Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Steam and Oil

I went over to Paul’s after the gym and it is now exclusively a bakery, with the café closed as well (sigh). It appears I am giving up café au lait for Ramadan – a true sacrifice. I walked about Agdal and if possible it is even more deserted than the New City. Most of the shops are closed, all the cafes are down. It’s quite lovely really to see the city observing Ramadan to such an extent. The gym has changed its hours so that people can come at night after eating the evening meal to break their fast. Very thoughtful that.

I love Moving. I belonged to some nice gyms in the U.S., Britain, and Paris but I am telling you the West could learn a thing or two from the Moroccans on this score. I love working out until you are sweating like mad and can’t go any further, then stripping down and stepping into the pampered luxury of the Hamman and 1001 Nights – which is what I have planned for tomorrow. I felt somewhat decadent today as I was the only one I saw in the gym with water, but that’s not negotiable for me. And I got a present, ribbons and all! I love that. There is a calendar with the times of sunrise and sunset for the month of Ramadan, a tablet and pencil, and an interesting deck of cards that goes under, “I have to ask Q about this.” My wonderful English connection Sabel told me of a class they are offering twice a week she thinks I will like, my gutter French did manage the word “combat”. I’ll be there. Later this week I am having the full body massage with oil, to treat the effect of the dryness of Morocco on my skin.

There is apparently only one station on the taxicabs' radio that plays English pop songs – the worst of all English pop songs. Now I am not a big pop fan but I like to sing along as well as the next person, but NOT to this. The station has no blues (but the chap in the Oudayas who has a hannut that sells an odd variety of hardware items DOES), and no jazz, just terrible pop.

As the taxi was driving through Agdal I wondered where all the men are gone? The cafes are empty with the chairs stacked and an air of desertion until after sunset. The four and five deep crowds of men that usually line the sidewalks are – gone. What could they be doing to replace their usual afternoon activity? Resting up for the night perhaps? It’s a mystery.

A young boy is downstairs calling out his wares with a microphone and loud speaker (very loud). He has an assortment of dishes and cups, as well as some odd kitchen implements. It rather reminds me of the skiffs that come up to the outside decks of the houseboats in Srinagar loaded down with everything from flowers to chocolate so that you never need leave your houseboat if you wish.

I’m off to face the blank page.

Ciao.

11 comments:

Ellee Seymour said...

Well you must unravel the mystery of the missing men of Ramadan. Would they be praying?

debio said...

Your description of Ramadan is so atmospheric. Here it just means chaos on the roads, short tempers and nothing getting done.

I suspect the disappearance of any men here means that they've all bunked off to break the fast in the privacy of their own four walls. Or am I just too cynical?

Dr. James P. Holdren said...

I love working out until you are sweating like mad and can’t go any further, then stripping down and stepping into the pampered luxury of the Hamman and 1001 Nights – which is what I have planned for tomorrow.

May I come and watch tomorrow?

Omega Mum said...

Debio has stolen my words. So please accept a double helping as regards the atmosphere.

jmb said...

I think I would enjoy that gym, instead of the one I patronize at the university. I go home for a shower since they are rather grotty at the gym. But I get the job done there so that's the main thing.
regards
jmb

lady macleod said...

ellee

Perhaps, but only at certain times so that still leaves the majority of the afternoon..

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

debio

I should think chaos, short tempers, and a lack of work done would make me cynical as well. I just don't know where they are, perhaps sleeping after rising at four am for breakfast?

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

dr. james p. holdren

the exercising or the hamman? he he

thank you for coming by - and making me smile.

lady macleod said...

omega mum

Accepted. thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

jmb

Getting the job done is indeed the main thing, but this is soooo nice:-)

thank you for coming by.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

A lovely picture of the city during Ramadan, Lady M. I can see why you say it's lovely. IT must be deserted in the way it is here during August!