire life.
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