Category: World Travel

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Marrakesh

Dear Friends and Family, Salaam from Marrakesh, Morocco! I arrived her two days ago, and it's been incredible. Marrakesh really jars the senses with its bizarre clash of cultures, languages, smells, and sheer activity, and I'm already enamored by it. I'm staying with Faical, my Moroccon friend from the train to Basel (I wrote about ...

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Faical’s Struggle

Later tonight Faical decided to take his mother to dinner. He asked Anas and Sarah if they wanted to come, but neither did. I agreed to go along. I ate a McDonald's burger after many weeks. Back in America I never eat at McDonald's. I hardly eat fast food in general. In Morocco - as ...

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The Bathhouse

Later in the afternoon, Anas informed me that he was going to a hammam and asked me if I wanted to go. I most certainly did. I imagined hammams were exotic bathhouses with ornate hot tubs and beautiful female attendants. It was about time I paid a visit. I asked Anas if I could first ...

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A Musical Culture

In standard fashion, breakfast this morning consisted of tea, bread, butter, and jam. The tea, I find, tends to be too sweet, but Moroccans seems to prefer it that way. After breakfast I sat around and worked on my journal for a while. I watched Sarah work with a small, stainless steel, hand-operated machine to ...

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Ana Mahdood

We rattled down the mountain later in the evening in the back of a vegetable delivery truck. The sides of the truck were very high, and I could only see the sky and the mountains above us. The black silhouette of the receding mountain against the navy blue sky soon started to sparkle with lights ...

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Ourika!

Khalid II, Mohsin, and another one of Faical's friends, Redouane, met us at the apartment this afternoon to go to a nearby mountain river called Ourika, which turns out to be Moroccan for Eureka.  Faical, his brother Anas, and I took a bus with them to a taxi depot near Jama al-Fna. The area teemed ...

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An Unusual Homecoming

It seems strange as I write about it that I am here in Morocco at the urging of a guy I barely know. We met on a train in France and spoke for no more than thirty minutes (see Next Stop: Basel). Now I am staying with his family and hanging out with him in ...

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From Madrid to Marrakesh

On the EZ Jet flight to Morocco, I understood how the low-cost carrier makes ends meet. The crew members work as a sales team, advertising and selling a mass of products to their captive audience. Every few minutes a crew member announces over the loudspeaker yet another item for sale, rousing anyone who's managed to ...

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Return to Madrid

I set out this afternoon for one last jaunt around Valencia.  I stopped by the Central Market and had Paella at a nearby restaurant before heading to Hollywood Grill to see Naty.  Then I picked up my luggage and headed to the main train station.  There I caught a late afternoon train to Madrid. Back ...

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City of Arts and Sciences

The motorists in Valencia, especially those on scooters and motorcycles, are a crazy sort. They don't stop at red lights. They squeeze between cars into the tightest of spaces. They cut across sidewalks. At first I was intimidated by their recklessness. By the end of the night, however, I became one of them. I cut ...