Last week, my family arrived in Casablanca for a two-week tour of Morocco. After visiting all the tourist spots in Casa, Rabat and Fes, we headed into the Atlas mountains. There, our taxi driver took us to a small cave studded with blankets, cushions, pots and Amazigh jewelry, just off the main street. A wonderful woman whose family had lived there for a century and who now opens her home to travelers made us tea and drowned my 11-year-old brother in a large djellaba.
*Pictures don’t fully show the horror experienced here. Seriously.
As I type this report from the trenches of Al Akhawayn’s café, bees swarm around my head and patter over the large picture windows behind me. A bee sucks the life out of my pain au chocolat while ten others slurp obscenely from a packet of honey left open by Darling, my constant and chivalrous freshman protégé. A bee crawls up and down my spine, sending sparking shivers down my back.
After a Sunday afternoon spent shopping and collecting dust at the medina, the other interns and I decided to relax at a café in the seaside Palais des Oudayas. And so, like Mary entering the Secret Garden (let’s just stretch that comparison a bit), we said goodbye to the hectic medina atmosphere and entered the Palais’ ornate and peaceful fortress.