It’s funny how perspective changes everything. Last week this time I was entering the wolves’ den. I was young, naive and overwhelmed.
Now I have been to Fez and back and returning to Marrakech seems like a cake walk. Fez was intense. It is very conservative and not modern and the labyrinth of a medina is 6x bigger and more confusing than the one in Marrakech. Had I known that, I probably wouldn’t have gone.
But not wanting to miss the entire experience of the city out of fear for the hecklers, I hired a guide for the day. He was part big brother and part body guard and it was money very well spent.
It is an interesting culture that does not allow for solo women travelers. Thie bias is rooted in their culture and their religion. The flip side is that once you’re in you’re in. You are well cared for as a sister or as a wife. I learned also that all wives, regardless of how many you have, must all be treated equally. (Can you imagine?)
It makes me a bit sad for your gender, Seamus, as I was constantly shooing off not only the rowdy testosterone driven chaps but also the younger boys of 10 and 12, whom I was also afraid to trust. I felt like such a jerk to those younger ones, but they watch their brothers and I couldn’t risk feeding them my vulnerability.
I rode the train back to Marrakech today and spent hours watching a 4 & 5 year old brother and sister interact. Kids are the same everywhere. They clamour all over their mother for attention, bicker as siblings and color in coloring books. I couldn’t help but imagining how you might act if you were there. I imagined you would fit in seamlessly.
It doesn’t matter where you come from when you strip away the veils of adulthood.