Monday, March 12, 2007

Morocco Day 5

The good news is that I finally found a hi speed internet place, in the old town where I stay, and with a somewhat English keyboard. Picture a keyboard that has Arabic figures and the english letters are all in different places. I am not going to even think about spell check at this point, just happy to have got this far. The bad news is serious tummy turmoil, from what I do not know. Thank god for my little first aid kit and Toms magic tummy pills. I managed a triple scoop bowl of gelato today so far and it only cost thirty cents cdn. I still remember the same gelato in Italy for several dollars in price. I expect to eat little more as the day goes on. The other bad news is that there will be no postcards. I promptly lost my little black book with all the addresses. I would appreciate some of the important ones emailed to me

Morocco, how can I best describe it?

The smells
Dried Donkey dung dust whipped up by evening winds. Endless rows of aromatic spice stalls. Incense mixed with essence of latrine. The exhaust of thousands of little scooters racing along the streets and through the back alleys. Hashish burning in late night dark corners.The smoke from dozens of food stalls that magically appear each afternoon and gone by the morning.

The sights
Beggars on every corner in the most horrendous conditions. Wealthy Moroccans in rich flowing gowns and fashionable sunglasses. Back streets lined with small stores and shops with storekeepers shouting and tugging at your sleeves. Thousands of tourists and locals of every flavour and nationality like I have never experienced before and they are crammed together into the smallest of spaces. Everything is well utilized here especially space. It is just like a ongoing movie. And cats everywhere.

The noise
Endless noise, shouting vendors, long arguments, the wailing call to prayer 4 times a day, the snake charmers flutes, the African drum troupes, the clopping of horse drawn carriages and heavily laden donkey carts, the vehicles dodging in and out of traffic, oblivious to pedestrians, the silence of a Haman spa.

The experience
Ordering food that you have no idea of its origin or taste. Dodging scooters, bicycles, carts, cars, carriages, and people in streets that are ten feet wide in places. Being offered a carpet for my fifteen year old t shirt, being offered 3000 camels for my camera. A one hour totally muscle tearing Moroccan massage. Drinks around the pool in an upscale hotel with some new found friends then back to my fourteen dollar a night room in the old town.

The Plan
I leave Wednesday via mini van to cross the high atlas mountains, sleep in a tent on the dessert, and do some camel riding. Back for a few days then off to the coast to an old historic city on the Atlantic. After that I do not know.

Meanwhile I will keep to the right, it is traditional you know, or so I have been told by the dozens of instant guides that show up beside me matching my pace and asking the same questions:

Where you from?
Ah Kebec.
No British Columbia
Where you going?
For a walk
I show you tanneries (which means their friend the carpet seller)
OK my friend I take you there anyway.
Been there, done that, got the smell, au revior mon ami