Undone Home

by

Rushing cars, bustling people, flashing lights. I am stunned to silence. This is normal? Am I supposed to be used to this? Why is everyone rushed? Why do people need to be loud? Where are the smiles? I am no longer in morocco and I can feel it.

Tight pants and short skirts, barely long enough to count as skirts, line the sidewalks. I can’t help but stare, barely remembering that over a week ago I wouldn’t have noticed. Where are the vibrant colors? Where are the headscarves? Why am I the only one in pants?

The Spain I met three weeks ago does not seem to be the same Spain I am reconnecting with now. Exhaustion from travel clouds my thoughts–I just want to sit and eat. The corner cafe looks fine.

We walk inside where there are barely any seats. Where are the empty cafes?

“Hola,” a server says.

It seems even more foreign than before. Reaching for a menu I am overwhelmed with choices. Where is my salad? What about my tea? We order a few items to fight our hunger. Trying to have a conversation seems impossible with so many people around talking loudly and fast. The red glare of the restaurant’s tables and logo talks louder than those at the table around us.

No rest. No break. Go, go, go.

Conversation is brought to a halt and attention is turned to the tv. American music videos dominate the screen. This is what we are known for? Where is the Moroccan rap? The unique cultural experience? I am repulsed. How do we watch this? What is the point?

No meaning is found. Just empty words and heartless phrases.

Disjointed. Is this normal? I want a greeting with a kiss. I want smiles and hellos. I want covered arms and flowing scarves.

The food is eaten. Good but not special. Maybe only good because of the dyer hunger. Satisfied? Sure. At home? No. The check arrives and is paid.

“Shukran,” I whisper. It is not the custom here, but nothing is.

Maybe home isn’t this familiarity. Maybe it’s community. It’s the hug and kisses you get upon meeting a new friend. It’s being family just by walking through the front door. It’s knowing you are taken care of not by one, but by many. Home is here. Home is across the ocean. Home is where I find those I love.

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