Before coming here everyone would say. This is my favourite city in Morocco. Yeah, yeah, well, I like weird places and I am sure I like different things than most people because I am strange. But, I must say I really, really like Essaouira as well. Now, I am not ready to say it is my favourite city in Morocco. I actually don’t like to say “favourite” without more adjectives.
Like, so far, Guilmim is my favourite city on the edge of the Sahara when you think you won’t find another city before the Sahara and have lots of practical things to do city in Morocco.
Aourir is my favourite practical travellers truck paradise to limp in with your broken down rust bucket and cruise out with a beautiful shiny truck while enjoying a therapeutic class of avocado juice from the friendly man with the happiest juice bar I have seen so far and hanging with the locals in the weekly market.
Agadir is my favourite, my favourite, my favourite uh place to uh no just doesn’t work can’t be positive about everything. I don’t like Agadir.
Diverging a bit, you probably realize that I am a very frustrating mum. I was looking at pictures my kids had drawn. You know, looking at pictures one from each child and they look up at you and say, “which is your favourite, mum”.
O.K., first of all, like I am not going to be able to tell the difference between the drawing that my 14 year old drew and that of my 8 year old. I will say, something like, “This one has friendlier eyes. That one has the cheekiest grin. This one has softer looking fur. That one has the muscliest legs.”
“MOM, which one is your favourite!”
“Oh yeah, so sorry. This one has my favourite friendly eyes. That one has my favourite cheeky grin. This one has my favourite soft looking fur. That one has my favourite muscly legs.”
You see, me and my sister used to do the same game with our colouring. Time for a little pity. I always lost. Well, not always, one time I coloured with yellow and my mom couldn’t see the yellow so well. I knew I was a terrible artist. I know, I know, Awwww poor little Debbie. You see the problem was that I didn’t know how to colour in the lines. I was just different, not a bad artist just a bit of a strange one. Btw, I still haven’t learned how to colour in the lines and I have ceased to care. But, as they always say, how can you compare apples and oranges.
All that to say, Essaouira is my favourite emotional, artistic, ancient city I have been to so far. Where else will you find amazing shop full of french designer bags that has 2 signs. Above the door it says public and next to the door is a metal bin overflowing with knotted up wool. Next door a key shop. Next to that a metal workshop with a chicken made out of a teapot and a pair of scissors in an army of other strange animals made out of bizarre metal objects. Next to that a shop to buy a broom and hoses. The best, not one but many shops devoted to tassles – yeah I know – you can never have enough great tassles – as I always say. You see, I hate going to places where the tourist culture is so strong that the normal, everyday happenings of making keys and buying a broom are pushed out to the fringes. When we travel we are supposed to try to touch into the flavours and aroma – or stench – of the real world not some fairytale expression of a dream. Dang girl, get off your soapbox! Back on target, If you get hungry go to the nice lady at the corner and get a small cone of salted chick peas or big grey beans for about 10 cents. We heard about the great Italian ice cream but didn’t find it. We saw alot of ice cream fridges but to the kids dismay they were filled with things like fish and chopped up tomatoes and onions and things. Hmmmm. maybe we will try again today.