Today was a really nice day because I finally got Skype to work in spurts. It was talk to my mom and Daniel. I think mom was getting desperate because she sent me an email with the subject "Call Collect". We talked for a long time!
This afternoon I dressed to go to the beach in my swimsuit, shorts, and a t-shirt. I have seen more European people, and considering what some of them were wearing on the beach, I felt safe to venture out. Don't get me wrong, I love Europeans, just not their beach attire! I wanted to go back to a shopping center we went to last night, and go to the beach from there. It is all in our resort area, which is protected by a main gate. So I thought I was pretty safe to go about in shorts and a t-shirt. Modestly dressed according to western standards. Shortly (no pun intended) after arriving at the shopping center I realized I was sadly mistaken. There were many more traditionally dressed, Middle Eastern men, and certainly more women in burkas than there had been the night before. I have never been looked at with such disgust in my life. It was quite blatent. I honestly had just gone to pick up a few post cards, and decided to sit, have some Morrocan tea and do some writing home. Some of the stores I went in would not even acknowledge my presence, other than to let me know with the stares what they were thinking.
This is the second time on this trip I made a similar mistake. When we went skiing in the mall, they gave us our ski gear to change into. I went into the women's changing room (much like a locker room) to change into my ski gear. I could feel all eyes in the place on me, but continued on about my business. When I had finished skiing I took my regular clothes in the changing room to put them back on. I looked up to see a notice, in plain sight and in English, stating that when changing clothes to use the private changing rooms.
So I am sad to say I haven't done much for the female Western culture on this trip other than to perpetuate the already popular notion that we are. . .well . . . less than modest, obnoxious westerners. I guess they didn't catch a glimpse of the speedos I saw the other day!
On a more positive note, we went to a cocktail reception hosted by the manager of the hotel. It was nice, and then we went to the top floor for dinner. I had ravioli with leeks and saffron rice pudding for dessert. Different, but tasty! I have to say, the view of this city is breathtaking. I am amazed at just how beautiful it is here. A true oasis!
So my question is this. . . what cultural faux pas have you committed? Can't wait to read this!
P.S. I just got into my laundry that I had sent earlier today to be cleaned. DUDE! They ironed my pajamas!!!!!!!