this is the archive for June 24th, 2017:


fez

through the train window, the scenery stretches in waves of golden fields bordered by cactus fences. (later, in wooden carts, we’ll see calloused hands peel the cactus figs and hand each half over carefully on a toothpick, juice dripping on their hands.)

a stranger chats with us on the train to pass the time. the electrical plugs don’t work because someone once blew the wiring on a train with a faulty laptop charger. turns out, i could almost pass for moroccan (but not paulo, for some reason). he tells us there’s only one real medina in morocco, and that’s in fez — when we get there, it’s clear all of a sudden. everything is larger and yet narrower here, sprawling and tight at the same time. it’s the definition of intense — the heat, the light, the scents and flavours swirling all around us like the folds of the djellabas that brush our legs.

fez

as soon as we cross the gates of the medina, all hell breaks loose: a bull being led by a man down a busy alley suddenly decides to change course and rams into a few stalls, spilling nail varnish on the floor and eliciting shouts all around us (visions of a pamplona-style disaster dance in my head). the street vendors quickly mobilise to hold the beast from all sides and lead it step by step towards its intended path. (where? is there an abattoir within the city walls? somehow, that wouldn’t surprise me.) we wait their passing under an awning, while kids all around us run excitedly back and forth retelling the story, homework forgotten.

fez

we’re not in kansas europe anymore… and it’s scary and exciting in equal measures.