Friday, May 18, 2007

Evening at the Place, Marrakesh

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Place Jemmna al Fnna, early eve



Marrakesh is the great market of the south,
not only the feudal chiefs and their wild clansman,
but all that lies beyond of heat and savagery:
the Sahara of the veiled Touaregs, Timbuktoo...
here come the camel caravans...


-Edith Wharton, In Morocco
(Whom I almost wish had traveled to Algeria instead so I wouldn't feel inadequate. Ms. Wharton owns this country, with the slight advantage of being a guest of the Governor General wherever she went.)

The Place Jemmna al Fnna - handy during the day as a center point, assumes its true character at night.

Dusk and out come:
Henna ladies. I got hi-jacked - assaulted with flowers up my arm. I made her rub it off, which seemed harsh till she demanded money.
Snake charmers - ubiquitous.
Witch-doctors/healers with ostrich eggs, herbs, dust of ___ and potions. The popular ones make a big to-do of their powers and draw large crowds with diagrams of intestinal tracks.
The man with a tray of rubber dentures and a mound of teeth
The numbered stalls of the white jacket men who serve kabobs and fish

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Orange and date men (pockets of calm)
Dancing West Africans - various colors and hats and rhythms
The Water Men in funny hats - redundant since advent of bottled water and now would like you to take their picture.

High above, third floor of the Cafe France, the flash bulbs go off.

C - amidst and observing, trying to take pictures without paying

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