Thursday, June 24, 2010
I miss the creativity of American Life
I probably need to read back through this website to remind myself a little bit of the things i don't miss. One thing I know for sure is that I miss the inherent creativity of life in America. I miss the possibilities to grow your own food and raise your own chickens and the art walks and the parties and sense of community. In Morocco tradition rules. You cannot even be creative about the food you serve and in what order it must be served at parties. The American in me is always trying to mix things up, try new recipes, inflict my sense of culinary adventure on potential visitors and party guests. But that is not how it works. That is scandalous. So when the girls have their first birthday party/announcing to the community that two new muslim babies have been born traditional things must happen. No venturing with recipes, none of my veggies and mole enchiladas served up. Will there be cake? Yes but it will be store bought to serve everyone from the finest patisserie so that people won't call us cheap or comment nasty things about us. The same food and the same procession of drinks - first juice, then mint tea, then sodas will be served in that order.
As a visitor to this country and a guest at one of these parties it is down right charming, the tradition, the magic, the wonderful cookies and the yummy dishes served, the traditional clothing and all of the people gathering for hours to chill out and eat without alcohol. But as a resident of this country and someone who attends these parties on a regular basis (though I do still love getting the invites) it feels downright suffocating (and tiring and expensive to do it right).
So we compromised (which is what an intercultural relationship is all about). We will have two separate parties. One for their birthday and that will be ours and we will invite friends and I will make whatever I want to make and we will celebrate making it through this year and the other for the community (and for their Dad so that his obligation to do this is fulfilled) and we will invite everyone and their mother (literally). Oh yeah and we will have to slaughter two sheep at the community thing. I don't have to watch. And they will be donated to charity, which I like. Poor people will eat good meals because my daughters were born.