Essaouira. (All the vowels!)

Essaouira — now I can hear my nerves sighing again. This is the Morocco I could get used to. The Mendocino of Morocco, with 90 percent less hustle, bustle, hustlin’ and bustlin’. Our Airbnb looks like a Ridley Scott film, blowing curtains and all, a pre-restoration riad that nevertheless is beautiful in its decay.

There’s one other resident. Pretty sure it’s the guy who owns the bookstore downstairs. This seems like the sort of message he’d post:

Today is our last day just to wander — we travel back to Casa tomorrow to catch our flight(s) home, routing through Germany this time, but ah well. Air Canada’s more reasonable fares made this trip possible, so I can’t complain. What will we do today, now that we BOTH HAVE COLDS? I’m thinking the beach, and a repeat visit to the grungiest, but best, fish restaurant in the world:

That’s actually looking away from it — gives you a sense of the neighborhood, which is the port of Essaouira. The opposite view would show a few tables, a few umbrellas to shade the punishing sun, a table covered with a tray of ice, and a grill. You walk up, select your fish from an iced array, and they throw it on the grill. No special orders, no fancy sides, just a tomato salad and fish so fresh the ink on its last will and testament is still wet. The port’s cats hang around for a few tidbits, and while Alan disapproved, Reader, I threw a few their way. Yesterday it was lemon sole and some sort of sea bream. Today, we’re thinking that, plus sardines and some prawns, although great big prawns kinda gross me out with their dirty assholes and all.

I’m also savoring the stuff I like about po-folks’ traveling: The way you get a sense of a neighborhood after a few days, figuring out the coffee situation in the kitchen, strolling out early for pain au chocolate and tissues; I’m happy to say that with a few phrases of travelers’ French, pointing and smiling, I’ve been able to successfully manage all my shopping, with the possible exception of yesterday’s quest for decongestants, which turned up something like eucalyptus something-or-other, i.e., useless.

Alan will be up soon, so I’ll send this off to the ether and enjoy the view from Ridley Scott’s well-dressed film set a little while longer.

Safe travels to us. Next update when all the laundry is done.

Posted at 4:12 am in Uncategorized |

31 responses to “Essaouira. (All the vowels!)”

  1. Deborah said on October 23, 2019 at 6:34 am

    What an adventure you’ve had, safe travels indeed.

    Is Kate still in LA? And how is she liking it?

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 23, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Maybe a little Terrence Malick, too? Especially if the shot tracks way too long on the cat walking slowly away from you at the table.

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  3. Alan Stamm said on October 23, 2019 at 10:44 am

    You leave me hungry again, for more than prawns, bream, sole and olives — though that too.

    Safe travels.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on October 23, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Those pictures are swoon worthy, especially the last one, on the balcony. Something about the quality of the light and the colors. Hope it’s a good trip back, and that you can find decongestants before you board.

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  5. alex said on October 23, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Last time I stayed in a place with billowy curtains was in 1991 in Budapest. And the air reeked of leaded gasoline fumes. But the scenery, though run down, was charming.

    Fish looks divoon.

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  6. Scout said on October 23, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    That air bnb is absolutely charming. I have enjoyed every minute of your travelogue with the exception of the beheaded animals. I have no stomach for that. When we were in Barcelona we wandered into a market on La Rambla with multiple displays of beheaded creatures. It squicked us out so badly that we walked on the opposite side of the street of that place after that.

    So, Bill Taylor. Several people I know who haven’t put much stock on impeachment thus far have remarked that he may have been the knockout punch. I hope so. I can’t take much more of this idiocy.

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  7. Suzanne said on October 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    So Giuliani’s henchmen made an appearance in the great state of Indiana, shilling for soon to be Sen Mike Braun.
    There is no bottom to this corruption. No bottom at all.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on October 23, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    An old high school girl friend’s daughter is now teaching in Kiev…a few weeks ago she was sworn in in some sort of ceremony that cleared her to teach there. Bill Taylor swore her in. I admit I had never heard of him. Then Bill Taylor blew up in the news, culminating in yesterday’s testimony. Maybe I can still find the photo, later. ~ I <3 fish and these look tasty. I love prawns but now all I'll be able to think about is their dirty bungholes. Ha! This work…it’s the photo in Kiev

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  9. David C. said on October 23, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    It sounds like Moscow Mitch is this close to cutting tRump free. I don’t know what that looks like, but it isn’t going to be pretty. MyPants isn’t going to be able to pick up the pieces either.

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  10. Deborah said on October 24, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Well, New Mexico is in the news a lot today. The funny thing is many, many people out there don’t know NM is even a state. Trump is such a dumb ass.

    Calling his fellow Republicans “human scum” doesn’t seem like a good idea, IMO.

    Today is a travel day, going back to Chicago. We’ve only been in NM a little over 2 weeks but feels like a year, what with closing on the condo and all. Our former landlady is in the early stages of dementia, her short term memory is shot, so there were lots of phone calls, texts and explainations. Thankfully her sister and her nephew and a lawyer were involved to smooth things out. Renting from her was getting more and more problematic because she kept losing our rent checks etc. we don’t have to worry about that anymore.

    The good news is I’ve hit my goal weight loss on the low carb diet, and it wasn’t the least bit painful. I never felt hungry, and I got to eat cheese, eggs and bacon, what’s not to like about that! I actually lost 13 lbs.

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  11. Deborah said on October 24, 2019 at 11:50 am

    It’s snowing in Santa Fe!

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  12. LAMary said on October 24, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Not snowing here. It’s ninety degrees and will be closer to 100 this afternoon. We’re on Red Flag status, which means no cars parked on the street. My narrow little street would be impassable for fire trucks if there were cars parked on it. 48 more hours of Santa Ana winds are predicted.

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  13. Sherri said on October 24, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    From Roy Edroso’s subscription newsletter (entertainment worth the price):

    “They didn’t need our input to find out that Trump was not a good long-term investment. He was indeed like the pet rock, or maybe more to the point Big Mouth Billy Bass — a funny joke that over time got obnoxious, then disgusting, and had to be taken down.

    This is supported by the polls — which used to be about Trump’s popularity, and are now about how many Americans want him impeached or replaced by existing Democratic candidates.”

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  14. Heather said on October 24, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Morocco looks cool, will have to be my next trip when I have enough money to travel again. Lots of cats in Turkey too. And I also got a cold. Stupid air travel.

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  15. LAMary said on October 24, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    If anything drives me out of California it will be the fires. Every year it gets worse and the fire season gets longer. The anxiety doesn’t abate.

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  16. LAMary said on October 24, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    One of the fires burning now. There are at least four.

    Here’s another one

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  17. Deborah said on October 25, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Back in Chicago.

    Shortly after we left Chicago for NM a couple of weeks ago our neighbor across the hall from us in Chicago asked a favor. He had recent back surgery and he was having company visit him from overseas and he didn’t feel that he could properly host them for multiple overnights in his place so he asked if they could stay at our place while we were out of town. Of course we said, fine, no problem. So fast forward to today the neighbor across the hall had his cleaning person clean our place and wash our sheets and towels etc. he had left a couple of lovely flowers on our coffee and dining table and he had music playing on a device for us when we arrived. It was heaven to return to a clean well lighted place.

    This neighbor is a well known interior designer in Chicago, so he really knew how to set the stage.

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  18. basset said on October 25, 2019 at 10:51 am

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    The White House is planning to instruct federal agencies to not renew their subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post, administration officials said, escalating President Trump’s attacks on the media outlets.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on October 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    One of those signs, if I can trust my French, translates to “Here we cure nomophobia for free.”

    I had no idea what nomophobia is, but apparently it’s fear of being without your cell phone. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

    Those fish look scrumptious.

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  20. Deborah said on October 25, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I don’t know about you all but I’m getting closer and closer to getting rid of my Facebook account. I don’t want to support the bad stuff that goes on there, they need to change their ways. I watched AOC questioning Zuckerberg yesterday, and she blistered him. I also read somewhere that Facebook started as an online place for college guys to determine if women were hot or not. Is that even true?

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  21. beb said on October 25, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Deborah, I suspect that the desire of young men to be able to determine if women were hot or not was probably behind the invention of writing.

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  22. Deborah said on October 25, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    We’re having some fallout from our neighbor’s overseas guest who stayed in our Chicago place. He (she/they?) changed our TiVo to Canada on our TV and I’m having a dickens of a time changing it back to the US. It’s irritating.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on October 26, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Wow, Deborah, that was really rude of them. When I go visiting, I don’t touch the hosts’ technology aside from asking the wifi code. Hope you’ve got it straightened out by now.

    It’s cold, wet and miserable and I’m impatient for my next trip to Orlando in November. They, of course, are complaining that it’s too hot.

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  24. Deborah said on October 26, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Julie, it took me about 45 minutes to figure it out. You know we didn’t even think to give our neighbor our wifi password for his guests, so I guess they didn’t need it? They cranked up our heat too, we keep it pretty cool, especially at night when we’re sleeping, so coming back around 10pm and finding it so warm, we had to open a window. We still don’t exactly know if it was one person or two, we know that one was Scottish and was here for a conference of some kind. It was nice to come back to a clean, dust free place. We would do it again for our neighbor though, he really is the nicest guy, but next time if it ever comes up again we’ll ask that they leave the TV settings alone, they can crank up the heat too but must turn it back down when they leave, please.

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  25. susan said on October 26, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    JC, why does this message often come up instead of the site itself? I have been getting it sometimes a few times a week over the last few months. Sometimes I’m locked out for hours.

    Internal Server Error
    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator at to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log. Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    Is it a problem with my computer and/or server?

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  26. alex said on October 26, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Amazed at what we were thinking on this date in history, 2016. And the rat-in-a-Skinner-box feeling has only intensified.

    So Fox’s nonstop agitprop about socialism is generating hysterics worthy of a giant asteroid and caused me to get into a fight with an in-law on Facebook. I’m even more eager for this impeachment to get overwith than we all felt about the election in 2016.

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  27. LAMary said on October 26, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    That happens to me too, Susan.

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  28. susan said on October 26, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Deborah (or anyone else!), you might like this podcast piece on the Guggenheim. “An Audio Guide to the Imperfections of a Perfect Masterpiece.”

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  29. basset said on October 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    I’m not qualified to go to the Guggenheim… hell, not even the Frist… but Mrs. B and I really enjoyed the “Cynosport World Games” yesterday and last night, national meet of the American Dog Agility Assn. in Murfreesboro, TN just outside Nashville. Lots of dogs running and jumping, your average Guggenheim visitor would probably laugh out loud but we liked it.

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  30. Deborah said on October 27, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Susan, for some reason I hadn’t been to that site for ages, I saw that Guggenheim piece yesterday afternoon but didn’t have time to listen, but I will today.

    I woke up this morning thinking it was Monday and that I was late for a Dr appointment, I shot out of bed, got dressed as fast as possible, when I realized it was Sunday I was way too wired to go back to bed. We went to dinner at a friend’s place last night and drank way too much wine. We walked home to sober up, it was still sprinkling after raining cats and dogs all day.

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  31. LAMary said on October 27, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Basset, I think a Venn diagram of dog fans and Guggenheim attendees would overlap quite a bit.

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