Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Impressions of Marrakech

We toured the new and the old cities yesterday. I find it odd that there is a city ordinance that all the building must be the same color, but I guess they have to live up to their name as the "red city".  At one point, near the end of our time in the medina, or marketplace, we were walking through a tunnel of sorts. Ahead you could see the sun shining and the haze from the heat, it was almost blinding. As we emerged from the haze into the square it was a chaotic scene. Merchants shouting, musicians playing, the sounds of the snake charmers and storytellers were all around us. Regaining my sight and dodging a few motor scooters led me to a fruit stand. There I saw, for the first time, dried figs, not in "newton" form. The merchant offered me one and then became angry and yelled at me as I happily munched it and walked away. I was somewhat disturbed by the treatment of the animals in the square. Monkeys in tiny boxes waiting to be beaten if the did not perform on cue and dozens of horses, looking less than fit, dragging tourists around the hot, cobble stone streets. It seems like the people care more about the millions of stray cats that are everywhere here than these "money makers".  As we rushed back to the bus I was really conflicted by my concern for the animals and the understanding that these people are just trying to make a living and survive. It all makes me feel very lucky to have been born where I was. Another day, another adventure in Morocco...I'm off! 

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