Friday, January 05, 2007

At the Atlas Mountains

In contrast to Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, yours truly did not bother with a busload of tacky Eurotrash touristes on my sojourn through the Moroccan countryside (actually, a day trip). Moi, I travelled by Mercedes, with a private chauffeur. Thus, I didn't create any international incidents that sparked consecuences all around the world. The worst that happened was we did not know quite how to use the public latrines at a rest stop (you had to bring your own little bucket with water if you wanted to flush). We got some mean looks after that. Ces't tout.

This is the Kasbah of Telouet, which used to belong to a sinister character called the Glaoui, who collaborated with the French, ruled Morocco brutally for a while and had 5 official wives and 85 concubines. There are three Kasbahs, the oldest, though it looks as it was build in the age of the Flintstones, is from the 18th Century. The newest was built in the 40's.

This is a Berber lunch at the Lion D' Or next to the Kasbah. Almond milk and salads, delicately condimented. I had what they call a Berber pizza, which was a delicious round dough filled with chicken and olives and spices. My friends had this baked egg and meatball dish which was also very yummy.

And this is Mohammed, Berber owner of the Lion D'Or. He spoke every language, had a mean sense of humor and he asked us, seriously, and quite inappropriately, if it was true that Western women had their hymens surgically removed at the age of 2. Nope, we answered.
The pink boa he is wearing was on loan from me.

Rashid, our guide through the Kasbah, was contrary to Mohammed, a very proper, well spoken, elegant guy, who showed us an album of pictures of him with sundry tourists on camels in the desert, for he is a desert guide as well and offers to take you on a hike of the surrounding countryside of Telouet (pop 12,000) but not in the Summer, when the snakes and scorpions come out.

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