How I learned to rinse off very quickly in the shower

First, to re-establish the main premise here: Morocco is amazing. The people are nice, the food is good, it’s beautiful, there are tons of stars over the ocean at night, and I love it. There are a few little things that come up, though, as part of living in a less-developed area of a less-developed country.

For one thing, the water goes off a lot.

They’re repairing(?) the sewage system in the town, and have apparently being doing so for close to a year now. The streets are mostly destroyed – ditches and holes everywhere, and one section of the town is closed off to traffic unless you drive quite a long way around.

This is my street, if “street” is the right word to use here

There’s a lot of activity each day, at confusing hours that don’t seem to follow any particular schedule. And they turn off the water without warning whenever they need to (though usually only for an hour or so at a time). It makes things like cooking and showering very exciting! So far the water hasn’t gone off while I’m covered in soap, but I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time. Last night the water went off for about an hour at around 8pm, which was the most confusing time so far. It’s DARK at 8pm here, and surely there wasn’t any construction happening then?

It also makes navigating the streets extra challenging, sort of like an obstacle course. It’s a fun test of navigation skills and balance during nice days, but we’ve also been having frequent downpours. When it rains here a few things happen:

  1. The dirt here has a lot of clay in it, so the whole town becomes a steeply graded skating rink with bonus rocks, and the ditches become ponds.
  2. There are lots (lots) of street dogs and street cats and street chickens and street goats…. so aside from the clay-filled mud that somehow manages to be the most slippery substance known to humankind while also sticking to everything, the streets have a very high fecal content that mixes in to the dirt when it rains. Suffice to say: this is really not the kind of mud you want to face-plant in.
  3. Remember how they’re fixing the sewage system? It’s not fixed yet. There are several gullies leading from the town into the ocean that are… fragrant at the best of times. After a good rain, you definitely don’t want to swim in the ocean for a bit.

Speaking of rain, when it happens it sometimes washes away important things, like bridges. Apparently last year the bridge between this town and the next one washed away, and wasn’t repaired for a month or so. Or rather, they repaired it a little bit after a week or two, by putting down a footbridge of sorts, and then they ran an informal taxi relay because the bridge is between here and the airport, and there’s no other good way around.

None of this is really much of a problem, it’s more of a feature. It helps me remember that I’m somewhere new!

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