Fez

It’s something out of an action movie, the messy Medina, the colors, the crowds of jiyabs, the roaming cigarette salesman all under the harsh sun that has managed to filter through the over hangings. The beauty of Morocco, I am learning, is held tightly within each moment as nothing ever stands still. The scene is constantly changing: one moment you are lost and the next you are sitting down with a new friend drinking the typical “Moroccan whiskey” or mint tea as a warm conservation begins to flow between strangers. Momentarily you become family, “you will be my sister now and until the end, my friend.” Walking outside into the crazy buzz that of the Medina, a multitude of languages, recognizable and not, hang in the air among the highlighted dust particles wafting in and out of the rays of the Saharan sunshine. Locals run effortlessly through the labyrinths, everyone hustling, everyone active, everyone chatting. I half expected to run into Indiana Jones. Yet that is what Fez is in its essence, it’s rougher than most cities, yet it has some how created an atmosphere that draws in the adventurous while still holding onto its culture and is fearlessly proud. As we stopped to sample street food and I began to speak in Spanish, a scrawny man stopped and began to ask me where I was from and the most popular question here: “Is this your first time in Morocco?”.  Now, some say I’m stupid and take too many risks, but I think my judgement of character has kept me out of some sticky situations. For only 2 euros my new friend took us around for the rest of the day showing us with pride his city as we discussed politics, school, and new Moroccan developments, such as a high speed train which will bring in more tourists and allow for a more fluid communication between the major cities. At the end I was his sister, and I was so grateful to have met him and to be allowed a glimpse into the Fessian mindset about the current state of the city. Now that I am sitting here writing this, I realize that Fez is rooted firmly in itself and its own past and present while Marrakesh, our next stop, is branching out into the globalized world and looking more so into its future.

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