The decision is made – I’m leaving Morocco. Mid-October I’m buying a one-way ticket to Paris because – well you don’t really need a reason for Paris do you? And then over to the U.S. for a while. I want a good long visit with the children and I will be hawking my manuscript to those with the printing presses.
I am sad to go. I have had such a fabulous time here. The people of Morocco have been so lovely to me, and I have had adventures and flirtations enough to keep me kicking. I’m trying over the next two months to write down all my impressions so as not to lose them.
Yesterday as I traversed the Medina I paid particular attention. Normally I let the sounds wash over me like a friendly flock of birds, but I really listened to the individual events – the hawkers touting their wares to the passing crowd at the tops of their lungs, the mothers scolding children or admonishing them to keep up, or describing some new sight, the languages! – French, English, Arabic, Darija, Spanish, a touch of German and some Oriental quips thrown in for variety. Watching the women lined up at the hanout to pick out the ghasoul from the open barrels; the hannout with the stands of dates and nuts; the incongruous tawdry underwear displayed so openly on mannequins and hanging from the sides of the hannouts; the men with sheets and sheets of every set of wares you can imagine – underwear, plastic containers, books, DVD’s, jewelry, spruce boxes, and on and on – lined up on both sides of the street anywhere there is a space; the hoards of people jostling through the Medina like fish traveling the stream – and you thought the Manhattan side walks were crowded. The smells, oh the smells – the tang of fresh mint tea leaves, the encompassing breath of fresh bread in every incarnation, the sweet smell of incense, the fried smell of fish from the street vendors…