2nd Winter in Marrakech
Silhouette in Imlil
One year from my previous entry ... i have just spent my 2nd winter in Marrakech. It was easier than the isolation of my 1st winter ... but still not easy.
Morocco is a splendid place to visit. People are friendly to tourists and there is much to see, smell, taste and hear. The food is wonderful as is the weather in the winter (think southern CA). It is also continually challenging for this social bird. I try to immerse myself in rhythms and melodies still curious to me. They begin to make some sense after denying myself any more western influence. I see how the complexities of African polyrhythms juxtapose the simplicity of life here. A Muslim country bases all aspects on family life. You work, make a family, eat, sleep and work some more... interspersed with holy days and prayer times. For me, it's the music that allows folk to express beyond the norm; melodies and rhythms find no limitations as they traverse the hands and instruments of a proud people.
Getting a handle on Arabic is another challenge. Words are beginning to pass my lips more easily ... much to the surprise to anyone i use it on. I like to practice on my local shop keeper. "Salam ou Alikoum! 3afuk, a'teni jouje khobz!" (Peace be upon you. Please, give me 2 loaves). This i said often as bread is to the Moroccains what rice is to the Asians or pasta is to the Italians.
I am super excited to be back in the western lands of opportunity but there are some things that i will miss: the hammam, the call to prayer, the fresh local produce and the mint, the colors and fabrics, the crazy taxi drivers and of course, my new musical partner. Inchallah, he'll join me soon in the west.