Negotiating With Nomads

 Few things for me are more full of short-term pain and long-term pleasure than spending too much money to buy something I didn’t want. Because almost always, once I’ve finished smacking myself on the forehead for being so stupid, I realize that along with the purchase comes a good story at no extra charge. And then, the unwanted thing becomes a cherished memento. So it was that one morning in Essaouira, I was sucked into a nomad’s trinket shop. Continue reading “Negotiating With Nomads”

Eat, Pray, Love In Morocco: An Evening at Khadija’s Kuzina

Here’s an article I wrote for Journey Beyond Travel, about one of two cooking classes I took in Essaouira, Morocco last month!

Eat, Pray, Love in Morocco – An Evening at Khadija’s Kuzina

A Guided Tour of Chefchaouen, Morocco

The first of a series of articles I’m writing for a Moroccan tour company called Journey Beyond Travel has been published! Here’s the link:

A Guided Tour of The Blue City – Chefchaouen, Morocco

The Angry Sea

Est-que vous avez les cartes pour Maroc Telecom?
Oui.
Deux cinquante dirhams, s’il vous plait.

It’s strange, coming back to a place that is so familiar while still being so foreign. I arrived in Tangier last night after an adventurous day traveling from Granada, Spain. I’m not sure I would be calling it adventurous if finally arriving hadn’t been the most normal thing about it. Getting oriented in Morocco was easy the second time around. Getting here was not. Continue reading “The Angry Sea”

A Week In Tangier

Note: A slightly different version of this piece was first published on the travel site Journey Beyond Travel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn our first afternoon in the Tangier medina, a soft-spoken, bespectacled old man invited my wife and me to step inside his carpet shop to have a look. When we showed interest in a small piece, he suddenly vanished, to be replaced by The Closer”the younger and rabidly aggressive owner of the store. After being served mint tea and then cajoled, manipulated, pressured, and begged for far too long, we finally stumbled out, exhausted. Undeterred, we continued our walk, dodging one shopkeeper after another, each shouting: English? Espanol? Just have a look! Continue reading “A Week In Tangier”

A Bientót, Morocco!

I’m sitting in the back of our taxi as we drive, looping inland and then back to the Atlantic coast heading north from Essaouira. We’ve just begun the seven-hour drive to Salé, where we will spend our final night in Morroco. The sky is overcast. Forests of thuya wood stretch from both sides of the road, as far as the eye can see. As always, Yvonne is sitting in the front seat so that she can talk to the driver in French. I am half-listening, half writing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe trees become scrub as we get closer to the sea. Unburdened donkeys graze by the road, no work this morning. Small herds of sheep and goats populate the hillsides, their keepers always nearby. Low stone walls make corrals for the occasional horses or cows. We mount a rise in the road, and suddenly the ocean appears, calm, the beach an endless stretch of sand. Continue reading “A Bientót, Morocco!”