ok. i just erased an entire blog. damn it. starting again is very hard!!!!
ok. i arrived in marrakech after some difficul travels. i hadn’t been sure that i would go in the end, but the path opened up before me as if by magic. i found myself transported there so easily, it seemed silly that i had considered not going at all.
marrakech was the first stop and i got to my guest house – riad as they call them- grace of my driver, who walked me there. the streets were remarkably empty and i wondered if i had chosen a bad location for my riad – i had just booked it a couple of days before. i was received by a lovely young berber man named zaid, completing his first week of what they call a stage there. a kind of internship. he made me berber tea – basically mint with a large helping of sugar – and showed me the guesthouse: high ceilings, roof terrasse, and my room which i would be sharing with three german girls. berbers are not muslim, but nomadic people who live in the desert and have their own religion and culture.
when i descended, i found another berber man named kudus there, rolling a spliff of what he called happiness. he told me and another recent arrival, a mexican man named ozziel, to feel at home there. and we certainly did. that night ozziel and i went in search of the only vegetarian restaurant in marrakech: earth cafe. we got derailed but eventually found ourselves having the loveliest meal i had the entire time i was in morocco: a veggie tagine with wonderful spices and a moroccan salad to start. a couple of men were there in traditional dress playing traditional music on the oud and a hand drum. they were supberb.
when we left the restaurant, the streets were full of all the life that had been missing before. we surmised this to be from a combination of the heat during the day and the fact that it was ramadan, a time when muslims neither eat nor drink from 4 am to 7:30 pm. not even water, which seems quite dangerous in that heat! people stayed out all night, making noise, eating, celebrating.
the next day ozziel and i visited the old palace, mostly ruins now. it was a lot like the disney version of alladin and fun to imagine a chubby little sultan holding court there amid the flowers and pools.
the last day in marrakech i neeeded to take care of some travel plans and so didn’t leave the riad till it was time to head to the bus station with my german roommates, with whom i was taking the bus to essaouira. the day was very hot and we were excited about the thought of going to a beach town, where, by all accounts, the climate was much more bearable: 70s rather than 100s.
ok, i had thought to talk of essaouira here, but lost a bunch of time by erasing everything, so that will have to be the next installment!
love and miss,