And so we begin…

Bismillah,

Welcome to my blog.

Hmmm, I’m a little nervous, starting a new blog and all.  This is not as easy as it looks.

Why a new blog?  For the challenge of a new creative project, to share a little of what my life is like, as woman, wife, mother of three, teacher, and seeker of beauty, living in the bustling city of Marrakesh, Morocco.

I hope that this blog will eventually provide an answer the question I am asked by so many “What is there to do in Marrakesh?”.  Although (I hope) my answers may differ from the guide books.

Whether you are in Marrakesh for a day, a week, or a lifetime…whether you love it here or have been unwittingly held captive…or a little of both…this blog will have a little something for you.

So let’s start it off with a list.  The best things in life are free, but as a visitor to Marrakesh, you may feel like everyone wants their cut, whether it’s that snake charmer whose picture you snapped when you thought he wasn’t looking (believe me he was), or the friendly kid who shows you the way back to your riad when you get lost in the old city labyrinth for the 17th time.  But surely there must be something you can enjoy that does not leave you an Accidental Consumer.

Top 5 Cheap Thrills to Enjoy in Marrakesh:

1-The Sun.  Let’s face it, that’s why there are so many direct flights from Europe to Marrakesh.  (and so many rather red looking tourists blinking in the Marrakesh sun).  Today, in the middle of January, while Londoners worry about whether there will be enough grit for the icy roads, Marrakshis worry about forgetting the sunscreen (or not, since most of us don’t actually use any).

2-Getting High.  ODid that get your attention?  Good, but I’m not talking about “that kind of high”.  One of the best ways to see Marrakesh is from a rooftop.  Gaze off across the Great Sea of Sattelite Dishes.  The palm trees remind you that you are in the desert.  And during the winter months, when the Atlas mountains receive their regal mantle of snow, and the haze is chased away by the cold, well folks that’s postcard material right there.

3-Tea. It’s the fuel that keeps Moroccans going.  Available everywhere, whether its the rug seller you just sealed a deal with, or the Moroccan family you are just dropping in to see, your presence will be honored with tea. Ingredients: green gunpowder tea, mint and SUGAR.  No, it’s the not the mint that makes it sweet!  Just looking at a pot of Moroccan tea might give you diabetes.  However, one taste of this sweet nectar, and you will succumb to its addictive powers.

4-Hospitality.  Should be so lucky as to be invited into the home and hearts of a Moroccan family, take notes my friend.  They will host you seemlessly, graciously.  A tajine simmering in the pressure cooker, another round of tea, and the expansiveness of time unhurried.  It is an experience in slowing down and enjoying the good company of loved ones, it is soul food for us westerners, it is heart expanding.

5-The Hammam.  I will post more on where to go and how it’s done, hopefully, later.  How does having the top layer of your skin scrubbed off sound?  Painful?  Au contraire, nothing could feel better, it’s totally relaxing and invigorating, and it’s the cleanest clean you’ll ever be my friend.  If you do nothing else in Morocco, go to the Hammam.  (but wait for my in-depth “how to” post).

What are your favorite cheap thrills in Marrakesh?

9 thoughts on “And so we begin…

  1. Thera says:

    Hi moroccomama,

    I just discovered your web-log.I got interested in Morocco,because I made a trip last november to that beautiful country.I,m a textilelover and I saw a lot of wonderfull textiles.Of course I went to Marrakesh too and visited the Tiskiwin museum.Bert Flint,a Dutch gentleman (from my country)owns his wonderfull museum there.He shows you textiles,etnic embroideries,antique weavings,carpets,and so on,and so on…..If you don,t know the museum yet,go and have a look and say hello to him from me….(I bought some things from him)
    Of course I was on the famous square with the “snakeman”.Sorry,I did n,t like it there at all,because of all that people who says you took a picture and wanted money.Even if you did n,t have a camera with you!!!!I hope,with your new blog,you can show me that Marakkesh is nice too!

    • Hi Thera,
      Thanks for the comment. As you can see I’m just starting out with the blog. I’ll definitely check out the Tiskiwine, thanks for the tip, I’ll mention you.
      I’m sorry you had a bad experience at Jema el Fna. I’m not a big fan either, I find it dark, the snakes, the sorcery, the male belly dancers, etc. Hopefully I can share some of the many wonderful things about Marrakesh on here.

  2. Hey Moroccomama.

    I just found your blog.I like your post about Marrakech.I’m from there, and i live in Florida USA.It’s always good to see Morocco throught westerners eyes.I’ll be there in March and April for a nice vacation.I haven’t been in Morocco for 3 years.Hopefully,the weather won’t be that cold.Good luck with your blog and i’ll be reading your posts.

    • Hi Aziz,
      Thanks for your comment. I hope you’ll enjoy this blog. I took a look at your website, very nice photos! Good stuff. I’m looking forward to receiving a new camera from the States (coincidentally, my friend is visiting from Florida). I’ll be getting a Nikon D3000 inshallah, my first DSLR. I’m planning on making this blog a more colorful with photos.
      If you’re coming in March/April the weather should be great. We’ve an extremely mild winter this year.

  3. Hi! I’m an American living in Rabat and I just found you through a comment you left on Journey Mama! I must admit I’m not very fond of Marrakesh, although I’ve only been there once. It’s beautiful, but I much prefer living in Rabat. I look forward to reading more of your adventures. (I’m adding you to my feedreader)

    • Hi planetnomad, I’m so very glad you found me here. Journey mama is one of those blogs i’m addicted to. You know my sister also lives in Rabat, and I get a mild case of culture shock when I visit. It’s so modern and professional compared to Marrakesh. It’s good that you’re contented in Rabat, and I bet it’s somewhat easier and more expat-friendly than Marrakesh.

  4. Hello,

    We have just launched Bloginy Morocco, the new aggregator of the Blogoma (Morrocan Blogosphere) and Moroccans websites. The UI is in French but I’m sur that you’ll deal with it. We would really appreciate that you test it by visiting us on http://bloginy.ma and discover by yourself the available features (by creating a user and adding your excellant blog as a beginning).

    – To create a new user : http://bloginy.ma/user/subscribe
    – To add a new Blog : http://bloginy.ma/blog/propose

    I did not found a contact form or email address so I posted my message here, you can delete it.

    Thank you very much, have a nice WE !

    Hicham

  5. amanda says:

    My family and I are visiting there the end of June for my daughters birthday. We are so excited but nervous as well. Anywhere you can recommend staying with three young daughters? We will be there during Ramadan as well.

    • Dear Amanda,
      I have not checked on the blog for a while…just saw your comment. I would be remiss not warn you about the awful HEAT that we experience in Marrakech in the summer. Ramadan will be SO CHALLENGING if you have never experienced it in 100-120 degree heat. So my recommendation is that you stay someplace with AC and a pool! Best of luck! 🙂

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