Jewish Maghrib Jukebox

Monday, August 25, 2008


We returned to Ouezzane for lunch. It was good, simple, and cheap. We checked into the Grand Hotel that wasn’t that grand. It had a shared Western toilet, we were happy enough. Tents were set up in the city center. A festival of some sort was to go on that night. Ouezzane was much different from Chefchaouen even though it was only an hour away. It seemed to be more conversative and as far as we could tell we were the only tourists in the whole city. We ventured into the old city but it was dead and Friday, Muslim day of prayer, had killed it. We inquired as to where the mellah was to the few souls who passed through the medina. They poined us in a few different directions but we realized our Friday efforts were futile. We returned to the hotel to rest.

Later that night I ate a delicious merguez sandwhich. We had determined that the festival started at 8. The city which seemed dead only hours early began to come alive. Music was played and vendors lined the street. Hundreds turned out for…a Moroccan craft fair! Outside people sold sweets, shoes, and snails. Inside was truly awesome: pottery, carpets, clothing, and jewelery. It was a mad house, it was capitalism. There was an interesting problem. Every time I stepped into a store, someone would ask me how much something cost. It appeared as though I not only looked Moroccan but looked like a Moroccan salesman. Literally every store we entered I was confronted with deal seeking Moroccan women. Jen and I found a jem of a pottery stall. By that point the proprieter had cordoned off his store and only allowed women to point at what they wanted as it had gotten too crazy. He allowed me to cross into the store at which point I was free to browse. This of course only encourage women to think that I worked there but it was worth it as I nabbed some killer pottery. That’s right, I said it, killer pottery. After our purchases we strolled a bit and returned to the hotel.

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