Morocco has left me introspective, frustrated, and enamored all at the same time. I will spare you my introspective musings. Now for a few of my favorite things...
Loudspeakers crackle five times a day, and the voice of the muezzin bursts forth into the sky from the minarets towering over the city. I really have come to look forward to the adhan, or call to prayer, especially in big cities where the clusters of minarets all calling at the same time lead to a beautiful disjointed few minutes. The sunset adhan is my favorite, when the calming effect on the city is most visible.
I can't stop taking pictures of the intricately carved tiles covered with Arabic prayers. Just thinking about how long and how much skill it took to make these blows my mind a bit.
courtyard view at Ben Yousef Medersa
crazy beautiful prayers sketched into the tile in Arabic
more Arabic prayers
I am also working to perfect my tea pouring skills. The sticky, sweet tea is always a welcome refreshing offering of hospitality. The host will bring in a silver tray with sugar, teapot, mint leaves, and adorned glasses. He will break up the mint leaves and stuff them in the hot water, then proceed to pour the tea in a very specific way - starting close to the glass, then moving slowly upwards until the pot is pouring at the highest point without spilling out of the glass. I don't know if status or respect is given to the highest pourer, but maybe it should be.
Andrew attempting to master the art of pouring mint tea
I have, after biking earlier this month, a new found respect for the ubiquitous desire to put the largest objects possible on the back of your chosen mode of transportation while driving. Moroccans are pretty good at this. Two cows in the back of a mini pickup truck, no problem. Four kids on your bike rack, easy. A twenty foot pole that tells traffic you are coming before you turn the corner, not even a big deal. A satellite dish while you man your scooter...oh please, come up with a better challenge.
trying to maneuver through Ave Mohammad V traffic
I am also in love with date flavored ice cream, twenty different types of olives, the smell of spice stands, the myriad of different colors and patterns of head scarves...and have I mentioned the cats and the orange juice?