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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Travelling: scents and sentimentality

Thinking about our Moroccan road trip, I'm reminded of Essaouira. Ah, Essaouira. One of my favourite places to be in this world. Enchanting blue and white walled town on the sea it may be, but it's the smells of the place that most remind me of Essaouira. Obviously the scent of the sea (and the sting of the wind on my cheeks, and the taste of salt on my tongue). But mostly the smell of fish. Fresh fish untangled from nets on the decks of the blue and white boats. Fried fish cooked at the makeshift wooden kitchen-stalls by the harbour. The putrid smell of raw sewage in the ramshackle old Jewish quarter (picture blue and whitewashed buildings once again). The aromas of fresh herbs and heady spices at the bustling souq in town. Ah, the scent of fresh mint is the scent I remember most. You know how it is when you squeeze a bunch between your hands? When you sniff the damp scent on your hands afterwards? Ah, for me, that's the smell I most associate with Essaouira. The scent that most drives my nostalgia. Ah, Essaouira.

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