09 November 2007

Morocco: People & Patterns

A hip shot from the Casablanca Medina to the Mosque

I love watching people. So do the men in Morocco. All of the cafes & tea shops have their chairs on one side of the table facing the sidewalk. The men sit here and watch. If women come or couples they are usually escorted to an upstairs seating where no eyes will pry on them. In the west if a strange man has been staring at a woman and she catches his eye he will immediately drop his gaze. Not so in Morocco. As a result the men stare greedily at all the women and the women look at no one. It gave us the sense that women are judged responsible for men not being able to control themselves rather then men for for not having that control. We sat among the men on the sidewalk. In other places that we have both been this would have been reacted to negatively and we would have been shooed away but here, although they clearly found it odd, they tolerated us and we were able to watch the streets too although we were careful to never meet the eyes of the men sitting near us.

A cat & an Arabic sign. We found that the relative health of the cats were a pretty good indicator of whether or not we wanted to stick around in any one place. That and our golden rule of travel: If there are no women & children around it's likely not safe for you to be there particularly by yourself. We only visited one place like that and the cats were sad to see. It was on the coast and it was clear that at another time of year it might be a wonderful place but we did not linger.

A yellow door! Look at those colors! The house, the door, and the sari.

Women walking to the mosque in Casablanca.

Woodwork. This work is gorgeous and has been used liberally int the newest and bestest and biggest mosque in Morocco. We quietly but cynically commented to each other "Oh, that's what happened to all the large cedar trees in the Atlas Mountains" as we had only seen one dead specimen of the sizes they had once reached.

I love this contrast with the Mosque on the left and the apartments on the right. The Mosque is a grand piece of architecture and amazing artistry. Of course, the story of the Mosque that is presented to the public mostly leaves out the fact that it was built over the city's largest slum and that thousands of people were displaced without compensation to make way for it.

More mosaics.

Look at all those satellite dishes!

A most scrumptious and traditional meal.


  1. Lovely. Thanks for taking me on holiday with you!!

  2. I could get lost in those mosaics for a lifetime, I think.

  3. thanks for taking us on this trip with you!

  4. thank you for sharing so much of your trip with us - i am drinking it all up. wanderlust has overtaken.

  5. I'm so enjoying this "cyber vacation" - thanks for sharing!

  6. Oh! I love the mosaics sooo much! Gorgeous pics, thank you... When you get time c'mon over 'cos I've tagged you.

  7. Once again artistry is cheapened by pop culture :) . I was totally engrossed admiring the mosaics when the moment was shattered by all those satellite dishes. Every culture is packed with incongruity, progress often conflicts with aesthetics.

  8. liv, maypole, jen, & gill ~ you're welcome! Thanks for coming along.

    jenn ~ aren't they marvelous?

    dj kirkby ~ ooo! Tagged?? Me? I'll be over to check it out.

    ms chica ~ of course they are, that's why I had to put it there. I only wish I had been able to get a good picture of the plastic bag strewn landscape. I couldn't let you all get away with just seeing the mosaics and thinking that summed the place up.

  9. It is a country of a dream.
    I have never been to Morocco, but looking at these wonderful pictures, only one wish is appearing into my mind-I definitely have to visit Morocco. Last year my brother went there to buy Morocco property, so he was astonished of the beauty of the country, of the city Fez.


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