What does one talk about when one doesn’t understand the other’s language?
Youssef, and I played music to each other and discovered that we share similar taste.
He likes Rock…hard rock. I played him AC/DC. He played us Simple Plan and Metallica. I played Beach Boys, and Beatles. And then Youssef saw that I had Bob Marley. “I like Marley.”
See… common ground. You can always find something in common with someone.
And we have talked politics, President of U. S. and King of Morocco. World politics, the unstrife going on in neighboring countries, imigrants, refugees, jobs, inflation, cost of living, health insurance, medical- in Morocco, the hospitals are free, but not quality doctors/ care vs the clinics that have good doctors and care, but charge lots of money. Same belief with education system-public is free, but not good, private is better, but you pay. Primary grades are charged $125 a month. Students are picked up via school bus at 7 am. The students come back home for 1.5 hour lunch, then go back to school and return at 6:30 pm.
Teachers start at $30 / hour for one student if they want to tutor.
We talked about babies; having them, where to have them- midwife or doctor, home or hospital. Women have babies in the hospital with epidural.
Young women are having fewer babies. One to two, due to high cost of caring for them. And women working outside of the home. Difficult time to find jobs. Refugees come in and do the same work for less money, but the King continues to import tech jobs for his people.
People also leave to work in Dubai, only to find out that it is too expensive to live there, food is not good, and the hours worked are long, difficult, and they aren’t treated nice.
We talked about discrimination, racist beliefs in both our countries.
We talked about marriage. Youssef wanted to marry Flower Power, but her dad told him no, that he wasn’t good enough for her. He continued to seek her as his wife. Her dad kept saying no, that she was in college and not to be his wife… he would need to have a house first.
Youssef, kept at it for 5 years! He got the house and then her dad said yes. Very different from the way things happen in the states.
We talked about food. Organic, pesticides, buying produce, shopping, eating out ( they don’t- not healthy, costs too much), raising animals for meat, growing produce. Flower Power shops everyday at little neighborhood market/ window, from produce, meat, fish carts. Her daily job is cooking, cleaning, laundry, raising children, taking care of mother and in-law.
Next year, we are invited to go to their family home in the countryside. It is a working farm, 12 hour bus ride, or 6 hours by car. We are all going to go on a road trip!
We are all different, but the same. We share common interests, concerns, thoughts…we all want to be good human beans.