Sunday, August 12, 2007

more about casablanca

My room perplexed me: above the twin beds with yellow covers was an upside-down sunset. It intrigued me for days. What did it mean? On the last day, after we had been to the hammam together for a heaven on earth total treatment experience of steam, scrub, clay, wrap, bubble bath, full body massage, followed by a cool down with freshly squeezed orange juice at the Ziani baths, I saw Bérenice’s room when I went to borrow her nail clippers: she had a blue and pink sunset, horizontal. Hers was the right way up.

The curious dinner I had one night also perplexed me: at La Presse I received a Merlan Doré, which infinitessimally had its tail in its mouth. Its white eyes stared at me and it filled me with trepidation, was it horror, or fascination? But the taste of that fish was so rare and delicate that the memory will stay with me for a long time to come. A gold porcelain object broke.

The man at the olive stall with the tasteful mintgreen bobbly walls had laughed when I asked whether he was selling olives with mint. “we’ll have to try that combination sometime” he laughed. I believe it was olives with parsley or coriander he was selling. And his was the most tastefully arranged booth on the block, so simple, just an olive stall, but such style he had. The others were raucous, commercial, his was arranged with care, and it smelt nice.

There was the contagious laughter of my little friend Y. who continued laughing in my head as I tried to get to sleep, which only had me laughing again. A beautiful, intelligent child, the daughter of one of the artists in our group. They had travelled from Tétouan, it had been eight hours on the train, and poor Y. only had one book with her, about the story of Karim, which she had read again and again. I asked her to tell me what it was about and she proceeded to relate the story of the baby boy and his many brothers and the old man in the forest and the sharing of the bread, in great detail, as we both ate our delicious tagine. She had this magic laughing trick. We met up several times during the eight days, she is so on the ball, I love it when people are so much in the present. There were times when she was tired and turned inwards like a flower in the evening, and others when her energy was hard to keep up with and her laughter had me reeling. On the evening before last she translated some words for me from Arabic into French, as her mother looked on in disbelief...

greetings, next installment soon, thank you sister three for reconnecting me with those fine people you met in ghent, it was a warm reunion in a circle of trees which today was my livingroom. Tiny spiders fell on us from above and the sun only graced us with a few splatters of light, for the rest it was muggy grey and portions of free-jazz and fizz (that's a gin fizz without the gin - excess inclines one to moderation).

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