Fez, Morocco


Fez is Life in Technicolor

May 2011

I take in the DSCN8154sunlight filtering through the delicate iron filigree over the windows, making the blue and white tiles on the walls appear as if they are glittering. Lunch is in front of me on the family table. Rich golds, greens, and reds blink at me as if to say, ‘I’m too beautiful to eat.’ There is an aroma of some kind of mint tea teasing my senses tenaciously, and I am surrounded by strangers that have brought me into their home as their own daughter.

We don’t speak the same language. We don’t have the same culture, but it doesn’t matter. We still share our thoughts, our ideas, our food as if we’ve known each other for many years. Grandma scolds me to eat more, as Salah and I discuss the latest movies like if we’d gone to the cinema the week before. It is overwhelmingly ‘home.’

DSCN8171The next day we venture into the Old Medina. You cannot possibly take in all at once the beautiful, all-encompassing assault on your senses. Your eyes are not big enough to accurately record the rainbow of spices for sale, myriad  colors you could only envision in a dream, or the floor to ceiling walls of mirrors beckoning to you like sparkling diamond rings. The deep, earthy smell of leather never leaves your nostrils. You can almost taste it as you touch it, the thick, rich, softness flowing between your fingers like velvet.

We make a stop for scarves. There are more colors, more rainbows.

How is that possible?

You watch the men weave quickly and deftly, the scarf around your neck coming from those very looms. Outside you can still hear the calls of the market vendors and the slow clip-clop of the donkeys laden with cargo of coca-cola and tapestry.

On the way home we stop for tea with a friend in his stall where every last millimeter is filled with multicolored leather and pottery. Your eyes, your ears, your nose, your mouth, your hands, they are working overtime to create a mental snapshot of this moment, but it’s only a shadow of the real thing.

DSCN8350

Then it is sunset on a hill above the city. All is quiet now, and the silence rings more loudly in your ears than the cacophony of sounds did throughout the day. Life stills, and you can feel Fez wrap its beautiful arms around you and accept you as its own.


 

DSCN8360It’s already the last night. Time bows to no one here. Amid card games of war, lessons on the Arabic alphabet, and becoming a Moroccan princess, my heart breaks at the thought of leaving.

I’ve found a family in this brilliantly painted world. I’ve seen in shades I could have never imagined.

 

You must come back with me to this place that is bursting at the seams with life. Have your own sensory overload. Discover the deafening yet tranquil silence, become part of a family you never knew you had, and live life, above all, in technicolor.

 


 

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  1. Pingback: What Traveling has Taught Me about Commitment

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