Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Eating Tajine in Tangiers
La bes, everybody!
We had a long break from classes this weekend, because of the Eid al-Ftr holiday. This celebrates the end of ramadan (read: binge eating for 2 days. huzzah!) A couple of Fulbrighters and I decided to take advantage of the break and go to Tangiers, a city on the northernmost point of Morocco, just below Spain. Ferrys from Spain arrive and depart every day, making it a cosmopolitan, bustling city. Needless to say, there is a ton of spanish influence, and French helped me almost not at all.
We took an amusing 6-hour train ride to Tangiers, the home of legendary American existentialist writer, Paul Bowles. I could see how the city was once a haven for artists and wanderers looking for their way between Europe and Africa. Tangiers is schizophrenic in that way: not arab, not berber, and not quite spanish. A perfect complement for wanderers.
Fulbrighter Rod is doing his research- in conjunction with MTV- on Gnaoua music.
Gnaoua is a spiritual, mystical form of music brought to morocco by West African slaves. Long story short, we ended up jamming and dancing with a Gnaoua music master in his riad living room, until the wee hours of the morning. And that was just one adventure on our Tangiers weekend. We celebrated the end of Ramadan by eating delicious meals on the beach. Yes indeed, I ate a tajine in Tanjiers. We stumbled upon a few jam sessions and Rod has promised to put me in his MTV video blog...so stay tuned. (PS: Dear Ann and WHA-TV, sorry I had to betray you...I guess I had to seek my 15 minutes of fame elsewhere)
Now is time for my Moroccan cooking class with Layla, the sweet woman who looks after the language school's villa. Chicken tajine tonight. Holla.