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in the medina's market

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A streetside musician


MARRAKECH   ..     Marrakech was the red city.  The predominant color everywhere was a pinkish earth tone.  It was especially neat at sunset.  There were rooftop cafes around the medina to take advantage of it too.  There was no better place to drink Moroccan mint tea that had entirely too much sugar in it.  (You really can't imagine how much sugar can be put in tea.)

The medina area of Casablanca was where real people went about their daily lives.  It was not that way at all in Marrakech's Jamaa el Fna.  It was a zoo of activity, color, sounds, and smells.  It was great for a day but I would hate to have to put up with it every time I wanted to go to the medina.  There were cobra snake charmers, gymnasts, singers, monkeys, and venders.  Lots of venders!  They sold everything from fruit to underwear.  Everyone wanted to get their picture taken -- if the price was right.

Everything could be purchased in the medina.  One shop that I walked into was lined with bottles filled with all kinds of spices and other wonders.  Some of the items were for cooking, others for makeup, but my personal favorites were the aphrodisiacs.  They were to be ground up and used in teas.  The one for women looked like a collection of flower petals.  I started to smell it but was instantly warned to be careful.  For the men, there were metallic green, dead, Spanish flies.   Who would have ever been the first to try that?  And they were expensive at five dead flies for a dollar. 

Copyright 2001 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.