You Remembered.


It was a hunt for shawarma. Two of my classmates and I had our hearts set on the deliciously seasoned, slow-cooked, traditional Arab meat. We walked around the city of Meknes, Morocco, going in and out of restaurants, asking for this mouth-watering meat. Scouring the city for a good 45 minutes, we eventually re-did the famous tune “Where Are You Christmas” to “Where Are You Shawarma.” Alas, we returned to one of our favorite lunch spots, Café Dallas. Yes, in fact it was named after the city of Dallas in Texas. Covering the walls were pictures of New York City, San Francisco and other American cities. And yes, in fact we had eaten at Café Dallas the day before.

After we ate our long awaited Shawarma, I went to the restroom. When I came out of the bathroom, I was greeted by one of the workers who said “bonjour” to me. I responded with “bonjour” also. Her face lit up and she asked if I was French; I said no. She continued to try and figure out where I was from, asking if I was Japanese or Greek. I was trying to respond with the four Arabic words I knew, but I finally just said “America, The United States.” She was overjoyed with this news and grabbed my hand with both of hers and asked for my name. I headed back to my table after my out-of-the-ordinary bathroom conversation. We paid the bill and headed back to our hotel. As I walked out of the restaurant I heard “au revoir Chelsey”! The woman from the restroom remembered my name and wished me a good day. I gave her a hug and said goodbye as well. Even with our language and cultural differences and barriers, we had a simple interaction that created a beautiful relationship. This interaction was a testament to the amazing people of Morocco who were so interested, hospitable and welcoming to us. It meant so much to me that she remembered my name; I will always remember her face.


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