Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Value of Communication

You learn very quickly how much you take the ability to communicate for granted when you are taken to a place where you can't communicate. I never was particularly fond of English before, now I feel I am deeply in love with it. It's just so easy, right? Being able to talk without thinking. Put endings on verbs without even trying. And have access to a vocabulary with countless words. My vocabulary in Darija is so extremely limited right now and I talk as if I am a 3-year-old child. There is so much I want to say and so much I want to know, but I literally can't. I have found that I have two personalities here in Morocco. There is Layla, my personality in Darija. She is quite, reserved, keeps to herself. Gets frustrated easily when problems arrise with lauguage. She really doesn't say much of value. But on the other hand there is Alex, the girl who can talk to her hearts content. Joke and laugh whenever she wants. Say exactly what is on her mind and in her heart. The two cross a little bit once in a while. Sometimes I catch Layla laughing hysterically when Malika, my host mother, is playfully beating up Taha, my host brother.

One of the best lack of communication stories I have so far happened last weekend when we traveled to another town. Our taxi driver pulled up at the taxi stand and we were trying to tell him we would like him to take us to the "Auberge". We thought that was the name of our hotel. We were quite sure of ourselves. He kept trying to ask us "which one?" We had no idea how there could be more that one "Auberge" because we though it was the name of the hotel. We come to find out later that "auberge" means youth hostel. He was trying to ask us which youth hostel we wanted to go to because naturally there were multiple ones in the big city we were in. So if we were speaking English this is how we would sound:

Us: We want to go to the youth hostel.
Taxi driver: Which one?
Taxi driver: There is more than one.
Us: No really the youth hostel, take us to the youth hostel.