|Our guide Khodija|
|Palace Bahia Door|
|"Don't take my photo!"|
The best part was that a man yelled at all of us for taking his picture, and she argued vehemently with him about how we were taking a picture of how the market looks, not of his face. We apologized, but she said that this kind of interaction is very normal, and that there are no hard feelings. This made me feel braver when countering someone who wanted more money for a tip, which happens quite a bit! I learned a lot from Khodija, whose specialty is to take groups of girls and introduce them to the ways of Morocco and knows quite a bit about how the Muslim and Jews have settled this Berber area. She would be an excellent liaison for a spring break trip to help our girls understand some traditions of women here: cooking, social structures, countryside living, the arts (henna, weaving, embroidery, play), service to others and the hammed. She gave me an address of a traditional hammam, rather than a touristic one; I went to find out the difference.
|Over the medina|
|EVERY restaurant has a cat|
|We were regulars at this cafe every morning|
|Week at a glance|
|"Tangia" in the jars at the bottom|
|Jack at the rail station|
The train ran most of the day and we saw such dryness! People were living with a wall of cactus (with the colorful balls on top that you eat) around their homes, and piles of hay that were covered with mud for protection, and families walking their livestock around.
There were sections of track strewn on the side of the rail; and I wanted to ask brother Jim if they were constructing or deconstructing.
We arrived in Fez in a beautiful rail station and Les lead us to our hotel.
It was a bit dirty, so he went to look at another while I sat with the luggage. This was our best bet, but after the Tachfine, this was roughing it. At 140 Dirhams (about $21) it was ok. We walked around and found a little place for food and a walk.
|Got fit for new glasses I lost in the sea in France|
|Tannery--White is Pigeon Poo|
October 11 was our big day in the medina. We finally found some simple rings we liked that were copper and brass twisted together. They were 3 for 40 Durham. I’m keeping my eye out for an ankle bracelet for Cathi, my second cousin. Not sure if it will be here or India. The touts were a bit more aggressive. We saw so much: men banging copper and brass into humungous bowls and plates for weddings, the pots where they tan leather in pigeon poo, lots of henna and herbs, embroidery and fabrics, tons of leather items (cute shoes!) and the ornate doors, walls and floors of mosaic tile, carved cedar (aromatic!), and metals of all kind, and furniture to carry a bride and groom in. We had asked someone to cut a bracelet into rings for us, and while they did that Les stayed and a boy took me to look down into the tannery pots; I am sure they expected me to buy something. When I came back, the rings were so small! We had given them ours to match for size, so I didn’t feel that bad about not paying them. They were nice rings for someone with smaller fingers. We gave the boy 10 Dirham (I thought 5 was appropriate) and he became angry and wanted 20. (The bracelet was 50!) This happened over and over: a man wanting more for cactus head, a boy who ran ahead to guide us toward a taxi, etc. That first boy followed us saying, “Remember me?” and I replied that I was sorry he was disappointed with the tip we gave him. He said to forget about it. This made me braver to reject the rest of those who ask for more. It’s hard to know what’s really right. Ugh.
|Only men in coffee places|
|Arabic Puzzle from Newspaper|
|Boutayna and Achraf (means "honesty")|
|Outside one window... They are tearing down a ?? Mosque? Home?|
|Grocery Couscous Isle|
|View in "cheap" hotel room|
|View from "Fancy" hotel lobby|
|Moon over Fez|