Tuesday, June 3, 2008

From Madrid.

So, take all the stereotypes of Morocco, add more heat and twice the tourists and they´re all true.
More of the oppressive Moroccan sun...

A crammed market in Marrakech. Tires you out just to walk around the city it´s so busy.

Typical Arabic architecture, at one of the entrances to the medina.

There were tanneries in Fez, the methods they were using haven´t changed in about 7000 years. That´s a pile of stinky unprocessed wool. The smell really was unbelieveable.

Walking throught the medinas in Fez, Morocco.

I lasted five days in Morocco, with about 200 US dollars. Had to leave Marrakesh because something was ripping through my intestines. I was fevering alone on the top of a hotel one night. Kind of wanted to fly back and sleep in my aunt´s basement bedroom. Could´ve been anything, really. Ice, eggs, dates, fly eggs in my bread. There were flies everywhere. They moved different, too. More aggressive. You would bat them away and one second later they would just be 3 inches away from where they were. Got to me after a while. It´s like they´re really good at being flies, being pests. Which they should be because there´s so many of them in Morocco.

Morocco was a complete culture shock. It´s a muslim society, but a very tolerant one. They speak Arabic, and French to the white people. Lots of beggars, mopeds, bicycles, people moving in every direction. It was so hot there. Incredibly oppressive sun, plus the choking pollution, mouthfuls of diesel fumes, hot stink from black garbage bags, and all the tourists just tired me out. I wish I would´ve made it out of the cities. I was in Tangiers, Fez (which was my favorite) and Marrakech. Fez is the artisanal captital of Morocco. All the best rugs, blankets, leathers and pottery come from here. There is also a renaissance of sorts going on in the medina (old city) of Fez. Lots of people buying up properties and turning them into guesthouses or upscale apartments. I checked around a bit, really not that expensive yet.

Later I´ll put on a video of a call to prayer in Marrakech. The prayers come from all directions when you´re near the medina. The experience is haunting but elicits a respect and curiosity for Islam.

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Hemingway's House

Hemingway's House
In Havana, Cuba.