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In Meknes, Morocco

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In Meknes, Morocco
Meknes, Morocco
October 6, 2007
Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com

Open park area that serves as the city’s meeting place, in Meknes, Morocco.

In Meknes, Morocco the men in the streets perpetually engage each other in verbal conflict and pretend that they are going to fight. It just seems to be a normal thing to do. I have yet to see them actually engage each other physically; they just stand in the streets yelling, with a crowd of spectators standing around them. This manly mock fighting is such an anti-climatic event to watch that it almost makes me want to sneak in and throw the first punch. Then, at least, something would happen.

It has been written many times about how the repetitive, go nowhere tidings of Arabic music represents the ways of the culture. Maybe this is no better represented than in these macho pseudo fights that clog up the streets with spectators at extremely frequent intervals. Two men disagree, they call each other out, then stand face to face yelling for around five minutes, then one of them momentarily walks away only to return, and the whole cycle begins again. It goes nowhere. There are no punches, no pushes, no violence; just men puffing their plum out at each other until both egos are fully satiated. Eventually, both men seem to forget why they are standing there yelling at each other in the first place, and then return to their daily activities.

Kind of like Arabic music.

In Meknes, Morocco I walk the streets with little care in the world; I have one friend and little company. The only things which distract me from my continuous internal dialog are the queer little statements from my one friend, Abdel, and chatting through instant messenger to my best friend Erik (about girls) and Mira (about love). It seems as if time has stood still for these past few weeks, and I have been able to just walk through the frozen stiff crowds, gaze at the unmoving, age old city streets, and live completely removed from everyday concerns and obligations. I feel free in such anonymity and welcome these short periods where I am so trapped in my own thoughts that I can hardly acknowledge the world turning all around me. But I will soon awake, fresh to my senses, as Mira the Solitude Smasher is coming to pop my little bubble of isolation, and I will find, with a shrug of my shoulders, that life has been continuing on for this entire time. On and on and on.

Kind of like Arabic music.

Man at Restarant Oumnia, who no longer provides me with reduced price meals.

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Filed under: Africa, Friends, Morocco, Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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