The Thief of Joy

I used to think of culture shock as a cop-out illness named by weaklings. Then, the summer I turned 20, karma got around to me.

That summer, I moved to Morocco. And I would be just fine, thank you very much, because all the struggles that anyone had ever faced when moving to another country came from the fact that they were somehow less than what I thought I was.

And that illusion lasted until about three weeks into my trip.

Around that time, my brain rebelled. I felt discombobulated and nauseated in class. I became inexplicably recalcitrant toward my teacher—yes, me, recalcitrant, toward a teacher. It felt as though my body were rejecting the Arabic language.

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