Thursday, January 31, 2013

north africa, an introduction

I wrote my first report in 3rd grade. It was on elephants, both kinds, African and Indian, and very well-researched (for my age, ha). My aunt had just gotten back from her honeymoon--Tanzanian safari included--so I was very proud to have real photographs to include. I dreamed of having African photos of my own someday. Unfortunately, it wasn't until the last World Cup (in South Africa) that I was reminded again about the continent which had piqued my interest so early on. The main reason, I believe, is because I didn't grow up knowing nearly anything about it. My New York state education had only provided me with the American story (mostly US-focused) and the World's (European, with a pinch of Asian mention) story. In other words, Africa was just, Africa.
Sad, isn't it? And ridiculous. Honestly, I'd love to visit Tanzania, and South Africa, and Egypt, too; all of which don't nearly have as much in common as we (generalizing, I know) tend to assume. So when Anna and Leslie were in Paris seeking a weekend getaway destination, I was thrilled at the possibility of Marrakech. The price was right, the weather was warmer. We set out for Morocco two Fridays ago.
Upon arriving, we checked into our riad. Then, after leisurely enjoying our first pot of mint tea, we set out for a late lunch in the old city. No easy feat. We wandered to the Koutoubia Minaret, Manera Gardens, Jemaa El-Fna, and surrounding souks next, stopping for an exquisite glass of fresh orange juice along the way. Eventually, we sought shade (and glasses of crisp Moroccan rosé) at Cafe Arabe, before moving on to dine at Villa Rosa. It was certainly one of the fanciest dinners Anna, Leslie, and I shared but it was also one of the best; a medley of Moroccan salads, sweet pigeon pastillas (delicious, I promise), succulent chicken tagine, chocolate mousse, honey fruit skewers, avocado sorbet. 'Twas a lovely first day, and there was so much more to come...

8 comments:

  1. Your photos came out great! And I love how I'm definitely pointing to a map in that first photo of me and Leslie walking. Hah.

    PS I found a brand-new (like, 2 day old) bakery/patisserie near Union Square today. Breads Bakery, it's called- their croissants and pain au chocolat look mighty fine. I'll sample and report back.

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    1. Thanks, dear! Ha, that you are. Love it. Please, please, please report back with a review of that new boulangerie/patisserie. I need to start my Paris-in-NY list as soon as I wrap up my NY-in-Paris one :)

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  2. wow! your trip looks amazing! i cannot wait to see more!

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    1. Oh, it was. I cannot wait to share more! So many photos to sort through and edit!

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  3. wow! enjoy your time there, Africa is on my list to visit. one day

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    1. Thank you, I did! Hope you're able to visit, too.

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  4. as i sit here working on writing a rights agreement (read: i have no idea what i am doing), it's so nice to relive this again. :) this was an unforgettable weekend and i'm so glad we got to do it together!

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    1. So am I, so am I, so am I. Hope the rights agreement turned out... correctly ;)

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