My "21st" Birthday in Rabat
13.07.2009 - 13.07.2009 75 °F
For those of you who know me really well, it shouldn't surprise you to hear that I don't like getter older. It's not about vanity or the increased responsibility that comes with the added years...but it's the time that you can never get back. As I age, so do my parents and those around me who I care deeply about. I don't want to take time and people for granted because you never know how long you get with them, or how long you have on this Earth. I guess it's also hard for me to think that you only get to experience stages of your life once...I would love to say that age is just a number and that I don't mind blowing out the candles on yet another year...but, as I am inching towards my 30's, waving goodbye to my 20's...I feel nostalgic for those wild and crazy Lair and Cal Poly lacrosse years already. But, I can honestly say that each year gets better and better as I grow, mature, and add life-altering experiences to my rolodex of memories...but, how amazing would it be if we could relive moments - far in the past - all over again?
Therefore, I think you can imagine how elated I was to celebrate my 21st birthday - for the second time!!! And, no, it didn't end with regrettable pictures or embarrassing stories like my first celebration....Inshallah.
The girls within the house planned a fun night out on the town in Rabat for me. The girls were Jami, Kristen, Katie, Mary Fran, Mel, Courtney, Alexandra, and Sara...and they are goofy, smart, caring, adventure-seekers.
They made reservations at a Tex Mex place called El Rancho...I know what you are thinking - nothing says Ciprol like Mexican food in Morocco, right?!? Well, it is supposedly the hip new spot in Agdal, a community within Rabat that is home to Expats and Moroccan socialites. As soon as we sat down, our waiter served us a celebratory tequila shot, on the house...which was later followed by a round of drinks purchased by a group of elderly Texans...yeehaw!! And, while the cosmopolitans came out looking - and tasting - more like a tequila sunrise and the chicken fajita salad was more cheese than salad...it was heavenly!! Some of the girls even walked to a nearby French bakery, picked up a small birthday cake, got to the restaurant early, and gave the desert to our waiter as a surprise. They are so sweet - I am wishing that I could bring them home with me. What incredible friends to have made so quickly. And it should be noted that they gave the waiter a "2" candle and lots of smaller single candles....but, he said I looked 21...and I didn't want to offend him, so I thought it was only fair to go along with it!
We had planned on going out dancing, but the club wasn't open yet, so we spent the rest of our night on the patio of Hotel Bellima sipping on beverages and lapping up the surrounding culture. At 11PM the patio was filled with tables of dread-locked Moroccan men, women groups in burkas, young men in suits smoking cigarettes, and young women in Western clothes speaking a mix of French and Arabic...and some loud women laughing and carrying on in English...hint, hint...
After me, Jami, and Kristen jumped into a petite taxi to return home, Kristen started the "Salam Game" which basically screams "obnoxious Americans". But, Kristen (the gorgeous blond of the group with a Minnesota accent) rolled down the window and yelled, "Salam Alaikum" to any person that we drove by on the street. I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen often in Morocco...nor should it...but, we were surprised by the response. Most men acted very shocked at first, then rebounded with a large smile and wave, or a "Salam!!!". Our taxi driver really got into our little game. He antagonistically started pointing to groups of people, slowing down, waiting for our yell, and then pounding his hands against the steering wheel in fits of laughter. When we got to our house, he said, "Me love Americans. You so funny!"
While I doubt we will continue with this game, it did make for a good laugh last night - and this morning.
Man, it was fun to be 21 again...