questioned They look at each other. 'sharida, sharida...', a discussion in (Moroccan) arabic follows. with a thoughtful look on their faces, the men wave with their hands high in the air. it seems it wasn't clear for them from the start, but after a minute they come to the conclusion about what 'sharida' means.
i'm in meknes, morocco. curious to find out the exact meaning of my name, i asked a few local men about the meaning in arabic.
'it's like, you are here, but your mind is somewhere else... you're thinking of something else, as if your mind is floating'.
this was not the first time i asked somebody with an arabic background for this translation. i also asked the moroccan men in the shawarma restaurant in Amsterdam, my turkish guest in Zanzibar, and the Egyptian friend of my friend.
all of them had that same look, making the same hand gestures, eyes looking up in the sky. 'the person that stays with you, but with his mind in another place', 'anything lost in the dessert', 'the one that strolls along with no place to stay, but keeps on going', 'no real mind direction'... all sounds a bit floaty doesn't it?
i think you get the point.
my parents never knew exactly. they heard the name while queuing for the cinema. instant eye contact was made; both loved the name. but the real decision was only made when i was actually born. romantic isn't it? Knowing from myself that my mind indeed drifts away every now and then, that I can be absent even though i'm present, suddenly made so much sense; my name couldn't describe me better.