Usually at 5pm during the holy month of Ramadan most Moroccan cab drivers are on edge. I hear it’s even worse in Cairo. Fasting isn’t so bad. Not smoking is another matter. The combination of stress, hunger, and withdrawal lead to frequent scuffles and outbursts. This phenomenon is described by the newly created Moroccan verb “t-ramdan” which is often used in the phrase “Ma t-ramdan-sh aleya!” (“Don’t Ramadan on me!”). I have decided to fast through the rest of the month for reasons that now escape me. Intensive classes in darija (the colloquial spoken here) are in full swing and I’ve moved in with a host family, The Eljai’s, in the Old City of Fez. I’m here with another Fulbrighter who we’ll call Andrew, because that’s his real name. We are frequently visited upon by a bald Parisian hairdresser named Richard (pronounced RiiiiiishARD) who runs a Bed & Breakfast next door and an eccentric couple from the U.K. who tutor my host brother and host sister in English. I like to think of my life as a Moroccan Seinfeld.
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