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.