Moving to Morocco, Part 1

Cockroaches.

This was the first thing I saw when I entered what what to become my home for at least the next year. I was in a country I’d never visited, starting a new job in a school I’d never seen, and this was to be my sanctuary when life came at me too hard and fast while I was on this new a terrifying adventure. And it was full of cockroaches.

Dead cockroaches. Huge ones. These were not the wimpy, tiny little Minnesota cockroaches, anemic from too-long winters and obsessive sanitation. No, these were fat, juicy, long-legged medjool date-style cockroaches. Fed on the olive oil and couscous and lamb fat and long, languid, salty summers.

The man from my school who was there to help me move in promptly stepped on one of them accidentally, smearing its gelatinous insides on my floor. I tried not to gag. He had busied himself trying to get the metal bars open that stood between me and my terrace, which looked out over the Atlantic ocean. That stood between me and the fresh, salty sea air that I desperately needed right at that moment. And they wouldn’t budge. That salty sea air had rusted them right in their place, had fused them together, and no amount of man muscle was going to change that.

My heart started up. I needed a drink. Had they stocked us up on wine? I scanned the kitchen. Yes, yes they had, those blessed, blessed people. Those people from my school. My school. I say “my”, but it wasn’t mine yet, it was only a vague image in my mind. An image of a school, the reason I was here, the thing that brought me half way across the world, alone. I took a deep breath. It’s OK. You’re OK. They will get those bars open. They will. You will find a broom and sweep up these dead bugs. You will make this place beautiful. It will happen. Just not today.

I said my good-byes to the People From The School, with promises that they would be back tomorrow with tools and get the gate open. I thanked them, closed the door, and exhaled. I commenced kicking the dead cockroach bodies out of the way for now, inhaled. Exhaled. Closed my eyes.

What. The hell. Was I doing. Here.

Continue reading Part 2 here…

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