Marrakech Local

This is a special LOVE edition of VivianSwiftBlog today because it was NINE YEARS ago today that Top Cat and I said I DO.

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It was midnight in Las Vegas and Blue Suede Jumpsuit Elvis married us husband and wife. If I had known then what I know now, I would have asked Top Cat to marry me on our second date.

Little did I know, nine years ago, that on my ninth wedding anniversary I’d be blogging about my trip to Tameslouht, Morocco…life is strange.

Tameslouht, according to people who have luxury villas to rent, is a village of extraordinary serenity  just 20km from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.

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Professional PR photo.

With views of the majestic Atlas mountains, Tameslouht is a place to refresh the soul and contemplate life’s magnificence whilst gazing upon a killer sunset.

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Another professional PR photo.

Blah blah blah…

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Yet another professional PR photo.

…and more blah blah blah plus Rin Tin Tin:

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This is the weirdest professional PR photo of them all.

Tameslouht just might be all that and a box of Cracker Jack, but the day I went there (May 16, 2013) there was nary a ray of golden sunshine in sight:

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It was cool and rainy and the village looked to be deserted:

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This is my perfect May 16 place to be because May 16 is the day on which I, every year since 1975, throw myself a Pity Party.  Everybody should have one day a year  that they devote to a bout of constructive self-loathing and mine is May 16. May 16, 1975 is the day that I left America for my first solo hitch hiking journey in France; I was gone for four months and I was the happiest I’d ever been in all my previous 19 years of life. And every May 16 since then, if I am not on some wonderful, strange, life-altering journey on that day, then I throw myself a Pity Party and wonder why the hell aren’t I on some wonderful, strange, life-altering journey for chrissake.

This year on May 16 I was in Tameslouht. Tameslouht, dear readers, is not a beautiful village. But it beats the crap out of being on Long Island (on May 16) so I was only half-pitiful this year.

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Let’s go look at some doors in Tameslouht seeing as how there is not a whole lot else to do in Tameslouht…

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…whose name I wish I knew the meaning of because that would be the perfect thing to put here right now.

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By the way, “Tameslouht” is pronounced exactly how it’s spelled.

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Having seen a fair amount of Tameslouht, I would say that Tameslouht looks very much like itself:

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And I say that because this (see below)  is the part of Tameslouht…

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…that reminds some people of Persia…

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…namely the good people at Disney who made the 2010 movie Prince of Persia:

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The movie was based on a video game of the same name.

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That’s Tameslouht in the background!

No wonder it flopped. I mean, come on: a video game?? It only made $90 million world wide and these days, that’s a flop. If a book makes one-ten-thousdandths of $90 million it is a New York Times No. 1 bestseller. Not for the first time do I realize I am in the wrong line of  business.

Everything I know about Tameslouht I owe to the delightful Sara Quinn…

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…Peace Corps volunteer extraordinaire who guided me thru the rues of her adopted hometown. In addition to her duties as a teacher of English, Sara and her fiancé, Tameslouht-native Mustafa Ezzarghani put together a marvelous meeting between leaders and members of the Moslem, Christian, and Jewish communities in Morocco:

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You can read the article that Mustafa wrote about the conference for the Morocco World News website here and you can read all about life as a Peace Corps Volunteer/Morroco in Sara’s blog here. Sara and Mustafa went to the Majorelle Garden too!! Read all about their visit here.

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I love reading Sara’s blog because it reminds me of my own Peace Corps Volunteer days, except for the bits where she actually goes out and accomplishes things, and is beloved by her community, and makes important contributions to the cultural and economic advancement of her adopted country…other than that yeah, my Peace Corps experience was exactly like Sara’s.

Because this is a special LOVE edition of VivianSwiftBlog I have to show you this photo from Sara’s blog of April 5, 2013:

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Because this is Mustafa proposing to Sara in a cafe overlooking the Jemaa El Fan in Marrakech:

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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.  I hope Sara and Mustafa will be as happy as Top Cat and I, nine times nine years.

This is Sara and Mustafa when I met them in Tameslouht:

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With TEA!

I am in the salon of Madame the President of the Tameslouht women’s crafts cooperative, called Creation Tameslouht.

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 Creation Tameslouht has a  Facebook page:

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Madame the President…

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…kindly arranged to give me a private showing in her own home:

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The beautiful hand-embroidered duvet covers…

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…are immaculately sewn with traditional motifs:

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The machine embroidery is very fanciful:

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And I loved the pockets on this traditional robe:

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Which as you can see from these street photos (from Marrakech) are totally authentically Moroccan:

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And the hats!!!  The ones with the large sequins are heavy, but the one with the crazy cute tassels was feather light:

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This cute clutch is only 70 dirham ($9.00), all made my hand:

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And this spiffy beach bag is only 80 dirham and is sooooooo cooooool:

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This is the gorgeous drape/curtain  tie-back that I bought for 100 dirham:

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And then there are the scarves:

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I’ve never seen scarves like this, all woven by hand, that shimmer:

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Or, you can design your own scarf and have it embroidered:

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I bought a scarf with colors that reminded me of blue jays and peacocks and when I went back to Paris I wore it with my Seattle fleece and I was ever so a la mode :

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There’s nothing like going back to Paris after a 48-hour adventure in Morocco…

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…I doubt I would have even noticed, if not for having just been there,  this billboard the Paris metro, shouting Become a LANDOWNER in MOROCCO!! Apartments from 24,000 euros, villas from 100,000 Euros. I guess that Morocco is to Parisians as Santa Fe, NM is to us Long Islanders.

After Morocco, all there was left to do in Paris except to make the long good-bye …

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…to a style of living that you can only find in Paris…

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I knew I was going to miss it terribly….

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…but every lighted window of Paris…

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…just made me feel too far away from home…

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Happy Bastille Day, everyone! I hope nobody’s having a Pity Party on July 14 — go get a bottle of champagne and toast your favorite memories of Paris! And if you don’t have a memory of Paris, feel free to borrow any of mine.

And of course we cannot call our visit to Morocco complete without announcing the winner of the Majorelle Triscuit:

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 Top Cat has chosen his random winner and it is:

Bev!

Congratulations, Bev, and please email me your snail mail digits at vivianswift at yahoo, before our next get-together next Friday.