Saturday, 23 June 2007

I am not from your country...






Exercise wear?! at Marjane in Souissi (posh neighborhood of Rabat).


























Pussy in a basket. A floral display at the fruit market with paper flower fun.














I thought this was such a cool transport device!








I had decided to get you some ‘going for a walk through the Oudayas” photographs. I was returning from the bank this morning where they had lots of money thankfully and took a turn through “digital alley”. “Oceans 13” is everywhere but only in French, so I thought I would get some shots of the general bedlam. We have discussed this before; I am fastidious about asking permission to take photographs of people, but a thing? Running up behind me comes a young man flanked by two compatriots one of whom is now baring the site of the folding table with DVDs on it from my line of site. “You must not take picture, it is bad.”

Putting my camera away I said, “All right, I am sorry, but why is it bad?”

“Why are you taking pictures here?” he asked quite testy.

“I am a writer. I write about Morocco,” I said.

“You must not write about this, this is bad. Where is your permit?” he said angrily.

“Why? Why is that bad? I am writing for people to come and shop here,” I said.

“It is bad to take the pictures of men,” he said again.
I am talking to a brick.

“Yes, I got that thank you,” I said and walked away shaking my head.

I had the same reaction yesterday taking the photographs of the excercise? apparel in Marjane's. There were no people about, just the garments, no defensive arm placements, no secret satellite installations... yet the guard came in with his knickers in quite a twist.

Q had gone to run some errands yesterday and some chap comes up to her telling her the djellaba is nice, but she needs a hijab. When you go out of your way to be cognizant of a culture it is a bit annoying to have that thrown in your face. I had the same encounter at the police station in Fez, “The djellaba is nice, but that hat is not as good as a hijab.”

To hijab or not hijab? I read an article in the NYTimes yesterday on this topic. If I am going out of my way to observe local custioms in YOUR country should you not do the same in MINE?

13 comments:

I Beatrice said...

Definitely do not hijab! No matter what the provocation...

lady macleod said...

not likely! thank you for coming by.

debio said...

I have today been mistaken for being the wife of a local arab (member of the ruling family so I'm not too insulted!). I am old enough to be his mother, however, and most certainly do not wear an abaya - maybe I am being converted by stealth....help!

lady macleod said...

I think it is something in the carriage... I have already been told twice I look like the Queen (some twenty years my junior) and have been mistaken for one of the princesses on my way to a wedding (it's the hair).

We must cling tightly to each other and our identity! Nice to know we could make it in the Arabic royal families eh? Any chance of converting that into a small stipend from the oil revenues?
thank you for coming by.

KarenO said...

Maybe those DVD's were pirate ware and they thought your photos could be incriminating? I'm not sure about the clothes...

If it is a photo of you in the side bar, you do look like royalty. If not, with your history it's very likely you act like royalty and that makes people automatically respect you more... you're a lady after all! :)

jmb said...

Wonderful photos Lady M. I was also thinking that they didn't want the DVDs photographed because they were illegal.
I'm sure it's not easy to tread the fine line required to live in a place like Morocco as a foreign woman.

lady macleod said...

kareno

i have no idea as there are no dvds in the city that are NOT pirated that i know of! silly buggers.

yes that is i, i am trying to get in on the profile page...

thank you for coming by.


jmb

perhaps you are both right about the dvds or perhaps that chap was just screwy. some days it is difficult to tell. yes, there are times when the tip toe of cultural nuance can become more like falling on your head.
thank you for coming by.

jenny said...

So you cover that lovely hair every time you go out? Q too?

lady macleod said...

jenny

i have the lily white skin that accompanies that hair; i have always covered my head - with hats. i have hats for every season, of every sort...a hijab would do me little good! Q wears a cap when I can get her to do it, but she is 23...one doesn't want to worry over your skin all the time when one is only 23..

this is a practical matter for me, not one of religious dogma..

lady macleod said...

and thank you for coming by.

Andres Carl Sena said...

The hijab has become so politicized. making rules you can wear and cannot wear. . . hmmm. . . . and again we digress. . .

lady macleod said...

andres carl sena

exactly. ..now where were we?
thank yo for coming by.

debio said...

Actually, lady m, I am warming to the idea of being one of many wives - palatial villa, luxury wheels, credit card and conjugal visits very rare so long as there are sufficient wives.
Sound appealing?