A Lonely Man In Marrakech (Not Even A Beer For Friend)

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I’m going to remember for ever my four days in Marrakech. Countless Mint teas, wandering in the Medina, the sweet sensation of the December warm. I’m not talking about what I did, because it was pretty much an ordinary vacation. Well, if you don’t think about that day at the Hammam when I got a rude massage performed by two impressively big local guys. Oh right, I forgot that. I also got almost arrested because I was taking pictures of the Royal Palace (which I didn’t know you’re not supposed to do). Fortunately it ended well, I just had to delete the pictures in front of the guards, then I was fine.

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But other than that, like I said it was a pretty ordinary vacation. I mean, lot of walking around the city, the main landmarks and all. Though I remember one of the best hostels ever. When I say I’m not going to forget, I’m talking about feelings. I’m gonna remember the sensation of lacking something, and a bit of a loneliness. I wasn’t messed up like that day in Berlin, which I’ve told you about in this post. Still I felt something that bothered me. Truth be told, it was a bit of homesickness. What?! Homesickness when I’m abroad? How is that possible? It’s never happened! Well, it happened that time in Marrakech. I remember a lot of evenings and mornings seated alone at some cafès in the square, sipping mint tea (which is the national beverage), smoking cigarettes, and dwelling more and more on something. Deeply thoughtful.

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I kind of liked that, though. I don’t know what exactly is wrong with me, but it seems I truly enjoy getting a bit melodramatic from time to time. Imagine the scene. Me, sitting alone at the cafè, having a smoke lost in my thoughts, watching people hanging out in the square in front of me, imagining their stories. Does it sound like a movie scene?! I think so, and that’s what is wrong with me. I see too many movies. I guess you won’t get me if I don’t tell you what was the thing I was dwelling on. Though you can guess. A woman. Because here’s the thing. He wasn’t my first time abroad alone, and it hasn’t been the last one. It was just that I had just started seeing a girl I liked before leaving. What a fucking timing.

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But as strange as it might seem, all those feelings, never really experienced before, are the reason why I remember clearly those days. Strolling around the Medina, a little restless because I couldn’t even have a beer to drown my sorrow. That would have been really a better movie. If you don’t know that yet, I’m telling you now. Alcohol is forbidden in Morocco. You can find it if you really want, but to do that, you should  hang out in places I wouldn’t recommend, places that sell alcohol illegally. Plus if you get caught you win some unpleasant extra vacation days, in some Moroccan jail. I wasn’t that thirsty. Hence I chose mint tea at the Cafè Argana, the most famous cafè in Marrakech, with its wonderful terrace that faces the magic atmosphere of the Jemaâ El Fna square.

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Undoubtedly the most particular and beautiful spot in Marrakech, Jemaâ El Fna is the most crowded too. A magic open space full of tourists and Moroccans, hanging out among snake charmers, monkeys, dancers, storytellers, acrobats, musicians, even dentists if you might need one. All surrounded by cafès, spice shops and salesmen who sell everything. And at night, as soon as the sun sets, the atmosphere gets surreal and you can see the square becomes a huge open restaurant, with stalls illuminated by gas lanterns all over the place, that provide delicious cheap food, and you get riched by smells of food while the air gets filled with cooking smoke all over the square. Well, I have to say the atmosphere is amazing.

In the end, as for that woman, it wasn’t worth it. We got a brief relationship afterward, but I must have been more carefree during that trip. Though now I have a special memory of those days in Marrakech, I learnt something. I know I have to wholly enjoy the moments I can get around the world. Because no matter what, at the end of the trip I’m coming home. I gotta go to work for for God’s sake! All I leave behind, is not going anywhere. So, first step of a travel? Free your mind. Enjoy.

John Reese

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About Gianluca8675

I'm an Atypical Italian Traveler, born and raised in Rome. View all posts by Gianluca8675

7 responses to “A Lonely Man In Marrakech (Not Even A Beer For Friend)

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