Yesterday I worked on a scene set in Marrakesh all day, and I did some flipping through guide books, and some googling, and by the time Jim and I were trying to decide on a restaurant to go to for dinner, I really wanted Moroccan food! But I discovered that apparently the only Moroccan restaurants in Portland are big belly-dancery affairs where you sit on poufs and eat mass-produced four-course meals. You know, all ambiance, like for birthday parties and stuff? That wasn't quite what I was looking for. But we did find a "Mediterranean" restaurant (Lauro Kitchen) that serves Spanish, Portuguese, and North African-inspired dishes, and we went there. Good choice! I had a chicken tagine with pistachio couscous (though the photo there is a beef tagine I just swiped off the internet), and Jim had pork loin in plum sauce, which was a bit less Moroccanish, but yummy. And there wasn't a belly dancer to be seen. Not that I'm against belly dancers or anything. But, you know.
I am massively craving travel to an exotic country -- Morocco in particular. Poring over the guidebooks isn't helping. You know, you can go to the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert, Casablanca, Marrakesh, Fez, Mediterranean beaches, Berber souks. . . all in that one country! Sigh. And the mint tea. . . I've been reading about how they prepare and serve it. Very interesting. They hold the tea pot at head height and aim the tea down into those tiny decorative glasses, and it forms a head, like a glass of beer. Cool, no? Sadly, it is highly unlikely -- I would go so far as to say improbable -- that we will be traveling there any time soon. I can't quite bring myself to say "impossible" though I am sure that, tragically, it is true. Sigh. Maryam, have a glass of mint tea for me, and, I don't know, pet a peacock :-)
So anyway, after Morocco, we went to India! That is, we finally saw Slumdog Millionaire and it is SOOOO GOOOOOD! DO try to see it.
Now, I'm headed back to Marrakesh, where I left my main character taking tea with an Amazigh (Berber) graverobber. . .
On a totally separate note, I've discovered, through a chance email comment, a fellow parasite enthusiast! That is, Portland YA author Christine Fletcher, whose Cybil-short-listed Ten Cents a Dance I started reading last night (so far: SO GOOD). Turns out we're both kind of in love with parasites and could go on talking about them happily for hours! Who knew? Turns out she's even taught Parasitology to veterinary students, so she knows a lot more than me, a mere amateur parasite-lover!