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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dark, Fierce, and Fanatical*

We've been in Marrakech just over a day. I don't even have adjectives to describe it. Here's the best I can do.

Unbelievably loud.

La Madersa Ben-Youssef




Le Musee de Marrakech


We've been lost almost without ceasing since getting here. The souks are fascinating labyrinths. Every time we stop to look at something, the sellers descend en masse. We have purchased many items, some of which we never intended to. We are very, very bad at bargaining and very, very bad at saying no.

Because of our badness at these things, we ended up touring the tanneries, where leathers are made from camel, goat, and sheep skin. They were fascinating, grotesque, and extremely smelly. We were given clumps of mint to use "as gas masks," as our guide told us. They didn't work that well.

We visited a historic madrassa, pictured above, and the Marrakech museum, also above, located in a 19th century palace. The contrast between the impossibly hot, Vespa-riddled, loud streets and the quiet, calm interiors is bewildering.

In fact, bewildered is how Marrakech makes me feel. I've never had this reaction to anyplace I've visited before. But then again, I've never experienced hand-rape by a henna tattoo artist before either.

*from Edith Wharton's In Morocco


  1. So... does this imply that the henna artist simply grabbed your hand and henna'd it before you had a chance to say anything?

    1. Oh, worse than that. I was struggling to get away and saying "No" in every language I knew. Then when I refused to pay her she got very threatening. The sad part is, I then gave her money. But not very much...

  2. Kris says it sounds like India. To me, it sounded like the DR. Maybe your travel has been too "first world" and now you're seeing the "real world." You'll always have Paris....I love Philly in the--spice shop? and BT with the viper.

    1. Not a viper, or he'd be dead. A water snake. I had to hold it too. And then pay for it, of course.