Every day I post a Moroccan proverb on Twitter and on our Facebook page. Some of them are easy to resonate with. Others are a little ridiculous. A few are incomprehensible. These proverbs seem to be quite representative of the country where our Argan Oil is made – the place where Saadia lives. Visiting Morocco for the first time can be an overwhelming experience for some. There are things that are easier for foreigners to resonate with. But other things are surprising, and even ridiculous, to try to understand. Some things will be utterly incomprehensible. When in Morocco I find it very easy to resonate with the beauty. The colour, the gorgeous riads (traditional houses) and the never ending beaches on the coast.
Then there is the surprising. Entering any medina in any city or town will leave you confused. There is no rhyme or reason to any of them. Their ridiculous maze-like streets and lanes are beyond even the most skilled map maker’s abilities. Just when you think you are on the right track, you hit a dead end.
Then there is the incomprehensible. When walking through the medina of the capital city of Rabat, I was shocked to see a man with a table set up in the street where many butchers were selling their meat. The man with the table had a very special kind of meat for sale. He only sold…. Feet. Cow feet, sheep feet, goat feet. I was appalled. And intrigued. I asked my husband what people would do with these various animal feet and he said he didn’t know. I was very unsatisfied with this answer, so I asked again. “No really. Why would people buy FEET?” His answer? “To make feet tagine.” Aah, tagine. The Moroccan answer to both lunch and dinner six days a week.
I discovered an old saying while planning my first trip to Morocco in 2002. It quickly became one of my favourite things ever written and I'm not even really sure why. You tell me you are going to Fez. Now, if you say you are going to Fez, that means you are not going. But I happen to know that you are going to Fez. Why have you lied to me, you who are my friend? Try to wrap your mind around that one! Or on second thought – don’t try. Morocco is a fascinating place. But it is a country that I think is best left unanalyzed. Just take it for what it is. Enjoy and adore what is beautiful. Laugh at what is ridiculous and incomprehensible. And appreciate that you are somewhere very special and unique.
P.S. Fez is an amazing city in northern Morocco. I spent 5 days there on my first trip. Strangely enough, my Moroccan husband hasn't been there yet! It's really worth seeing, though. You just have to get really lucky and meet some great people to show you around the city like I did! The medina in Fez is absolutely impossible and wonderful all at once.