I could only hear bits and pieces of the conglomerate of noises that surrounded me on both sides. We slowly walked down tiny, jagged alleys as men draped in long battered cloths loudly called out to us in broken English. “I give you good prices”, one said. I stopped feverishly—I was curious to feel the handmade leather of the bags displayed. Each leather bag felt tired, worked for hours, designed purposely with a contrast of color from the hand woven carpet. My eyes marveled through the amount of treasures I saw within each burrow that belonged to the individual merchants. Pops of burnt orange of the walls and the vibrant colors of every market caught my eyes. I could smell spices and a steam cloud from the woman frying dough down the street filled the air. The streets were busy with swarms of people—it was like we were caught within a hectic maze as locals zoomed by us on rustic motorcycles, and as the stray cats followed our every move. Small coves of hanging lanterns led me inside. There, I saw a hamsa pendant dangling on the walls. I had seen this symbol before in other cities and countries. It was a comforting reminder of the journeys these past few months between a foreign land. It spoke to me-as a sign that I was that I was safe. Even thousands of miles away from what I was familiar of, I felt at ease knowing I was protected wherever my feet took me.
I don’t know if it was the rawness within each corner of the bustling city, or the meticulous detail shown through the impeccable architecture, or the smile from the local old man as I kindly asked to take his photograph, but I was smitten by the chaos of Marrakech. Morocco had stolen my full attention—and it still often lingers in my mind.