Monday, August 20, 2007

Work, work, work...

After spending the last couple of weeks travelling and generally not doing any useful academic work and convinced that this could only mean that I am indeed *not* cut out for the glittering academic career which *ahem* lies before me, as soon as out Acima/Marjane shopping extravaganzas were safely over, I found myself getting back to work as easily as if I had never left it.

This morning though, we were wicked and decadent and went to our friendly neighbourhood luxury hotel and spent the morning swimming in the pool and lazily dozing in the sun, inventing lives for all the people around us. Why do you come to Marrakech and stay by the pool all day? Maybe they haven't though - maybe they're just back from exploring the country from Tangiers to the Western Sahara and are taking a well-deserved reward. Maybe they hate the idea of being here, but they got a good deal on the hotels and flights. Maybe they *thought* they'd love it, but were scared to death by the Djemma on their first day and haven't set foot outside the hotel in days. Maybe they are enjoying their holiday and taking a perfectly reasonable swim in the pool for an hour before they go out exploring and are completely undeserving of any criticism at all. It does make me sad though when people come here and stay in the Ville Nouvelle and make reluctant, nervous dashes into the Medina and stare in horror when you tell them that not alone have you only ever stayed in the Medina, but that you live there now.

PS I'm afraid that I'm going to have to disappoint my readers and decline to give a lengthy explanation of my dissertation (which is indeed somewhat more specific than just "Paul Bowles", you will be relieved to learn). Apart from anything else, no doubt you would all rush off to publish my earth-shattering ideas yourselves and make millions and leave me starving in the gutter while Hollywood beats down your door for the film rights... It is hard to know how much detail people want anway - when you are in a university environment and somebody asks what you do, the answer you usually give is a brief overview of your research, but when you are in a non-academic environment and someone asks you that question, the answer "A PhD" usually receives a polite smile and *sometimes* "Oh, how nice; what in?" to which "English" almost always suffices. I have no idea who my readers are (god, you might even be potential employers) so I'm going to stick to talking about Marrakech for now.

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