I take a farewell walk in the medina. I get lost and find my way out! But deep inside the medina an eighteen year old boy touts me up and won’t go away, telling me I should come to his house for a “Berber massage.” I firmly and politely decline but he grabs my arm and says “Cmon, don’t be panaroid.” (paranoid).
It’s time to get aggressive. I whip my camera out of my pocket and hold it right in his face and pretend to take his picture. He panics, throws his hands in front of his face and sprints away saying “I don’t like pictures.” “Hmmph”, I say to myself, “talk about paranoid!”
Well now, the Tout Problem is solved and I do a happy little victory dance! I notice shopkeepers grinning broadly at the whole scene. I wave shyly and they wave enthusiastically back. Shawn 1, tout 0.
Tonight at dinner I chose a tiny stall and am eating a tiny chicken dinner and feeding tiny scraps to the tiny cats when in walks- a tiny chicken! She walks right up to my table and pecks around it, so I give her some bread, which she eats then struts out. I’ve never seen a chicken beg! The restaurant owner, standing guard over his kettle of chicken, never notices her. Talk about living on the edge…
I leave tomorrow with sadness. The medina is like a book you can’t put down, a long movie that you have to tear yourself away from, your favorite soap opera; familiar and dramatic. But the Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert are tugging on my shoestrings and it’s time to go. Sad partings are to be thankful for!
Lionheart, the brave little chicken.
Residential street. It keeps getting narrower. About a dozen houses face this street.
A dentist advertising his trade.
This is a traditional door within a door. The large door is for men, the smaller for women and children. Women and children knock with the lower knocker, which makes a different sound than the upper, and so the inhabitants know to send a woman or child to open the door. Vise/Versa. This door is at least one hundred years old.
This corner of the medina caters to the wedding industry. The chairs are rented and the bride carried.
This is a door to a caravansary. They were ancient hotels for camel caravans plying the silk route. Usually they were a day’s ride apart, but in Morocco there are several, this one catering to the upscale camel driver.
Donkeys carrying in goods.
A quiet moment.
The tannery. Here animal skins including camel are first bleached in that set of vats to the upper left which contain pigeon shit and lime, then died various colors. You get a sprig of mint to hold to your nose but it isn’t bad in winter.
Hides being delivered.
Overlooking part of the medina.