|In the souq in Rissani|
I just said goodbye to my good friend Jon who came to visit me from New York. We spent a lovely 10 days traveling around Morocco and enjoying the charms of this country.
Taking him around Fes and Morocco resulted in some interesting and revealing interactions, many of which involved language.
Jon speaks a little French and no Arabic, so as his guide I was responsible for interpreting what went one around us. Interpreting require conscious, directed effort. Sometimes this came easily; I'd attentively explain the details of a conversation or subject. Other times, I'd completely disregard Jon's language deficiency and dive head first into a conversation, leaving him behind politely smiling and nodding his head, pretending to follow along.
Since Jon's departure, I've thought a lot about these phenomena. My intention was to be his interpreter, but that only happened in certain circumstances.