Kuan Yin's Guestbook

4th July 2018

Since Morocco is in my top 5 of next countries to visit, it was interesting to read about your thoughts & impressions of Fez. I'm sure we'll be taking a tour of the country and Fez is always included so it's nice to be aware of local customs before visiting. Thanks!
4th July 2018

I'm so sorry you accidentally timed your trip with Ramadan. Fez was one of our favorite cities. We found the chaos charming. The tanneries and the process was interesting. Hopefully you will find some happiness in your remaining days.
28th June 2018

Writers, Shady figures and Spies
Always good to have a goal and it sounds like you found a good guide. Glad you found some bars full of history. Two birds with one stone so to speak. I love spies stories and movies.
28th June 2018

Bars full of history
Yep, I found the bars, but because of Ramadan, only from the outside.
21st June 2018

Fascinating Tangier Visit!
Great blog with fascinating account of the connection between Tangier and real life spies and writers! Had only read a bit about such connections to Tangiers and the information in your blog filled in some of the gaps!
22nd June 2018

Spies and writers
Thanks for your kind words. I'm sure there was a LOT more illicit action than I was able to uncover almost 70 years later, but between the writers, hipsters, spies, and crazy American consuls, there are a lot of interesting stories in Tangier.
20th June 2018

I would have done exactly the same thing in Tangiers...
I enjoyed reading this entry! In addition to seeking out the writers’ haunts, I would probably also seek out the places depicted in my two favorite films set in Tangiers - Only Lovers Left Alive and the film adaptation of Naked Lunch. :-)
20th June 2018

More writers
Thanks. There are a lot more writers that I left out, like Allen Ginsberg and his lover Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and musicians like the Rolling Stones.Tangier seemed to attract a lot of people whose lifestyles didn't quite fit in their home countries. I'd never heard of the movie you mentioned, so I looked it up. Interestingly, part of it was filmed in Detroit, and I used to live about thirty miles north of Detroit.
20th June 2018

We loved following the writers around Tangier. We did get a chance to see Caid's. A classically perfect place to enjoy a Gin and Tonic. We saw Dean's Bar also(the neighborhood was a little scary!). The best place to follow the writers was at the cafes. Café Hafa for Paul Bowles and the view. Grand Café de Paris for the Beat writers and Truman Capote. And the two cafes in the Petite Socco for just about anybody famous who ever visited Tangiers and the people watching. All great memories and I'm glad you reminded us!
20th June 2018

I'm jealous! In addition to Caid's being closed, the Grand Cafe de Paris, Pension Fuentes, and a whole bunch of other places were closed for Ramadan. Sigh.
15th June 2018
delivery donkey

Delivery Donkey
In another culture it would be a bicycle. Amazing how much they can carry.
15th June 2018
delivery donkey

Delivery donkey
Not only do they carry a lot, they manage to get down some really narrow alleys.The drovers put a plastic muzzle on them when going through the markets so that they won't help themselves to the produce.
15th June 2018

Lost is just another way to get there
On my first trip to China I couldn't remember which way was this and what way was that. The enormity of villages with populations of few to millions made my sense of direction swim. So I invented an infallible system...in front of me was north, left was west, right was east and behind was south. That way I had no idea if I was Martha or Arthur or Lost if that be the case. Funny how with persistence and a bit of sign language one usually finds a way out.
15th June 2018

just a compass, please
Back in the old days - that is, about five years ago - I did just fine with a compass and a map. I started to rely too heavily, I think, on my ever-so-smart phone, which always seems t lead me in circles. I still carry a compass with me, but now finding paper maps is getting difficult.
15th June 2018

One of our favorite places in Morocco. We had heard of the dangers of getting lost in these souks so we hired a guid to take us through. We loved our guide and still email with him. He had us pick out our meat for lunch and then left us in a coffee house while our grilled meals were prepared. Sorry you're not getting to get these amazing flavors. Hopefully you are getting good meals late.
15th June 2018

Fes Guide
I hired a guide, to, mainly to keep from being constantly pestered,and that worked well while I was with him. But with 9,000 streets in the medina,the largest car free zone in the world, I still get lost.
15th June 2018

Lost in Fes...
Fes was a tough city for us also, even when it wasn't Ramadan. I think we know the mall and Burger King you ate at. We had an apartment nearby and ate their a couple of times also. Marrakech is much the same as Fes as far as markets, vendors and generally feeling lost most of the time. I don't know if you are going but you may find more of the same. Best of luck!
15th June 2018

Usually I kinda like getting lost in a new city. As a co-worker once said "I'm never lost, just taking the scenic route." And when I get lost, I find a cafe, get a coffee or lemonade, and just enjoy the scenery. But since it's Ramadan, that option is out. I liked the medina in Tangier; not so big, and somehow easier to navigate. But here my sense of direction has totally abandoned me, and some of the passages, like the one to my guest house, are dark and barely two feet wide.
14th June 2018

Historical facts
1776 um... that sounds familiar. Ha ha. Enjoyed hearing how the histories tied together as you revealed a cast of characters. John Quincy and Henry Clay always add to the story.
14th June 2018

I think if history were taught by telling the stories, it would be a lot more interesting than just a dry recitation of dates and names. I have a vivid picture of James Leib standing on the roof of the consulate, wrapped in an American flag and howling at the moon. I was never taught THAT in school.
12th June 2018

USA & Morocco
What an interesting essay Karen. Morocco in 1777 the first country to recognise USA after its War of Independence and its motley crew of early ambassadors. A year later the first ships from England full of convicts arrived in Oz to start its new colony now known as Australia. May your Moroccan adventure bloom.
13th June 2018

Motley Crew
Yes, a motley crew indeed.I always learn a lot when I travel, and sometimes I learn things even about my own country.
10th June 2018

Morocco is Magical
So happy to follow along on your Moroccan adventure. It is one of our favorites. We didn't make it to Tangier but did see a great deal of the country in our two + weeks. Sorry your nexus crapped out on you. An easy solution when you return. Yes, those far away gates and hidden concourses are a given. It is amazing how they manage to do that. My theory is they set it up so you'll walk past things and shop. Just like in a grocery stored they put the most common items on opposite ends of the store you so have to walk past everything. Enjoy your milestone. Can you hear us singing happy birthday..... travel on!
12th June 2018

Morocco is certainly a different experience from what I am used to in Asia. I am running into the difficulty of travelling during Ramadan.

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