Yesterday, instead of taking the bus, Kate, Isabel, and I walked back to Agdal after school ended.
I like that I’ve recently gotten into a habit of walking everywhere: from the thirty-minute walks with Kate to and from Saturday French class, to just walking around Agdal and finding WiFi cafés where I can complete college applications.
Back in the US, I’ve always wanted to walk back home from Raleigh Charter at least once, but I’d have had to pick an early release day because I live a forty-minute drive (so six-hour walk!) away from downtown Raleigh. School here, though, is close to where I live—an hour-long walk. But walking home comes with its own
First: the map! I learned my lesson over the weekend, when Kate and I got lost while walking to a Halloween party because 1) Facebook Maps had given me a different location than the actual location, 2) neither of our phones has mobile data, and 3) we knew the address but not any nearby landmarks. Back in NC, what I did when it came to finding a location was looking it up on Google before I left and then slowly figuring it out once I got in the general area. Here, though, addresses don’t really exist (i.e. they technically are present, but you can’t always Google an address and expect it to know where you’re going), and navigation happens by landmarks.
Second: since three of us wanted to walk home, we had to do it on a Thursday. Isabel and I are in Science Maths, and Kate’s in Science Éco—and on the days that we don’t leave at different times, we have meetings or classes at AMIDEAST right after school.
Third: making sure that it wouldn’t rain. I seriously thought it would rain, because the sky looked like this for the whole day:
But it didn’t rain! It was windy, though, which was completely fine, especially with the eighty-five degree weather.
So we walked home. Before meeting Kate back at school to walk home, though, we Science Maths students walked around a little bit of Takadoum and Souissi (neighboring neighborhoods of Rabat) with our friend, Houda, who lives in the area. It’s a combination of lots of little parts that make me appreciate things like long walks.
Highlights of yesterday’s walking:
- discovered a delicious boulangerie; Houda’s family buys bread there. Also, saw a pet store for the first time in Morocco!
- Khalti Amina and 3ammi Wardi, the bus auntie and bus uncle on our route, waved when they passed us. 3ammi Wardi slowed down the bus, looked at us, shrugged his shoulders, and jokingly said, “Shnu?” (“what”) Gosh, I love the people running my bus route so, so much. I forgot 3ammi Wardi’s name once, and now, whenever he sees me, he says “3ammi?” (“uncle” in Darija), expecting me to complete it with “Wardi.” !!!
- crossed a six-lane street by taking it slow, one lane at a time
- found out from Isabel and Kate that the little rooms outside the villas are for security guards
- walked around the Hilton Forest to get home b/c the forest was closed for insecticides
- wore sunglasses in cloudy weather because of lots of wind (I feel like a badass wearing sunglasses even though they impede your vision)
- walked in two very different parts of Rabat. It seems like everything changes once you reach Souissi (where there are lots of villas everywhere and it’s mostly residential, pretty but kind of an artificially pretty feel).
- just felt so good to be outside, I do most of my exercise at the gym nowadays so being around fresh air and sun and people energizes me so much.
I look forward to walking home again in the future!! Can’t wait.