Morocco, Week One

Two weeks ago, I moved to Morocco. I’ve been so busy settling in, getting to know the city, and having fantastic adventures that I’m only just now getting to this post. But better late than never!

Over the first few days I organized my beautiful apartment,1 met some co-workers, and even introduced myself (awkwardly) to a couple of neighbors. I went on an unsuccessful quest for basil, oregano, rosemary, and aloe vera plants. I had my first tagine.2 I explored the oldest parts of the city, enjoyed a sunset on the beach with my toes in the sand, and visited an ancient Phoenician burial site.3 I sat by a lighthouse at night, sipping mint tea and enjoying the sea breeze. I charmed some street cats.4 I ate a cactus.

My first weekend, I explored a famous cave,5 collected shells on the beach, and wandered the medina at night. I swam laps in the ocean6, climbed a cliff, and helped my friends break into their car (using only a piece of wire and patience) after they locked the keys in the trunk. Taught a friend to play gin rummy and was trounced three times in row. Ate two traditional Moroccan cookies from a bakery filled with happy bees. Sat in my bedroom at night with just the lamp on and the window open, listening to the sounds of the city outside. One dog barking, a couple of sirens, the muffled clinking of silverware on plates as someone ate a late dinner. The sound of the breeze and crickets on the hill.

  1. Even the building is great, with a giant atrium-like hallway filled with plants that all the neighbors look after. []
  2. Lentil, served with cumin, paprika, and fresh bread. []
  3. Really cool. It was a rock-covered hillside and there were these big rectangular holes that had been hewn out of the rock. Apparently the bodies were buried in lead coffins in these holes, but the coffins have long since been stolen or given to museums, so all that’s left is the rock face. []
  4. The cats here, by the way, are not strays. They just wander the city and everyone in the community looks after them. []
  5. Hercules Cave, or Grottes d’Hercule. See photos. []
  6. At my new favorite beach. []

One Response

  • Beautiful photos, yes, but your narrative puts serious pressure on the adage, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” No one picture could replace a thousand, or even a dozen, of your words. With this thought, “Sat in my bedroom at night with just the lamp on and the window open,” you really brought me there.

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