Captivated By Marrakech

Published by Detourer in the blog Detourer's blog. Views: 136

Pammy, Bless her is an expert at delivering the one line classic ..........

Centries of sandaled footsteps, mules, donkeys hooves, creaking wheels, trolleys and carts had worn the cobbles uneven. Missing slabs together with later additions of drain covers and repairs had made the surface treacherous. Cardboard cartons, crates, plastic chairs and the odd pile of rags [or was that a begger sleeping] lined the edges. A trickle of water, origins unknown, wound its way down the centre. In other words, a typical back alley in the Marrakech Medina.

Pammy stood in front of a twirling display carousel that 20 years ago had seen better days, admiring herself in the cracked mirror. Mirror, Mirror on the wall............ No, this had the making of a corker. Geo looked bored, having done the "I don't do shopping" bit. Linda tried to describe a type of wicker basket she was looking for to an elderly man. He did not even work at the electrical stall she was standing at. Jan spotted more material and had fallen into a broad Gloustershire accent that left the trader wide eyed and bewildered.

A scooter rider wound his way through the mid morning throngs, waving to a friend and crashing into a cyclist creating a tangled screaming mass on the ground.

Pammy selected another pair of sunglasses, adjusted them for height and angle and tilted her head from side to side.

It was the "funsters" second visit to the Medina, they had ventured in the evening before on a recce after completing the epic Tizi n Tichka drive.

The arranged mini bus had picked all the "funsters" up from the outside of town campsite, and then driven them into town. When we say driven, it was more like a ride in a vehicle on an emergency call out. The headlights flashing, horn blaring, the driver rammed the luxury Merc. through the chaotic traffice whilst maintaining a constant conversation on his mobile phone!

Pammy decided that they did not suit and went for another pair .........

Traffic watching in Marrakech perhaps demonstrates best the paradox of this ancient and fabulous city. Gleaming Limo's run the quantlet along side aged vehicles battered almost shapeless. Fume belting trucks nearly as old as the city itself ignore straining mules pulling crates, sacks and bales. Tourists in mud covered 4X4's clearly regretting the incursion, look lost and confused. A blinged up Hummer pulls up alongside, behind the tints the Armani suit sits in chilled air, tapping the mahogany seals with diamonds and gold on each finger.

Pammy discards the common Ray bans, having spotted the Christian Dior's ............

Ray gives the "funsters" an orientation talk. Place Jemaa el Fna [square of the dead], beyond the tacky souk and behind that the "real" souk, banks over there, coffee Argana just there, follow the smell for the horse drawn carriages, behind you the Great Mosque, under that we meet in 2 hours...... Errrrr, where are the toilets, some one asks!

The milky rimmed Christian Dior's clash with Pammy's recently acquired sun tan. Perhaps the Yves Saint Laurent will look better, she thinks...........

My best price is 700 dirham. Linda dismisses the offer with a flick of the finger. "100 dirham, or shove it". "500 dirham, I have children". "100 dirham, or you will never have any more". Ok, ok, you are a hard woman I will make a loss". Linda adds another item to her already bulging shopping trolley.

Yves Saint Lanrent's are near perfect. But wait, there are more Christian Dior's on the top of the rack ...............

Ray slips into "Sweeny Todd's", at least that is the name he gave the barber many years ago. They hug and pass welcomes and enquire after distant and never met family members. On the floor Ray thinks he recognises the remains of his locks from his last visit back in May! Sweeny snips the hair and prepares to attack, totally ignoring Ray's detailed instructions. The misty mirror reflects nothing which is almost covered in photos of family. There is even one of Sweeny and Ray taken in the shop entrance when both were MUCH younger. Fluorescence tube is still humming, but the loosely hung ceiling fan has now gone. Ray wonders did it finally fall gruesomely claiming a victim.

Yes, gold Christian Dior's, embossed, large lens, right colour, right frame. There may well do thinks Pammy.............

Linda takes one look at Ray and declares "F.....sake". Ray said he had abandoned his Taliban look for the winter. Linda said he now resembles a !!!!!!!!! [Being a family forum I cannot say].

Pammy it seems has settled at last for the perfect sunglasses .............

Marrakech never shuts, it slows a touch, but never shuts.... The traffic is a little lighter but that could be that Ramadan is holding the population in check. Our mini bus driver is now more relaxed, perhaps he has eaten.

The truck stop next to the campsite is over flowing, but silent. The "funsters" peer out of the windows deep in throught. I think Marrakech has captured yet more hearts and minds.

Ali sits at the back of the ram shackled shop, we assume it is Ali, the shop front sign says "Ali's Baz". [The 'aar' has long since been obliterated by pigeon Sh ....]. His great nose wears a pair of spectacles modelled from the thick end of a coca cola bottle. No matter, he stares blankly at the soundless TV screen showing the blizzard scene from "Snowman"! Under his djellabah, from the front of which you can tell he recently had chicken and cous cous, pokes a pair of brand new Niki air soled trainers. His son restocks the shelves of DVD's showing films that have not yet made the cinema let alone disks.

Pammy ....... "How do you tell if these Christian Dior's are fake or real".......... Ray, pointing to the tacky cardboard sign which shows 30 dirham ...... The clue, Pammy, is in the price!!!!!

More to come ........... Hope to catch you later....
  • patilo
  • Popeye
You need to be logged in to comment