As teachers and foreigners, I know that we are largely expendable. We are often seen as tetchy and unreliable, likely as not to be repelled by the culture we find ourselves and unimpressed by local agreements. But this is not me. I didn't want to leave, sweetheart, and you know nothing short of a medical emergency could have separated me from you. You still ring true to my heart.
With you on my mind, the most encouraging development this week has been the affordable price of a ticket from Istanbul to Casablanca. I will come back to you. For now, I must leave. Leaving once more, and arriving in a familiarly perplexing landscape, are foremost on my mind.
Bursa! What does it mean? Wide stone plazas, quiet round pools of water beneath gently the sloping broad domes of the mosque, slender round minarets towering outside. Chaotic traffic in the roundabouts nearby. Flourishing gardens. Cafés. All in Turkish!
In other words, I have no idea what to expect. After 4 months of rotting in isolation, I will rejoin humanity in a properly welcoming civilization. Enough of this American smile-and-nod duplicity! Enough of unseen transgressions and quietly seething at misperceived arrogance! I must get over expectations of Moroccan similarity; I am sure that the Turks would bristle at this. But I will keep mumbling in Arabic anyway. And I will still miss my friends and my adorable Jiji. I hope she is all right.