A few weeks ago, I found the journal I used for my trip to Morocco and started posting some of the writing on this blog. It’s quite interesting since it was my first real experience of culture shock. This was new, this travelling thing for me, and Morocco was a world totally different than the one I knew, growing up in a rural community in Ontario.
Monday August 30th
We took a horse and carriage on a tour of the Old Medina. We got to see many of the older buildings and the magnificant wall around the city. There are cats all around, as well as men sitting around under the shade of trees. The women walk around carrying their goods on their head, what talent! The marketplace was very colourful. There was a wide variety of food and crafts to purchase. It was a very busy place!
The people weren’t very surprised to see us walking through. It didn’t smell too great walking past some of the meat and fish places. We came out of the market place into a garbage dump!! They look nothing like the garbage dumps in Canada. There looks to be a lot less garbage here, as people set up a whole business around removing the old items such as mattresses from the dump to recycle them and sell again, so says our guide. Better recycling in this country than ours!
Next stop was the tannery. We were given a mint leaf to hold to our nose. And that mint was the most important article in my possession for the entire tour of this place. There was animal hair all over the ground. There were also large white square holes in the ground where there was dirty water and other substances that were used to make the leather. I was glad to get out of there, even though it was fascinating to see how the leather was made there. All the different processes were amazing to see, but that smell gave me quite a migrane after a few moments.
The rest of the tour consisted of looking at the various shops and entering a baker. The bakery smelled heavenly, after that tannery. But it also was a very dark and dismal place to work.
We visited a pharmacist who told us about various natural products in his store. They he passed out bags to each of us so that we could purchase his goods. Nothing really stood out to me, but the clever way they set it up by announcing each product and how it miraculously cured this or that, somehow made it easier for me to pick up a few things….hmmmm. So $15 later, I have a few souvenirs for home.
Oh boy. I type this except shaking my head as well. I can just picture my eyes, so wide they are almost popping out of their sockets.