Wednesday, January 19

1 part culture

Stop Sign
We did flee the compound, ahem, resort for one day. Here are pictures from our day trip to Taroudant, a small city known as "Little Marrakesh."

Lunch Time
This is one of the first things we saw when we got out of the car - A man carrying a soon-to-be-dead chicken by the feet walking with with his son.
Coca cola in Taroudannt, Morocco
We stopped right away for a drink but mostly just to take in our surroundings. In the square in front of us were snake charmers and a few medicine men. Each of the medicine men had a huge crowd of men surrounding them. I don't know where all the women were. Our guide told us that the medicine men tell stories and give animated "sales pitches" about their herbal remedies. The men listen to these and (hopefully) buy some of the medicine man's offerings. These sales pitches and the intent way the men all stood listening reminded me a bit of preacher delivering a passionate sermon. Unfortunately, we couldn't understand a bit of it. The language spoken in Taroudant is a Berber language.

The snake charmers were there for tourists. As we walked by each one they would suddenly play their flutes. After our drinks we wanted see who of the snake charmers for the girls, but they had all packed up by that time.

Market Scene
Market in Taroudannt
Market in Taroudannt
Market Bread

There are 2 large souks in Taroudannt. We were lucky to see both the Berber Souk which sold dried fruits, household goods and clothes and the Arab Souk which sold a huge variety of handicrafts (carpets, silver jewelry, pottery.) There were many stalls selling fresh herbs, mostly mint and cilantro. We also saw "tea" stalls that sold nothing but dried herbs and flowers for making tea.
Items used in a Hammam
Black Soap
Toothbrushes
This particular stall sold items used in an hammam. A hammam is a public bath facility. But it is really more than that. Hammams were created because many Moroccans didn't have running water in their homes. A hammam provided a place to bathe. They evolved from merely a place to bathe into a communal space used for socializing. There is a specific process to being bathed at a hammam (yes, there's no self service, someone will scrub you) and a variety of different cleansing products - pumice, black soap, olive soap, henna (for women's hair.) Click on hammam link to get a detailed description of the hamman experience. The red bowl in the middle picture contains black soap. In the first picture you can see pumice stones and henna. The bottom picture is of tooth brushes (at least that is what our guide told me.)
Moroccan Door
Moroccan Door
Moroccan Door
The doors in Taroudant were amazing as were the ones that lined the road from Agadir to Taroudant. I could have just walked done the road photographing doors. Most of them had some kind of metal overlay or detailing on them and then were painted a bright color.

This short, little day trip to Taroudant reconfirmed in me what I love about traveling - seeing things that are so very different than what I'm used to.

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Dear Friends, you may or may not have noticed my lack of posting of late. I'm still trying to rise above the post holiday inertia that inevitably plagues me each year. Still searching for my boot straps so I can give them a hefty tug. I have no doubt that I'll find them, just taking a bit longer than I'd like.
At the same time I'm wondering whether or not to continue this blog. I'm not sure what it is about, why I write it and what I (or anybody else) really gets out of it. I wonder if my attention would be better off in the "real world." Ugh. So there you have it, a self-indulgent spewing of where I've been. Have you ever felt stuck? What helps you get unstuck?

29 comments:

jojoebi said...

NOOOOO don't stop blogging, I love seeing what you are sharing, your little differences, day trips and recipes!

se7en said...

Wow, that looks like simply an amazing place to visit... Hang in their with the fug and see if it passes or not, I will always love reading whatever you blog!!!

Potters said...

Love this post, so interesting! Don't quit blogging, I love reading about your travels, experiences, and day to day life in Europe. Not to mention your crafty ideas, which I dare to dream about possibly attempting one day. You may feel stuck, I anxiously await what you blog about. :)

donandchris said...

Katy, I love your blog! Of course I appreciate the connection over the many miles with family. But there is more. I love the way your write. I enjoy your sense of humor. I truly look forward to your blog and would miss it, of course. That being said...I would only continue if it feeds you in some way. If you enjoy sharing parts of yourself with the cyber world. I hope it does, but if not time to move on!!! You can write a book! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm a mom of three girls from Minnesota who reads your blog regularly. I really enjoy seeing other parts of the world thru your eyes. Please don't stop!

Erin M. said...

Katy-

I love your blog. It keeps me connected to the life/ culture of Luxembourg and Europe and reminds me of my experiences there. I truly enjoy you reflections, but understand that it's tough sometimes to keep it going-- especially with 2 beautiful girls drawing you back to the real world.

Maria said...

I love your blog, and I hope you don't stop writing it! That said, I really understand inertia and slumps and all things related.

What works for me is a) rest, b) time, and c) just doing it. Usually in that order.

Dana said...

Keep blogging! Your ideas and thoughts inspire us.
Take a break if you must, but please come back.

I've met with the post holiday blues, too. Not fun. I'm just trying to keep busy & am dreaming of the sun!!! to include looking through pictures of sunnier days.

Thinking of you!!!
Dana

Possum Valley Farms said...

Add my voice to those who would miss your blog. It is interesting to see your world as I sit here in Oklahoma. And the craft ideas you have shared have enriched the lives of the children in our child care center. Thanks, Sally

Annabel, Mikko, Marcelle and Eric said...

Keep blogging!!!!
I know exactly how you feel!!! There now, had a horrible end of the year and have not found my groove either...I will say this, I know it`s around the corner...I hit this slump every year, then one day, the sun comes out, winter isn`t so harsh anymore (especially here where I`m still waiting for the sun to come up high enough above the horizon to finally bathe my house in sunlight...!!!), and bam, you`ve re-found your mojo!!! Hang in there! I promise to giddy-up too...:)

This Girl loves to Talk said...

we love you! but I understand. Sometimes I say I blog for me, so it doesnt matter if noone reads or leaves comments... but secretly ofcourse I blog for others so its nice to recieve feedback.

If it becomes a chore than you sometimes we tell yourself its not worth it, but it is. Keep pressing forward... I love the (free) creative outlet that blogging is...


However I would understand if you wanted to stop. If you want to do some good in the 'real world' maybe limit your blogging to once a week, or certain time of the day and keep it simple to open up your time to do good elsewhere too.. but do know you are doing good here too!!

likeschocolate said...

I hope you don't give up blogging. We love hearing about your experiences and I think one day you will look back and be so grateful you documented so much of your experience. Love the crats and recipes too. So please come back.

Emily said...

For what it's worth, I adore your blog! Love to hear about your experiences abroad.

Jessica said...

Oh, I hope you don't quit blogging! I love reading and seeing what life is like for all of you on the far side of the pond.

I am sorry you are in a slump, I always get the blues in Feb. for some reason. I hope you pull out soon! I wish I could send you some sunshine from San Diego!

Emily said...

Nothing wrong with taking a break! Let's try to chat tomorrow. xo

christie said...

I love your blog, too and would miss it immensely.
Your writing is excellent and the photos so
delightful. Getting unstuck can sometimes be
hard and taking a break and immersing yourself
in daily living without thinking about the blog
can be refreshing. A new theme is bound to
pop up. Permit yourself a time of reflection.

littlewondersdays said...

Ok, so I'm a blog lurker, but love your blog and read it regularly. I started reading back when you hosted MTM. I love seeing all the places you visit and the little differences you point out along the way. I like that you sprinkle it with everyday life and ideas for kids. Hope you don't stop blogging!

katy said...

Thank you, you sweet wonderful people.

WasSoggyInSeattle said...

I hope you don't stop blogging. I enjoy escaping into your world every now and then. You have a beautiful way of writing and your photography - WOW. So, my vote is to continue. But if you stop, know you will be missed!!

Raymona

ksjjpalmer said...

I love the culture and the relaxation! I have loved that you share our experience in Luxembourg and the world and in parenthood. I would definitely miss your blog. I check it everyday. Hang in there and thinking of you.

Anita said...

We are off to Agadir in February, although I believe we are in a different all-inclusive (hubby made the arrangements).

How easy was your day trip? Did you work with the hotel to get a local guide? Any tips?

Also, count me in the numbers who are encouraging you to continue. Blogging over the long term is difficult, but well-worth it!

YoAli! said...

K - Ditto to all of the above. I feel like each time I read your musing we are connecting across the miles. xo S

Lisa said...

I really like "staying connected" through your blog so I hope you don't stop. But I completely understand, as I am in a blog funk too questioning why I am doing it and feeling uninspired. I blame it on January:-)

katy said...

Anita - We rented a car and drove to Taroudant. There was a rental car agency right in the lobby of our hotel. Some other people who met at the hotel hired a taxi to take them there. As for the guide, he found us! He saw us driving into the center of Taroundant and directed us to a parking lot and -voila- there he was, waiting for us at the parking lot, happy to be our guide. He guided us through the city but also into stores where he had a relationship with the owener. So, he got some of the profits of what we bought. It reminded me a lot of India. Have you experienced anything like that? They see you are a tourist and want to make money off of you. I don't know how to hire a "proper" guide. I'm sure he would do the same thing in the stores, though.

dan said...

Hello, I'm a dad of 2 little boys in North Carolina who is considering a possible move to the Luxembourg/Netherlands area. I have your blog bookmarked and check it regularly. Your writing and photography is really fantastic - I just wanted to let you know.

Marlo said...

I love your blog. We haved lived in France before and my husband has lived in Lux twice, so I read it all the time. I even took a picture of the drawing and art supplies at my local store here in Turkey, inspired by you. Just in case that makes you want to continue writing. I am reading.

Michelle, Muffin Tin Mom said...

I also adore your blog. I love whatever your post. my faves are the little differences, but truly i love it all.

allthingsjuice said...

I'm with Jojoebi. Mostly I lurk, but I love living vicariously through you and learning about parts of the world I may never visit!

Monkey's Mama said...

don't stop!

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