I’ve just returned from a week in Fes, Morocco. Living in the Medina, with its two million people and 9400 streets could hardly be more different to my ‘normal’ life living on the edge of a small forest in Germany. This brief sojourn was in part to escape the cold of European winter, and also to feed the muse and get ideas flowing for the next book. Having spent much of the cold winter months writing, it was time to enjoy some warm weather and experience new sights and sounds. I’ve been to Morocco many times, and always enjoy it for the friendliness of the people and the wonderful food.
The Medina in Fes is a great place for people watching, a favourite idle pastime of mine. Sitting at a small table of a street side restaurant close to Bab Boujloud (the Blue Gate),
We enjoyed wonderful food, and watched the continuous stream of humanity. I was reminded again how people all over the world are fundamentally the same; how the basic needs and building blocks of communal life are similar almost regardless of country. And no matter where you are, you will find people who are motivated by kindness and compassion, and those motivated only by self-interest and greed.
The streets are too narrow for even the smallest compact to pass, so it is filled with people going about their business, an occasional beggar in search of alms, and overloaded donkeys or mules. From the five a.m. call to prayer, the staccato haggling of carpet traders, to a supper of camel spleen sandwich, we spent the week filling our senses with the sights, sounds, and tastes of Morocco.
Although there was no moment of clarity, no unfolding Technicolor plot, it did serve to refresh and bolster my enthusiasm. It was also a salutary reminder of how fortunate most of us westerners are. Many without knowing it.