Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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To Taroudannt Taroudannt, Morocco, Sunday, 11 January 2009 10:00pm

What a difference a day makes.

Waiting for my bus to leave, a man named Atman said hello. He was going to Agadir, which is a few stops further along the same route I'm taking. He's a biology teacher, who goes to Agadir twice a week for classes towards an advanced teaching certification.

We talked about Change, and whether it's better to be happy and accept a static lot in life or to be dissatisfied and make progress towards something. We talked about the movement to make the Berber languages official, co-equal with Arabic, and how the powerful Arabic minority opposes it. We talked about beggars in Ouarzazate and San Francisco, and about the guy trying to sell us dates in palm baskets. We talked about the difference between "maybe" and "may be", about the "who"/"whom" distinction, about the use of articles in Arabic and English, and about learning languages as sets of rules and as means of communication. He's in the middle of re-reading Jude the Obscure.

It was actively snowing when the bus stopped for a break in Tazenakht, and we shared a pot of tea with thyme in it instead of mint. The snow continued falling heavily for the next hour or so of travel, heavily enough that I couldn't see the mountains to either side. But as we descended towards Taroudannt the storm broke and we got to see bright green fields under clear blue skies. Taroudannt, while not warm, is comfortable to walk around at night without my thermals.

I walked to dinner, passing through the souks as they were closing for the night. They seemed well-stocked, but not nearly as hectic as in Marrakesh. Dinner included Persian-style meat pastries and a wheat/mint soup, both quite unlike anything I've in Morocco thus far.