Friday, January 14, 2005

Re-Colonization

It isn't 1969 in the US, and it isn't 1969 in Morocco, either.

In fact, far from being exotic, Morocco so far seems like a poorer, though somewhat friendlier, version of France. And urban Morocco is actually wealthier than the France of 1969.

Anyway, even though this country is verging on Second World, it got me to thinking of an idea I had years ago, namely that the developed world should just re-colonize the Third World. Only this time they would have to do it right, steadily investing in infrastructure and education, in exchange for an immigration policy that would be fair and balanced.

It would have to be voluntary, of course. But almost all the Central American countries, for instance, and absent George Bush, would vote in a heartbeat for Puerto Rico status. And it is always quaint how former British and French colonies will maintain British and French affectations long after the actual British and French have forsaken them.

Moreover, it would give folks like us something useful to do with our time and energy besides going to Las Vegas and starting insane wars...


Well, back to the travelogue:

Meknes is the 'third' tourist city in Morocco, and although it does have a medina (or old part), said medina was definitely lacking in oomph. On the other hand, the people were very friendly, and it was a pleasant place to spend the night.

Fes, on the other hand, is a city of over a million, and is supposed to have the largest medieval medina in the world. Not only that, but it's supposed to have the' most annoying touts and salesmen in the world. I looked forward to checking it all out.

I don't know. Maybe it's because it was Friday (Muslim Sunday); maybe it was because of my hard and stony expression; maybe it was the way I totally blew everyone off. But I walked in the gate and nobody hassled me. I mean, doesn't anyone even try any more?

And maybe I'm just old and jaded, but somehow gas stations at the entrance, satellite dishes on the roofs, and guys walking buy wearing Adidas and NY Giant sweatshirts, none of this screams MEDIEVAL at me.

In the end Fes was mildly interesting, but hardly worth planning a vacation around: it's mostly just substandard housing. And although there might be 8400 winding alleys (I'll give it that, it is humungous as old cities go) they all wind up as dead ends, so it's no fun getting lost.

Oh, and finally one kid hassled me for about five minutes, but then even he gave up.

Anyway, I still have my illusions, and tomorroa at 6am I head for Marrakesh, where I hope to be overwhelmed with exotic. At the very least, arriving there should stop that stupid Marrakesh Express song from nattering through my brain.



6 Comments:

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Charles Darwin said...

MF - When's the last time you tossed a course? Now is your chance...

Frisbee Golf in Morocco

MARRAKESH

Royal Golf Club (18 holes)
Green fees :61.00 CDN Dollars (Aprox. 43.00 US Dollars)

How magical for a frisbee golfer to play on this par 72 course, with an extreme beauty at the feet of the snow?covered Atlas mountains ! and what a delight to stride the length of its 6.200 metres. The green is hidden behind two grassy mounds separated by a bunker plus an additional hazard the angles are blocked by high palm trees.

 
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