Marrakech at Ramadan

Here in Marrakech, reputed to be pretty wild, everyone was a bit subdued today because of Ramadan. We took a walk through the souks today, and the vendors were all working, but were not aggressive at all. By mid afternoon, it was quiet, with most laying down taking naps. We did see one seller lose his temper and complain loudly (likely a smoker suffering from nicotine withdrawal), and Zak commented that if you can’t maintain a good attitude, it’s better to smoke and eat. Walking past the drowsy sellers, I spotted a guy watching Ramadan porn on his phone: a video of meat sizzling on a grill.

In the souks, we met many of Zak’s friends as well as one of his brothers and a couple of cousins. Each of these people works in a little stall selling stuff.

Marrakech is the hottest place we have been. Inside buildings, which are made of thick masonry, it’s quite pleasant. In the narrow streets, which are all in the shade, it’s not bad. In the sun, it’s really hot. From the main square, where everything happens, to the riad where we are staying, it’s full sun. Only a half mile or so but brutal. We got back in the mid afternoon drained from the last 15 minutes of walking. Fortunately, there is a little swimming pool on the roof that refreshed us.

In the late afternoon, we rode horse carriages for about an hour to the new medina, or modern city. Property values increased with every mile. We passed gated communities, international stores, Burger King, Starbucks, deluxe hotels.

Tonight, at dinner, Zak finished his first day of fasting. We all counted down with him, then at 7:23 he drank a glass of water down and had the traditional date with milk. A few minutes later, we complained that our food was taking a long time and the waiter pleaded for patience because of course, the whole staff had to break the fast.

Unstructured day tomorrow, a rare alarm-free morning.