While Dave and I were in Vietnam, a postcard came to the house from the Royal Mail, saying that they were holding a special letter for me that required a signature. Of course I didn't get the card until we got home on Sunday morning, and I promptly arranged redelivery of the letter for Tuesday.
I wasn't sure what it could be -- visions of some forgotten delinquent bill or mysterious legal proceeding were dancing in my head -- but it was actually a nice surprise. My friend Mark from my years in the U.S. Peace Corps (1992-94) sent me a flash drive full of photos he'd taken during our time as volunteers in Morocco.
Apparently he sent similar drives to several people from his college and Peace Corps years. I promptly sat down and scrolled through the photos, and got a kick out of walking down memory lane.
These particular pictures were taken on August 2, 1992, exactly 26 years ago today. I know this because I wrote about this outing in my journal the next morning:
"Rabat was really fun yesterday. The pollution cleared out and we had a nice, cool sea breeze, and the skies were still slightly gray so the sun wasn't really intense. I went downtown and met up with Kelly and Liz and we went to Mohammed V's mausoleum -- it was beautiful! So ornate and well-kept -- obviously a prime tourist attraction. It was on a peak overlooking the river and the view was really sweeping -- all of Salé, and the river out to the sea. Then we had lunch at Cafe Milano (more pizza!) and walked down toward the medina. We met up with Jo and Mark, and they went with us all through the medina and to the kasbah, the old fortification on the river. Again, a great view -- this time of the beach, which was really jammed with people. We sat at a cafe where I drank water and then shopped the medina for a while. I really like the medina -- it's old, crumbling and dirty but so Moroccan, unlike the French parts of the capital. I didn't really buy anything but I explored a lot."
Above, from left to right: Jo, Liz, me, Kelly. I think that's the kasbah wall behind us, but I'm not sure. In the top photo, which apparently Liz took with Mark's camera, you can see Mark standing on the right.
This must be the cafe where I drank water. Everyone else seems to be having a beer. What a wet blanket I was!
(By the way, in case you're wondering, here's the backstory on the t-shirt I'm wearing. The Fog City Diner is in San Francisco, and was featured in a national TV commercial for Visa in 1990. When I went to San Fran the following year, with my friend Arthur, I made sure we ate there. From my journal, June 1991: "That night we went to the Fog City Diner, which I desperately wanted to go to ever since I saw it in a Master Card (sic) commercial. I even suspended my vegetarian vows, and ordered yellow-tail jack at the restaurant. For some reason, though, I was kind of down that night. I was really getting crushed by the thought of returning to work. And the restaurant wasn't as ritzy as I'd hoped -- I wanted a dressy place but it was very casual.")
Anyway, I got a kick out of seeing Mark's photos, most of which I don't remember seeing before. It's also cool to be able to link them to my journal -- illustrating the benefits of putting the journals online and thus making the content searchable. That long project, of transcribing them all to a private blog, is very close to finished. I think I may get it done this week!