Other Towns: The Musical family
Trip Start Aug 06, 2008
39Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
: 6 hours: 5.7 kms
At the grand taxi stand I come across a 10 year old ticket hustler wearing thick dark glasses. "He's the son of the owner" someone mutters as he collects our money. At least he's not driving.
Have to take two cabs to get to Ben Slimane--a fairly quiet town at the edge of the "Great Forest"--the largest forest in Morocco that stretches from here to Rabat. Ben Slimane locals like to rave about it--but don't get your expectations to high...no offense, but forests are not Morocco's strong point..
Ben Slimane clearly had ambitions at one point to be a garden city--with little plazas and would-have-been gardens scattered about--most of which haven't been maintained in years. There is one very nice park though--but it still hasn't been opened to the public. And instead of taxis here you have nicely adorned horse carriages which give the town a touch of class. As I explore the town from one end to the next, a young fellow calls out, "is that a folk guitar?"
"Yeah--cost me 300 Dh down at Bab Marrakech in Casablanca"
We jam a little bit there on the sidewalk--then he invites me to meet his family—and it turns out to be a fascinating encounter.
His father, Hajj Mustapha, is an engineer who works for city hall--but he's certainly not your stereotypical Moroccan bureaucrat. He invites me to sit down--then he brings out his lute and starts playing a few tunes. Now with two guitars and a lute we had a full sized jam session going. It’s a beautiful and unusual experience--you don't generally have two generations of Moroccans playing music together.
A great family--spent a really nice afternoon there. I’m tempted to accept when they invite me to stay the night, but in the end decide against it--I don't like to impose myself too much...