Telegram for mr. mongo
Trip Start Mar 14, 2010
12Trip End Ongoing
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chef chaouen. chef chaouen. chef. chaouen.
as your mind's mouth plays with this most alliterative of moroccan towns, abondon the base instinct to roof-stop your tongue pressed hard upon upper teeth moments before chopping the air like an axe finding wood- this is not the harsh explosiveness of a 'ch' blend; rather my friends, delight in the sensuality of rounded lips and the tickle of tongue sweep teeth as they blow whispered puffs of prana borne as if on holy wings now finding depth and voice in the softly sunken yawn of a jaw before breathblown cheeks purse then settle on that most benign of consonant endings.
sh. aow. en. shaouen.
you still with me?
snuggled in the rif mountains, a troubador forgos for a moment his weariness and watches the wave and the wend of a word as it flitters from tongue to ear. more than simply a turn at literary showboating, this exercize in phonetic meandering well defines the polarities experienced between cities fez and chaouen. ten years since our last footfree and childless forray into the belly of the beast, fez found the ragsdales eschewing the medina for a three day stay in the nouvelle ville. although lacking in the razzledazzle of the old city, the town without affords us an opportunity at a more authentic perspective of 21 century morocco. gone were the incessant badgerings of robotic touts and the sameworn trinkets bought and sold. instead we shopped at a supermarket peopled by the normalcy of thursday afternoon and sundaystrolled avenue mohammad cinq with the middle class and where to my melancholic delight, the young men in streetside cafes sat glued to flatscreens living and dying with the sucesses and failures of their local futball clubs (damn, i should be drinking beers and watching the nba playoffs with calhoun and snyder or in thousand oaks with dannyrags, rickyrags and even delfino!) and yet, whether within or without, the metropolis engenders an aggessiveness seen in the disquietude of its inhabitants and heard in the guttaral chop of their spoken arabic
the melodic swish-swish of poured mint tea pulls me back from these musings and i gaze across the plaza outa el hamam onto marley crouched at the foot of a tree sketching moroccan boys as they cast sidelong fascinations at the gigglings of lunchtime beauties. weeks ago while winding our way through the parisienne streets of montmartre, marley marveled at the portrait artists and has thusly appropriated my moleskin journal filling it with brushed lines and pictures of the endeared and of the random. she has a talent for seeing deep into a man's (or at least this dude's) soul and slicing through the wellwornwell facade with harsh renderings of noses and thickened eyebrows--jeez, marley. really?
a-ha! lunch arrives. a clay pot, the tajine-rust-colored and tubercular- gives birth to a meaty stew of the same name: lulu tends toward the lemon chicken but i reckon on the kafta tajine- ground beef topped with a runny sunny huevo
we've rented an apartment for the week and after seven days and nights touring the spectacles of fez&marrakech, brighten to lazy days hiking waterfalls and cresting the lower peaks of these majestic morrocan mountains. yesterday, marley and i set out on a walk which began with a mad scramble up a rock baldfaced and trecherous and ended with marley rolling in grasses with woolen and horned ruminants while trying to teach the stone-faced lady of a shepard 'mary had a little lamb'.
early morning as dawnbreak birdsong fills the square, i wander this bluesplashed medina from merchant to merchant purchasing bread and fruits and three kinds of marmalade for our breakfast. a solitary moment stolen and now extended as i sit outside a cafe surrounded by the brackish burn of cheap cigarette and sleepshorn men sipping mint teas while regarding a world not quite awake and as of yet filled with promise&potential
next stop: espana...