I visited Marrakech in June 2005. Now, six months later, I could still visualize this beauty I saw at one sidewalk café along Sultan Muhammad Boulevard. That was one of the many lasting impressions of Marrakech that I took home. One of many, I said. The sights and sounds and smells of the Jema el Fina being the other. Powerful impressions!!
My favorite pastime in Marrakech was to do what the locals do, hanging out at cafes drinking coffees and berber whisky. The best time to do it is after 5, and if you have the stamina, carry on till past midnight, till the wee hours of the morning.
In June, as the day become cooler and with the end of the working day, cafes become catwalks, watering holes and oases for the observing traveler. They come dressed up, with full make-ups, mobile phones in hand, and with sunglasses tucked Hollywood style. I saw more young people in the open, hanging out for gossips and clean pastime than I see in London or the KLCC or Paris. I saw more girls than men.
The manner the Morrocan beauties were dressed up will put Malaysian girls, who claim to be moderate , Muslim examples, a distant second. In terms of sophistication, however, KL girls are difficult to match. I say clean as I did not smell any hashish or kaya nor did I see any head-banging.
The manner they come to the joints, on mopeds, although cool, put them low on the sophistication scale. Girl and girl riding pillion, and boy-boy riding pillion, seldom you see the girl-boy combination except with a toddler in between. I find it amazing, the empowering of women by the humble mopeds and mobile phones.
Marrakech was a lesson in Geography and History. My Marrakech beauty remind me of Iman, the Somalian, a cross between Arabs and Africans, sharp features, black straight hair, leggy and dark eyed.
She was with a blonde, one you would expect to see in Barcelona or Valencia. She is a descendent of the noble of the Andalusian court who managed to escape the Inquisition, I speculated. Lesser mortals would have to stay on and be baptized.
Out in the Souks, I met Arabs, Berbers and Africans.
There are many other beuties of Marrakech. I could survive on tajines. I love the smell of the Berber market, how soothing it was to immerse my tired feet in the cool streams of the Atlas, I could still remember the beauty of the beat and tunes of of the music of Jema el Fina, how I was fooled by the Ali Baba entrance to the Beautiful Riyads.
Not even the blue eyed blonde could distract me from my Morroccan Iman. I will come back to savour the secrets of marrakech.