Friday, 1 June 2012

Last night's Moroccan train journey...

Last night I couldn't get off to sleep right away, not out of the ordinary, especially after spending an evening with amazing people, good conversation = a lot to think on, and such. So on with some music and out with the enamel paint for a bit of therapeutic repetitive action, as it were.

This morning it looks alright, my sleepy-eyed little tile. I don't know if the paint will stay on its glazed surface, I procured some clear wood varnish in the hope that this might seal things, because I'm an idiot who doesn't know how to do things properly.

This got me thinking about my week in Fes last spring, my first time on an Airplane, another thing I didn't quite "do" properly, going away with someone decent. It was of course a delight for the senses, but it could have been so much more had my choice of accompaniment not been a turpid-perfidious-twat-prick, but, there you go.

And there I went, over the Pyrenees, over Gibraltar, over some amazing country, into a very small, immaculately tiled airport. Aeroport Fes, smaller than Swansea train station and a whole load bloody cleaner.

After managing to get us into the town of Fes itself (shock horror, the Airport was on the outskirts!?), as the only person of a quartet of seasoned travelers (who hadn't expected to need to take a taxi to our final destination) who could communicate somewhat with the local French speaking Moroccans I got us there in the end (after convincing the three that there wasn't a Sunday bus, despite confirming this in French with several officials...Oh mon Dieu!).

And this is where 2 of the three ended up (the English couple "planned" to get a train or bus to "Marrakech, Casablanca or somewhere", fair play). Luckily for me, Fes didn't seem to realize that my choice of company was lacking, and didn't see fit to deny me any enjoyment by being a shitty town, or, it did pick up on my poor judgement and felt kind enough to redeem me.

Or not, it's just an old town and it's just there, functioning the way it does because of a need. Who really knows quite why a place becomes what it does, you can speculate, you can even read testimonials and town plans detailing intent and motive and progress etc., but I feel the bigger picture or total atmosphere, is not something that can be wholly grasped in a textual or indeed pictorial way, and that's probably what makes the attempt of pinning things down so fascinating, enduring.

Anyway, rambling here and now doesn't matter. Then it did, and it was great. Such a place to wander around in.

I couldn't quite get over how green the surrounding hills were. This is probably a testament to my ignorance, I'd never been further south than the Spanish capital prior to this trip, and I expected a similar rugged and slightly parched sandy-coloured scene as I'd witnessed on the Santander-Madrid train (my first EVER train journey, sadly no photos as I was 16 and camera/phoneless). I had envisioned an ochre-rich scrubby, shrubby landscape, sporadically speckled with groves of Mediterranean staples like Olives and Almonds. Not so, obviously Helen you idiot, it's a town, not a train line, people have a need for vast quantities of water in such places, so expect it, and its faithful green companions, especially when moderate mountains are concerned... Eeeenyway, hight time for goodbye words hello imagery. 

These are the testaments to my first couple of days in Fes, unfortunately they're lacking in great quality because I was absolutely not encouraged to take my tiny Olympus SLR (by my ridiculous traveling companion) for fear we'd be arrested as foreign journalists (taking photographs of the mosaics in the fucking Medina!). IT was technically the time of the Arab Spring, but, unsurprisingly the activity didn't reach or affect the slow-paced tourist-geared markets of old town Fes. .
In the next post (which will sit before this one in the order of my blog, unfortunately) I'm going on a train, then a plane. Fes-Taza-Fes in one eventful day, then Fes-London, and the joy of returning to the UK and its non-spring. Saying that shortly after returning I began work as a Census collector and had almost a month of glorious April sun, so, one cannae complain eh. 

Shukran for looking. Sorry about the messy words.