Casablanca! Yes! This is how I always imagined you:
Well. To be honest, I hadn’t really imagined you – or thought about you much at all – before realizing this past summer that hey, Morocco’s just over there!…and it’s warm in the winter! And doesn’t Casablanca look neat in these postcards I found!
So I went and – with the help of a Casa-born taxi driver – found a minaret-shaped piece of the old Casablanca. Just that one tower. The rest of the romantic, nostalgia-hued scenes have been repaved, renamed, torn down, built up, expanded, and cemented into what seemed to me to be a noisy, hustling, gritty, unnerving, scrappily modern city.
The postcard search was draining. My first day out in Casa was on my second day in Morocco and I felt awkward, shy, vulnerable, dumb. So, like many tourists, I took refuge in a (obligatorily) guided tour the Hassan Mosque, which is one of only two mosques in the country that non-Muslims can visit (the other is in Tin Mal, in the Atlas Mountains).
I wanted to stay there and float in the mood-lit pool and stare up at the mosaics, or lay down next to that flea-ridden kitten and take a nap. But soon the mosque’s loudspeakers would be ringing with the next call to prayer. And I needed to head back to Berrechid and think about all the things I did not know.
If you like the postcards, they’re available on my etsy site.
More then/now postcard-guided field trips HERE.