Laura Fortune

M E T A L S M I T H & I L L U S T R A T O R

Fez (April 1)

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I found my compartment for the train ride to Fez and another young lady was there eating breakfast, no chitchat, I got that.  I opened my backpack to get my book and a moth flew out of my bag.  We both laughed at the sight and I bashfully apologized she said it was okay.

Everyone I spoke to in Marrakesh confirmed that Fez is much different.  I always asked how they are different,  “Marrakesh is for tourism, Fez is for culture,” always the response.

I felt it immediately.  Fez seems more relaxed and getting lost in the medina feels more manageable.  I sat at an outdoor café filled with men for a coffee, to do a drawing and for some Wi-Fi connection.  When I went to pay, the man asked if I would like to see a lookout of the tannery.  Another man led me through a series of dark tunnels and eventually to another man who took me to the top. 

I didn’t buy anything but that smell stayed locked in my nostrils as a souvenir.  After another few stops at workshops I was thoroughly lost and very hungry.  I bought a sandwich from a street vendor and with my first bite I could taste the smell that was rolling in my head.  Camel meat.  I’m not a picky eater and I was so hungry, I made my way through that snack.

I found my way to the Prospect Park of Fez, Jardin Jhan Sbil.  It’s a beautiful park with floral gardens and a lake with all Moroccan families enjoying the landscape and young people on dates and boys.  My affirmation was confirmed that my best life is achieved when avoiding boys the age 14-24.  They are the ones with no filter and nothing to lose. 

I walked up to watch the sunset at the tombs of Mérinides.  I watched more little boys torment pigeons and throw rocks at things, and saw the sky light up and the wind pick up and I had a sinking feeling of anxiety.  How can I live this life on the regular?  I want to experience all of these places again and there are so many more to see.

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