Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chefchaouen

Hike in hills. Walked around. Became accustomed. Man on hill. Bargaining. Nice lunch. Hash. Great dinner. Quiet.

It was cold. So very cold. But that was ok. We slept in. Pension Souika is ghetto. But the people are nice. Got up, got out and went to a random plaza. And we ate breakfast in the restaurant there and watched the people and the cats. And then we walked around and saw the hills and shopped a little. And definitely the city is surreal. The blue and purple and periwinkle. The sun and the mountains and the colorful shop merchandise. It passes in and out of an impressionistic dream, a history textbook, a national geographic. And we realized that we had become accustomed to the landscape, the people, the language, the tight streets, the cats, and the air.

We wandered outside the medina. We wandered into the hills. We wandered until we met a man with tres hijos and that no vos vendo hash and he vivo en la villa alla. He was very nice. But we wanted quiet. And so we said goodbye to him and we wandered higher into the hills and looked out on the landscape around us. A beautiful green dotted with the whites of villages. Slow winding roads with lazy cars gliding across them. The land was quiet.

All was quiet. Something we hadn't had in forever. Spain is a loud country. We live a loud life there.

But here.

Here was quiet.

We strolled down the hill, watched the city from the old mosque, and entered back into the medina. “Hash?” All the time the call came. NO. We didn't want any freakin' hash. At least they weren't robbing us (unlike the poor kid from Seattle we met, that had just gotten robbed in Tangiers (which is a city in the North of Morocco and not a country as I idiotically believed) and was very noticeably nervous).

And we started the process of bargaining. We were ok at it. It is really cool, and very fun. But now that I think about it, the prices aren't amazing ever, and ultimately we pay exactly what it seems to be worth. But that's fine, I hope I grabbed some nice gifts.

When we wandered around the city we got a feel for it. When we searched helplessly for a bag we almost bought spices and soap, when we wanted a quick meal, we got a four course dinner. When it's all through I know I will have loved it all. Really, we ran into a tiny Berber hotel where every man had a Berber moustache, and they served us four courses and we ate like kings for 70 dh (7 euro). And it was quiet there too, and we were the only ones there.

Peace. Quiet. Breathe out. Relief. Chaouen is good for the soul.