Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back from Morocco

I'm back from Morocco, if not well-rested than at least well-fed.  First the holiday meals, then two weeks of feasting in Fez and Marrakech.  We're now full and plump, full of snail soup and mint tea, ready for the new semester.  As usual, we came home just as we were beginning to figure a few things out.

On the left, we see a bookshop in the Fez medina.  That's it, the whole store.  The proprietor is presumably chatting with a neighbor who has filled an identical space with tennis shoes or brass lamps or dried fruit.  The books are all in Arabic, as far as I could tell, and are presumably religious or educational.

Ma femme and I went into a Borders today, looking for a calendar.  The selection was dismal, even embarassing.  The puppies and lingerie models I expected, but who wants a World of Warcraft calendar, or one with actors from "The Tudors"?  But I remembered that bookshop in the medina and thought "Long live Borders."  A Borders is a treasure house.  Not for calendars, though.

A bit more rest.  Then, next week, "Scots, wha hae" and all of that nonsense.


  1. I can highly recommend this calendar:

  2. Yeah, I'd say that beats a Tudors calendar.

    The bookstore in Morocco looks more interesting than a Borders, at any rate

  3. Glad you and deine Frau are home safely.

  4. Welcome back! I am glad you had a good time.

  5. Hi,

    I was just checking out your blog, looking for info on Morocco- I'm currently in Taghazout, and heading soon to Marakesh and Fez. I have seen plenty of those little, unmanned bookstores so far- is there much more to these cities? Any food you reccommend besides tagine- I've lived almost exclusively on tagine.

    Anyway, thanks,


  6. Daniel - Once you get to the Djemma el Fna in Marrakech, all of your food worries will be over. Eat adventurously. Don't avoid the tourist restaurants, necessarily, but actively seek out alternatives. For example, look for the egg and potato sandwich at the Marrakech stands, menus in Arabic, customers all young men.

    That advice goes for Fez, too. The bowl of spicy not-quite-harira soup I had in one of the snack shops in Fez's Ville Nouvelle was unbelievable.

    The medina in Fez is a marvel. I wish I'd had another week there. Marrakech is a fine blend of old and new, although the three or four days we spent there were plenty.

  7. i'm a fan of amazon, myself. I'm always disappointed when the book I want isn't in the actual bookstore for me. But online: I can get ANYTHING.

    Welcome home.