Saturday, May 19, 2007


Publishing such a document (Bowles' diary) demonstrates
the way in which the hours of the day
can as satisfactorily be filled with trivia
as with important events.

- Paul Bowles on his Tangiers Diaries

Bus rest stop, Cafe El Atlas, Marrakesh to Essaouira -
- Now there's a troop of piping berbers with a goatskin tambourine.
- My hair feels like a bush - no conditioner and matted from train and bus seats
- Back amongst the backpackers - wondered what Morrocan gone-ethnic looked like. Talked to aussie couple - 6 months west africa, german with 2 french girls. They're sitting on the deserted side of the cafe and obstinately not ordering.
- Sould know better than to think every town on a map is romantic. They're tiny dustbowls.

Hotel Riad El Medina, Essaouira
- Sure once charming, horrible now. Clue from name - dumbly redundant ostentatiously claiming an entire quarter. That it's a riad I don't doubt but with crumbled and frayed nautical/grotto theme rooms, cot mattresses on cement platform, watered down fruit salad. Cafe au lait and baguettes keeping it from the brink.
- Tourists have over-run. The town's for sale. The fish market is full of tourists taking fish pictures.
- Overcaste and my room is a cave. Point of beach visit not clear.

Marrakesh - various places
- My god this fruit salad is good
- I think some women pack their smallest shorts in anticpation of a muslim country. Maybe in fez I'll see them flogged.
- Some of the younger girls in the djellabas (no headcover) look so relaxed it could be a beach cover-up.
- They've set a single place for me at breakfast. That I'm writing about it as I'm sitting at it is sad.

Sefi Fatima (Berber barter market)
- Men kiss 5x here.
- Berbers descend with their wool blankets and rugs to buy rubber shoes, polyester tops, soap and tin teapots. Only vegetables retain the authentic.

Fez - train and arrival
- This tour guy may be legit and I may be mean but he should leave a single woman alone.
- Fez seems depressed - repressed? Packed in and layered - voices from below amplified so run the tap.
- Attar of roses. I don't know what that is but that sounds right. It's cloying.
- Nothing's not carved or crenelated here, or tiled.
- 4 kinds of breadstuffs - rolls and puffy crepes, sweet toast and a croissant. Interchangeable starches.

And so on.

C - all minutia, all the time

1 comment:

Marie-Helene Carleton said...

From the quotidian, transformed, comes a glimpse of reality, a sense of things. Love the list you've gathered.