is something oddly reassuring about coming back to places, however foreign
they may have been upon the first visit. Stepping off the plane at Casablanca
felt like slipping into old socks-fit just fine and felt comfortingly
good. Pascaline having planned her visit to coincide with my return to
Morocco, we flew together. Her presence made the 'return' even more familiar,
as I became the 'resident', the keeper of local knowledge. From her perspective,
I was coming home. A new home, mind you, but a home nonetheless.
Frightened by warnings of cold weather and stormy skies, we had packed our suitcases with the appropriate winter clothing. As we stepped out of the airport, the sun caught us by surprise, causing a hurried shedding of layers. Three days into our stay, we have yet to bundle up- sunny skies flirt with refreshing winds: the perfect temperature to visit Casa and Rabat.
was simple: to find a place to live before Pascaline got bored with Rabat.
She had the Medina, the Kasbah des Oudaias, the Tour Hassan, the Necropole
and Sale on her list. I had a dozen apartments to visit. I figured she
would run through her list in a few hours- I didn't know of anyone having
found a place to live in that kind of time!
started in the Kasbah des Oudaias- one of the oldest neighborhoods in
Fes; a criss-cross of narrow, cobble-stone streets, stretching between
great old fortified walls on one side, and the daunting Atlantic on the
other. Small homes fit tightly in these swerving passages- each has its
own terrace overlooking the raging sea.
a long story short, we are now the happy residents of the most charming
little inhabitation you could ever imagine. At the risk of sounding dreadfully
"Orientalist", it feels so "Moroccan"…Or should I say that it's the perfect
recreation of what westerners expect Moroccan dwellings to be. Small,
tiled, mosaics in the bathroom, carpets on the floor, tagine pots in the
kitchen… a snapshot from your average coffee-table book about Morocco.
Not surprising when you meet the landlord- a good old Frenchman, with
an addiction to travel and distance, and a longtime resident of Morocco.
Our house wears its terrace like a crown- a rooftop haven to sit on and
enjoy your afternoon tea or your early morning reading, without mentioning
the unbearable romance of the place. As for the price, we bargained him
down- not much I admit, but enough to make it affordable for two to share-
And expensive in Moroccan terms, is often not that expensive by our corrupted
Silicon Valley standards.
it's a good place to call home. And I beat Pascaline in the 'list race';
she was still in Sale when we closed the deal!