Friday, October 24, 2008

Drowned World

Fall has officially begun; it has been raining non-stop for two days now.* In its underwater state, Rabat is everything but a muted world. The layer of water that covers the city like a blanket creates a prism that reflects its colors – the white, blue, black, yellow, and red of the mosaic tiles everywhere – even more brightly, it seems, than does the sun; an effect that is doubled by the colorful umbrellas that now crowd the narrow streets. The busy sounds from the street are now accompanied by the persistent background patter of drops on pavement, aluminum roofs and plastic sheets; and everywhere people are running, and huddling under awnings, as life goes on unabated. The rain does not keep Moroccans inside.

My house centers around a courtyard that has been covered, incompletely, by plastic panels. The rain has created small pools of water on the tile floor. Walking from living room to kitchen has become an obstacle course of jumping between puddles and making sure you don’t slip, made more challenging by the occasional distraction of a drop of rain, falling through the openings in the roof, and landing on the tip of your nose.

The openness of the roof also means that it has begun to cool down considerably at night. While I sleep comfortably under my warm blanket, it does not make my cold bathing sessions in the morning any easier…

*Ilyas told me that it has not rained like this in Morocco for 30 years. There have been small showers here and there, of course, but never a downpour such as the one we’ve been witnessing these past few days. Needless to say, the country is happy: this is a boon for agriculture.

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