I’m only saying this.

I was in the main square in Marrakech the other night – the one where the smoke from the grill stands wafts into the night air in fantastic otherworldly clouds of salivation-inducing incorpality; where snake charmers and fortune tellers and monkey handlers compete wildly to come up with ever-more elaborate ways to part you from a few Dirham ; where dark, cave-like holes in the streets and buildings beckon, leading to the mystical, maze-like world of the souks, winding, crushing, claustrophobic street-markets of chaos and order, beauty and fear, suggesting something written by Pratchett or Gaiman or Lovecraft, depending on what mood you’re in.

It’s night, and the sights and sounds and smells and sensations are overpowering, as musicians, storytellers, and acrobats vie for attention with orange juice stands and dates and kebabs and tajines and almonds and honey.

And I see a man putting away his act. The circle of tourists that was watching him dissipates.

On the ground, his performers are returning to their cages. Dutifully, they file back in.

A small lizard. Two guinea pigs. And a hedgehog.

“Damn,” is all I can think. “THAT was an act I’d like to have seen…”

John

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