Weekly newsletter: The Moroccan edition
I made it to Morocco! I arrived expecting a whirlwind of sounds and smells that would overwhelm my introverted brain. Instead I immediately felt at ease and relaxed. It could be because I traveled on the weekend, so I knew that no one was expecting me to check emails or be accessible. Or maybe it was that something about being here reminded me of Brazil and I felt strangely comforted by that. I keep wanting to speak some weird blend of Spanish and Portuguese. Clearly this is not the language and since people can't readily figure out where I'm from, I'm sure they think I live in Spain by the amount of "holas" I'm doling out. After two days, here's what I've got so far: 1. I knew that there wouldn't be much alcohol coming in because Morocco, but there is a solid amount of wine available. Moroccans make their own wine and they also have breweries. I've yet to try their grey wine, but that must happen soon. I've also found that cocktails on menu really means fruit juice mixes and for some reason I thought that was pretty awesome.
2. I don't think I knew much about Moroccan food before I got here and I have to say I'm not impressed. Don't get me wrong, it's been good, but Morocco isn't a place I'd travel to for food. One of the guys that was hawking his menu on the square with a competing guy summed it up by saying, "Look...it's all the same sheeet." And he was right, it's the same shit everywhere...tagines...pastillas...couscous...pizza (I was shocked by how much pizza is available). Anyway, I appreciated the honesty in his sales tactic. 3. So clearly food isn't my favorite part of Marrakech. The architecture however is stunning. Everything is a picture perfect opportunity. I've been trying to make sure that I soak it all in as much as possible without a camera while simultaneously trying to take enough photos so that I don't forget how beautiful it is. I'm staying at one of the many riads, which are old mansions with an interior garden and courtyards. This is genius design and I can't understand why they don't exist everywhere. It's a perfect boutique hotel. 4. I've decided that I'm no longer missing sunsets. Last night, I headed up to the rooftop of the riad to catch the sunset. My travel companion was stuck trying to help a friend get over an issue that should have been long dealt with it seemed. I decided in that moment, that I'm no longer missing sunsets. I know that I'm lucky. But really it's because somewhere along the way, I decided to catch as many sunsets as possible. There are so many things that can consume us if we let them. Last night I decided to be much more aware of this and remember that there is much more joy readily available if we catch it. Well, it's the afternoon here. The day has gotten away from me. I'm still working while I'm here so my body is on a very weird schedule. I'm about to go do some more exploring and try to figure out how to drive (9 hours) to the Sahara desert tomorrow. Yes, instead of taking an organized excursion, I'm going to drive in a country where I don't speak the language and I've never been before...but again, sunsets and all that jazz. Pray for me. Hope you guys are having a great week. Shannon