They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I used to agree with this statement before I saw this picture that I took myself on my last day at the Marrakech medina.

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It’s the classic picture of people going about their own way, peacefully, at a street market. “Souk” in Europeanised Arabic. Think again. This is just a snapshot. Without sound and motionless. You may rest assured that within a few seconds, a motor scooter will push its way through the throng, followed by a bicycle, then a donkey cart. Unless the way is completely blocked, the scooter and the bicycle will weave by at considerable speed. Occasionally, you will literally feel the whoosh. They are driven by all sorts of Morroccans, all sexes (ok, not that very many) all ages, all social classes, going anywhere inside the medina. Often while texting on their mobile phone, and incredibly without injuring anyone. The fact that in 6 days living in the Marrakech medina I didn’t witness a single accident is quite miraculous. I have to give to them – the riders are very skilful. But looking at the picture again, I realise that without the speeding and noisy motor scooters the place would be much more tolerable. Far be it from me to dictate on them (“Go back to your country if you don’t like it”, and so forth)… So I won’t. In any case, they already have a dictator, King Mohammed VI, and you see his portrait in various sizes, ranging from moderately large framed pictures inside shops and museums to huge murals at the roadside. All I will say on this matter is that it’s a pity he doesn’t ban the use of motor scooters inside the country’s medinas. They could just walk. But maybe they like it that way.

P.S. Correction. I do have something else to add. I generally entitle my blog posts after having written them. I have so many things to write about after my 6 day visit to Morocco, that I didn’t know where I should start, which is why it’s taking me a while to get going. Having now just started, and having decided to stop here for the moment, which means that one single rant has taken up an entire blog post, I realise that it’s highly significant that my first post on Morocco would be entitled “Motor scooters”.

 

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