Morocco is truly one of the most interesting and visually beautiful places on earth. The country has such a long history. We are walking amongst places and buildings that are centuries old. As we walk through the medina in Moulay Idriss, a Holy Place that was settled by the Moulay Idriss at the beginning of the Idrissy dynasty, we see ancient Roman ruins on par with Ephesus in Turkey. We are walking on cobble stones. We have luggage brought to the hotel by mule because its the only mode of moving heavy things. That and the power of a strong back. We are living in guesthouses that were built in the 14th century. That’s the 1300’s. WHAT???? So old. Incredible. We walk past vendors that are offering meat, then fruit, and another with “depeneur” goods, water and gum and Colgate and such. You have to move about the village gather your things. No stopping at Loblaws for processed crap. The food is natural and healthy as shit. The whole way of life is just organic. Our host in Mojulay Idriss made the couscous by hand. We see the place where the ladies bring their bread from home and have it baked in the ovens. We see young men wondering home with loaves for their moms. The next little spot is a bunch of boys playing Playstation on a row of TV’s. In a 14th centure hole in the wall. We pass little kids playing sleep over in blankets on the cobblestones. Its so incredibly real.
The architectural backdrop leaves my mouth hanging open. In Fes, I bought a stunning table that I had come here wishing for. The owner, noting that we are designers, took us apart from the group and to his home and art gallery. It was built in the 1300’s and was the most astounding place I have ever seen. It was filled with treasures from all over Morocco. Stunning and awe inspiring. I will post photos to go with my blog later (Internet is not the highlight of Chechaouen). The patterns are everywhere. The patterns are prolific. Its enough to make you want to blind yourself after each sight because nothing could be more beautiful and then you turn your head and bam, beauty on a whole new level. I do not know how I will return to North America.
Now on to the men. I mention the men because of two things. First, I love men. I have forgotten how much I love men because I don’t have a lot of them in my life. A few that I love dearly of course – John and Ryan. Drew. My dad. Craig and David and the list goes on. But they are different.
Secondly, we are in Muslim country. We make eye contact and smile with the gorgeous women we pass in the streets, or who host us in their homes for meals. But our exposure is limited.
But in Morocco, oh …..the men. The beautiful, lovely, stunning, wonderful men. I have discovered men who are absolutely beautiful. I don’t mean in appearance. In North Amercia we are so focused on appearance. I recognize a hot man when I see one and I can appreciate the beauty of George Clooney. But while this is all pleasing to the eye, the heart is left cold and dead on the floor.
Here. Oh my goodness. First, they meet you in a state of complete peace and acceptance. At home I find that if I so much as look at a single man they will not make eye contact unless you are hot and willing to stay that way forever. Here, they are at peace with themselves and the world around them and that sense of peace embraces you before you can even remember the word for hello.
Their eyes shine and sparkle. They radiate love and protection. They all have the BEST sense of humour. I have a really hard time at home finding people who are not only willing to engage, but willing to engage on my frequency. Here, they are everywhere. They are at peace and they laugh easily and joke a lot. Its beautiful. Friends in an instant. And the most generous people on earth. They will give you anything you need. Even it means making themselves have less.
In public, the men who know one another pass in the street and greet each other with the double cheek kiss. Its so much warmer than the French version. Less a kiss and more an embrace. Its very intimate. Men are SO affectionate. They are affectionate with one an another in public. They hold hands. They embrace. They touch. They touch faces. There is not, for one second, not a nano second, the slightest hint of any notes of sexuality. America is OBSESSED with sexuality. Moroccans radiate love. Period. It is the most heart opening experience I may have ever had.
Mustpha has spoken a great deal of the principles and ideals of Islam. First of all, when I hear him speak, his voice is so modulated and rythmic and comforting I sometimes block his words and just exist in the sound of it. (And then I have to ask him to repeat himself which he does willingly). They are raised to cherish the family. They protect. It is extremely rude to approach a woman who is with a man. That man is the protector of the women he is with. And protect they certainly do. It is illegal to be unfaithful. You can go to jail for being unfaithful. Its a culture based on honour and principle. Strip away the crap we have created as a society and you are just left with peaceful beautiful people.
I have often said that I have never married because I have never met a man that could hold my attention for more than 15 minutes. And its true. I haven’t. The values, the focus, the priorities I have become accustomed to at home are so riddled with issue.
But here, every man I encounter is just beautiful. So, very very beautiful. And extraordinarily captivating.