Wednesday, 16 May 2007

On the other side of the border

I live in a small town in the north of Morocco, quite close to the Spanish border. I think this is a great place to live in, because we have the best of both worlds. Morocco is really something different, it has nothing to do with life in Europe. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, because life in Morocco is much more spiritual, less stressful, easygoing... I really enjoy living here and this is my home now.

Today I crossed the border and went to Spain for a few hours. I'm totally exhausted! Most people don't know that Spain has two cities in the north of Africa (Ceuta and Melilla), so I don't have to go to the mainland to enjoy the European way of life. I usually go to Ceuta a few times a month, just for the joy of being among "my people" again, speaking Spanish, eating Spanish food, looking and dressing like "everybody else". I really do need my "Spanish days", to get new energy and go back home to Morocco tired but happy. When you live abroad you realize that what you miss the most are those small little details you never thought about before. Things like being able to speak to anyone, understanding the "secret social codes", having a beer with my friends, going to the movies, being able to read the headlines on the newspapers... But life in Spain is so much more stressful, so it feels great to come back home, take off my shoes and say "Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home".