Linnea Ashley on May 30th, 2010

May 30, 2010Asilah, Morocco Food fantasies have subsided for me here. What began as palpable anticipation has faded into a mechanical routine; something required of me but not for the joy of it. It isn’t that I haven’t had any good food, only that the good food I’ve had has been in remote pockets. Random […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 30th, 2010

May 27, 2010Merzouga, Morocco We are herded. Like the sheep on the side of the road – the young girl prodding them forward gently and then more aggressively when they strayed. Hers were headed to pasture, we were headed to Moroccan culture (or a timely and affordable facsimile).I tend to shy away from organized tours. […]

Continue reading about full moons and bumpy humps

Linnea Ashley on May 30th, 2010

May 25, 2010Marrakech, MoroccoHope is both guiding light and cruel tool. Marrakech, an ephemeral dream of possibilities, met me at the end of a seven-hour (and delayed) train ride from Fes. Older and more crowded than every other morocco train ride so far, this one included 18MAD sandwiches (expensive at just over $2 but unnecessary […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 25th, 2010

Hope is both guiding light and cruel tool. Marrakech, an ephemeral dream of possibilities, met me at the end of a seven-hour (and much delayed) train ride from Fes. Older and more crowded than every other morocco train ride so far, this one included 18MAD sandwiches (expensive at just over $2 but unnecessary for me […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 24th, 2010

I hate being a tourist. I hate to see so many folks herded together to take the same photos and hear the same stories. To buy the same crafts and eat the same food. It is the sameness…the sameness and the impossibility of intimacy.Don’t get me wrong, I understand hustle. I know that my visit […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 24th, 2010

Once I got over the naked part the rest was easy.I took off my shoes, put on my flipflops, and smiled from my perch on the blue and white benches. Women, those who worked there and those there for the hammam (bath) themselves, watched me with bemusement. One of the stewards brought over a bucket […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 24th, 2010

I surveyed the rolling hills. They were steeper than they looked. And in the heat of the day, afternoon call to prayer echoing over the browning grass beneath the rich blue sky. We’d already walked up a series of hills in search of Moulay Yacoub thermal spa-scoffing at the 50 MAD price the taxi drivers […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 21st, 2010

The narrow winding streets of the medina are sheltered on both sides (and sometimes above) by shops; it is an ancient shopping mall of pretty much all things conceivable….living animals waiting to become meals, or their kin already slaughtered, silver, copper being made, rugs, tile. Whatever you need is nestled somewhere between one of the […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 19th, 2010

The call to prayer chases itself from one minaret to the next – echoing its multiple births across the Place Boujeloud outside the medina gate. Sparsely populated during the day – mostly students from the adjoining college sharing the shade of a row of mulberry trees dropping ripe fruit – the paved expanse is crowded […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 19th, 2010

“Côte d’Ivoire?”I shook my head no.“Cameroon?”I shook again.“Nigeria?”Now he was reaching; unsure but determined to figure it out.“American,” I offered with a smile. His turn to shake his head. “you are African,” he grinned at me, confident in his assessment.He wasn’t alone in noticing me or in guessing my origins. Here, at least, the assumption […]

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