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La Vita Grassa

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Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Normally I just breeze through Marakesh on my way to everywhere else...

It is always streaming with tourists which proves annoying. I'd rather not be thrust into a throng of happy shoppers and site see-ers just to find a place to sleep for the night.

When I woke up Thursday morning and found the transportation strike still in effect I had no choice but to stay put. I decided I might as well enjoy it.

Another volunteer directed me to Le Café du Livre where I found a bit of British/American heaven: classic English book titles lined the shelves, goat cheese salads on the menu and Gipsy Kings playing in the background. I settled in and read for hours each day.

Not having petit taxis at my disposal. I decided this was a great opportunity to actually explore the fabled Marrakech.

I roamed streets, strolled through beautifully refreshing parks, and dined on scrumptious lemon fruits du mer pastilla.

La Menara, a park I've seen painted and photographed dozens of times was a bit disapointing. The grounds were unkempt, the water dirty, the backdrop to the dramatic structure at the end of the gazing pool was ... bleachers.

Jma Alfna was calling. One of the most famous outdoor markets in the world.

I couldn't resist it's allure any longer.

Every evening throngs returned from wandering city streets to fill the massive square, standing about in circles listening to an orator or African Ganaoua music; pet monkeys, have hands tattooed with henna.

dining evenings at the bustling outdoor street-cart cafes that huddled in a mass in the center of the square...

men begging (or praying?) in the middle of it all ...

Shop keepers ready to serve you whatever your heart desires..

Shish kabobs?

Fresh orange juice?

Steaming snails.?

It's a gourmet dish. I got through most of my little bowl... and that was enough for me.

At night the lantern shops glow with a thousand colors swaying in the breezes.

Everywhere one looks there is color ... in great abundance.

And Moroccan mosaics, tiles, patterns guiding you up stairwells and leading you through archways ..

Henna ladies beg for your hand..

This is the enchantment that is Morocco ... sometimes in my lonely little Agdz I forget what a glorious place I live in ... and that's what I gained from a transportation strike.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

And pause for a transportation strike..

I'm afraid I'm stuck in Marrakech
But with local I admit I've been blessed
It could have been M'Hamid or Tingdad
Or another particular douar unsaid
Why, you ask, am I sitting here?
Well therein is a tale to hear
The taxi drivers and buses
Are worried and all making fusses
About a new government policy
Regard: driving-accident injuries
Let's say your bus, as along it flies
Accidentally hits someone who dies
Off to jail you go
For five years whole
And 50 million dirhams' your fee
Which you'll be paying for eternity
So that's the new policy rumor
That has made traveling a blunder
For every tourist walks the streets
With miserable, tired defeat
And stare down at their feet
Wishing for comfortable sneaks
Because fancy heals don't cut it, I say
When "no taxis" means walking all day
Thus settling in we all are
Since one simply can't travel far
Rather wander through blossoming parks
And get lost in Jma Alfna's larks

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tafroute in all it's glory

In my continuing attempts to highlight enamored landscapes of Morocco... I bring a few shots from my friend Andrea Lueke.

Tafroute valley region.