Monday, October 8, 2007

Oh dear.

If you are reading this then you are very loyal indeed, after such a long silence! We have had the busiest month in the world - guests back to back for three weeks and then a weekend in London which turned into a week in Ireland with my parents.

Having guests was marvellous in that it made us leave the safe confines of our house and actually explore the souks again. We went to Essaouira twice (staying at Riad de la Mer again each time - it's like having our own house there), Imlil and various places in Marrakech that we hadn't bothered visiting before, although I can now tell you that as pretty as the Menara is in the photos, it is actually crashingly dull to visit. Still. We couldn't have known that before we went. Even though there aren't that many "sights" in Marrakech after you've seen the Medersa and the Saadian tombs, the main thing that Marrakech has to offer is the pleasure of just wandering around aimlessly, dropping into cafes for restorative tea and discreet glances at your map to find out where on earth you've ended up, and trying to avoid being mown down by mopeds and donkeys. Oddly, many visitors here deny themselves this pleasure either by getting the hell out within hours of arrival, like the suspicious German girls John and James gave directions to (why ask directions from people if you're not going to believe them?), or by allowing themselves to be herded about and ripped off by a guide for the day before, you know, getting the hell out.

Anyway, after our wonderful visitors, we flew to London to hear Joanna Newsom (above) play in the Royal Albert Hall, which was fabulous. She is even more adorable live than she is in her recordings - we were afraid that we had cooked up a personality for her up to which she would not be live and that we would then be disappointed for something really not her fault, but no! The following day, after a quick run to Topshop for woollies to help us along with the fact that London was about 20 degrees colder whan Marrakech, we went to Cambridge to see a beloved friend who had been away for a very long time indeed. While there, I discovered that my Mamma wasn't so well, so we took our leave of our friends and betook ourselves to Dublin, where we have been for the last week and last night we arrived back home to a wonderful discovery - the Jardins de la Koutoubia hotel, such a part of our lives here in Marrakech for its unprotected wireless, generous helpings of nuts and olives with its cocktails and its pool, is also home to a quite passable Indian restaurant! How could we not have known this before? Well, we know it now, and they will be seeing a lot more of us in future - possibly even starting this evening...

Speaking of food, Ramadan has had very little impact on our lives apart from the addition of "cranky" to the list of moods and sales pitches displayed by shop owners here - apparently it is not being able to smoke that gets to people more than the eating and drinking part. It ends on the 12th of October, I believe. The streets are a little quieter during the day though (and completely deserted when the evening siren goes off) which makes moving around a little easier.

(Image of Joanna Newsom from Online Grapevine with thanks)


Joan said...

Glad you're back - I faithfully checked in every day....!
Don't you know any Moroccans? I can't believe that nobody has invited you to for ftour (the "break-fast"): I've only been to Marrakech once during Ramadan and I lost count of the different hariras I tasted!
WIWT! (Wish I were there!)
Joan (again)

Sarah said...

Well, because we don't actually work here, our contact with Moroccans is a little limited, although by no means non-existent. A cafe around the corner from us doe ftour and we must pop in for it before Ramadan ends though!