Sunday, October 28, 2007

Roving in Morocco

I had dinner with Dan and Caroline last night. They're both recovering from jet lag comtemplating the work week. I brought some Guacho and Spanish cheeses (Istara and Patacapra) for the honeymoon slide show: Spain, Portugal, Morocco, fantastic Gaudi buildings, fortresses, ancient markets, villages tucked into moutains, passages carved by time, and of course the Germans. In Spain they did well with Spanish and Catalan, in Portugal they passed with Portuguese. And in Morocco? "Any language they can fleece you with, my friend." Dan forwarded to the slides of a gypsy woman forcing a henna tattoo on Caroline, demanding money then fleeing. In this situation the camera is mightier than the sword.

Morocco is the only African country not currently a member of the African Union. To Persians it is Marakesh, the Turks call it Fas (Fez). Moracco is strongly influence by Arabic, European and Middle Eastern cultures. Being Texan, Dan haggled by jesturing a heart attack if the prices were too high. He did well, they referred to his haggling as a "Berber" style. Caroline reminded him about my souveniers: Three hanks of yarn and an actual fez from the market. Hand spun, rough, and very loose — the red and green are a few twists short of being roving. I can almost feel the rough hands that rolled this wool. The bright red and green are typical street colors and white is the natural color of their sheep. They are reminiscent of the poppies and spring leaves that dot the hot desert sand.



Today I balled up the yarn, the hanks are made of many smaller hanks — nothing is wasted there. These are not rug quality, they are meant for boiling into felted bags. The green yarn is exceptionally intense. As I wound, small twigs and sand fell from the yarn. Talk about rustic. It smells like an old market, a bit musky and spicey. I imagine the hanks hanging next to the apothecary and the second-hand market stalls from Dan and Caroline's slide show. What would be in a second-hand store in a country known for anitquities, a used flyng carpet?
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