Stealing Fatima's Hand

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Vox Humana Books, 2010 - Morocco - 350 pages
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Stealing Fatima's Hand is an unforgettable collection of interconnected narratives presenting an alternative view of Morocco - a country not of labyrinthine alleys, Kasbahs, and smoky tea rooms - but a more madcap Morocco, one left to be discovered after all the coach tours depart.Imagine the impossible: one finds oneself in a heady and mysterious locale on the edge of North Africa, a country replete with colorful characters, incomprehensible customs and taboos, a spoken language lacking an alphabet, often frustrating religious practices and, in spite of all this capital 'E' exoticism, one still doesn't want to marry a local? Or turn a decrepit ryad into a boutique hotel? Or write for the travel page in the Sunday paper? Carolyn Th riault does more than imagine it.After making a rather drunken New Year's Resolution to toss aside their conventional lifestyle and pension plans, Carolyn, a somewhat cynical, snarky ex-pat and self-proclaimed square-peg, with her photographer husband Chris decide to walk away from their comfortable jobs in the Land of the Round Doorknobs (Canada) to travel the world. Because their long-suffering attempts at financial independence (weekly lottery tickets) have not borne any fruit, the only apparent means to rectify this situation they believe is to teach English overseas. And Morocco seems to fit the bill. But does it?Unconventional and candid - Stealing Fatima's Hand stands out as an irreverent black sheep in the literary travel genre, succeeding in undoing for Morocco everything that Peter Mayle has done for Provence. The book spans two years of Carolyn's experiences in Rabat, where with humor and honesty she struggles with Moroccan bureaucracy, sexual harassment, the threat of terrorism, devious students, randy co-teachers, and the temptation of having French pastries washed down with gin & tonics for every meal. All this in a country, where apart from her, the only vegetarians are the sheep and the goats.
 

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Contents

Prologue
1
Leaving the Land of the Round Door Knobs
5
a Tale in Four Parts
8
A Ramadan Haiku
14
The Almost Dead Letter Office
18
Parking 101
22
The Silence of the Sheep
24
Toxic Emissions
30
My Foot Fetish
180
Let Them Eat Cake
183
Negative Thoughts or In Shallah Film Developing
185
Return of the Red Tape Follies
188
The Neighborhood Hanoot
202
Come With Me to the Kasbah
206
A Momentous Moroccan Moment
208
Pussy Cat Pussy CAT
209

The Three Weird Sisters
33
A Longwinded Tale of Three Hair Cuts
34
Stealing Fatimas Hand with a Brief Preamble
41
Rage Against the Silver FourDoor Machine
44
Up in Smoke
47
An Authentic Berber Experience
50
My Life as a Leopard
74
THE BIG BILL PRODUCTION WITH A LENGTHY PREAMBLE
87
An Arresting Development
93
The Incredible Shrinking Pajamas
99
A Moroccan Haiku
101
Cars and Coulrophobia
106
The Barbary Pirates of the 21st Century
109
12 Things I Like About Rabat
111
Portrait of a King
118
Martinis Mischief
120
Pride and Prejudice Redux
126
You Must Have the Couscous
129
Close But No Cigar
131
a Dilemma
133
Nightmare on Elm Street Avenue Atlas
135
The Princess and The Petit Taxi
137
Adjusting to Morocco
140
Reindeer in Rabat
143
My Dirty Secret
146
In Hot Water
149
Terminal Velocity
152
Soap Sell
153
How I Almost Became an International Terrorist
154
Pitching a Tent
156
My Bra Is Loaded and Im Not Afraid To Use It
159
The Culinary Lamentations of a Traveling Untouchable
161
Hey Mr Tambourine Man
163
An Andalucían Haiku
164
A Travelers Cautionary Saga of Woe in Three Parts
165
Oh Buoy
172
Its Over
174
Allahs Alley Cats
177
My Darling Clementines
210
Road Out of Morocco
213
Ruminations on a Tangerine or Two
216
Da Veni da Vidi da Vinci Code
221
A Few Parenthetical Thoughts about the Spanish Inquisition
226
Walking in a Moroccan Winter Wonderland
231
Genuine Morocco Bound
234
Slippery Slope
237
A Brief Disquisition into Gender Issues in Morocco
240
Soon to be a Moroccan Classic
243
A Rabatian Haiku
245
Pulling the Plug
246
Some like It Hot
252
On Cannons and Princesses
255
The Curious Incident of the Gregorian Monks in the Night
258
an Undiscovered Novella by Franz Kafka
261
Beggars Banquet
267
Mulling Over the Mawlid
273
Nunzilla
278
Catwoman in Rabat
281
If You Were the King
285
How to Become a Millionaire
288
A Lobsters Tale
293
The Island
296
A Little Afternoon Wine
299
The Island Redux or On Rabbits Frogs
301
Deus ex Machina
304
Nancy Drew The Mystery of the Exploding Thong
305
Trainspotting
312
Just Desserts
316
Wheres the Kaboom?
318
Sin City
320
Eyewitness to an Unveiling
323
The Politics of Sex Some Minor MarrakechBashing
326
Dog Days Dogma
329
Color by Numbers
331
Strait Stuff
333
Copyright

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