Traveling To The Medina, Morocco Essay

1989 words - 8 pages

Morocco is a country full of culture. This was obvious in the decor of our living room when we lived there. We had lanterns patterned and cut into thin metal, glazed pottery that reflected the blue and green hues it was painted with, and tajines. Lots of tajines. Tajines were classic Moroccan clay cooking dishes where a cone shaped top sat on a base, allowing steam from whatever was cooking to rise out of a small hole at the top. They would sit complacently on the shelves of our kitchen and living room painted with rusty oranges while others stood bare with no paint at all. My mother was fascinated with the priceless artifacts that the country had to offer, and that was why we constantly made trips to the Medina, a local artisanal market that sold everything from juice to jewelry. Each major city had one, and they all served as representatives of Moroccan culture.
After a long ride on the congested, hilly roads that marked the landscape like a painter’s brush on canvas, we arrived at the entrance of the Medina. There were no parking spots as usual, so my mom and I abandoned the car on the side of the road. A towering, clay wall surrounded the entire market as if to serve as an archaic protection for the artistic treasures that lay waiting inside. We reached the main entrance, already overwhelmed by the sight of so many vendors. The scene was like a piece of impressionist art. People rushed by us determinedly, some carrying their children while others stood out as tourists and businessmen with somewhere to be.
No matter how beautiful the scene seemed to be, walking through the Medina was like touring an ancient Roman ruin site. Vendors of all ages and genders called to you from their makeshift stores that in truth were nothing but a blanket on the floor covered with merchandise that nobody seemed to want to buy. Mothers sold intricate handwoven tablecloths of the most superior beauty while their children looked up at us in hope, wondering what they were missing outside of those tall clay walls. Both sides of the walkway were lined with wall-to-wall shacks that sold everything one could think of. There were wooden and metal masterpieces of every shape and size, meticulously detailed sculptures, canvases covered in shades of coppery oranges, deep blacks and blues, subtle reds, and olive greens. Animals peered from crowded cages, dozens of spices in pointed heaps left a pleasant aroma in their wake, pottery and baskets were stacked in packed shops, imitation clothing from American name brands hung on mannequins, while meats of different origins were hung above shop windows. As we walked through the narrow corridors, the sharp staccato sounds of Arabic could be heard in the background, and the smoky smell of mixed grill lured us through the busy streets. People greeted one another through the Moroccan custom of kissing on the cheek and people drinking pots of mint tea inhabited the many side-street cafés. We learned after a year of living...

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