We took a detour south to Fez, Morocco this week to spend some time with our friends Marcus, Amy and their three-year-old son Luca. We’re staying in the Medina, the old section of this thousand-year-old city in a riad, a “a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard”. It’s hot and third-world, and our riad is a bit crumbly and fraying on the edges, despite having once served as the home to the grand vizier, according to its AirBnB listing.
Our meals have all been prepared by the Hannah, Amina and their mother, and have all been delicious. For my part, the best part of it has been going shopping in the market with them each morning, picking out the vegetables and meats for the days meals together. This has worked remarkably smoothly, despite the fact that they speak not a word of English, and my high school French is, shall we say, crumbly and fraying 0n the edges.
We’ve spent our days exploring the medina, the old section of the city, and taking a daylong trek into the Middle Atlas mountains. The mountain lake was a soothing relief from the 95° heat, and it was fun to pick up a trilobite fossil from Zev. The high point, though, was the macaque monkeys, which were docile and eager to be fed peanuts in the park.
Many memorable mental snapshot moments, like walking through the market and glancing over as a vendor absently grabbed a live chicken, twisted its neck and slit its throat while chatting with the customer.
For all the fuss people make about the harassment from locals trying to sell things to Westerners, it’s been fairly easy to ignore, and we had a great time hanging out with the kids in the main square, where Michelle wowed the local girls with her mad paddy cake skills.