A Welcome Note: On Filling the Gaps

Dear Friends and Family:

Although I haven't added any posts since the summer of 2007, this blog continues to be a warehouse of my thoughts and experiences from my time abroad.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Morocco: Day Three

2.25.07 - The next morning, we woke up late. Within a few minutes, Abdul’s wife, who didn’t speak any English, was in with a hot plate of fluffy scrambled eggs, fresh from the farm, and typical Moroccan bread to scoop it up. When we were ready to leave and had re-donned our muddy footwear, Abdul was nowhere to be found, so one of the younger English-speaking women found a boy in the family who was willing to show us to the main road, a solid 30 minute walk. Finally we ended up at the main strip and despite the difficulty of the task, were able to catch a cab to the local market, or souk. When we pulled up to the souk, it was clear that we were the only tourists within miles, as locals crowded the stalls and ally ways. The first part of the souk was littered with vegetable vendors, usually selling one or two vegetables a piece, spread out right on the ground on canvas or leaves. The flies were everywhere but that didn’t seem to bother anyone. By the vegetable sellers, I browsed tables lined with typical Moroccan products including buckets and sandals made from old tires, and bought a box of henna for one of Marina’s friends.

Moving further into the market, we found mounds of milk sweets, sesame seed candies and a whole host of baked goods. In the center of the mess were two tents, supported by the same wooden poles from which hung the bloody carcases of the cows the resident butchers were using to make the grilled beef lunches they were serving to everyone. After passing the rows of butcher shops out of which hung real camel heads and racks of meat, I remember seeing one stall by which a gallon water jug had been sliced horizontally at the bottom and was fastened to a short wooden pole sticking out of the ground. The mouth of the jug was open and facing the parched earth below, quickly absorbing the blood, pouring out of the bucket as the headless chickens, kicking upside-down inside. Across the way, carpet and fabric vendors were stationed in front of huge mounds of trash rotting next to the meat vendors. We walked back to the vendors cooking the fresh meat and had a quick snack before meeting up with Muhammad #2 and driving back to Asilah proper to spend the afternoon. We haggled a bit more and I purchased some gifts for family at home and around 10PM, the eight of us boarded a night train to Marrakesh. We quickly fell asleep to the sound and rhythm of the train.

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