from my travel journal: 14 may 07
We had our crazy street experience last night. I’ve never been so jam-packed on a street with so many different types of people at once. I agree with Paul that our packs saved us from being totally tossed around.
People were crushed up together, like going upfront at a concert. Kids, one in a used wheelchair, others on bikes, and women with babies, old men, young men, and delivery men, pushing medieval carts (Paul saw one with precariously placed eggs.). I was utterly shocked when I looked up from the person’s neck in front of me to see two horses, signaling a carriage was trying to get through the hodgepodge throng too, at the narrowest part of the street, of course.
And what a gamut of expressions, if you took time to focus on faces rather than the tense, forced, stalled momentum. Some people were shocked. Others were excited, almost laughing. Anger. Disdain. Zen displacement.
Two of the sweetest Moroccan gestures happened to me during that street push. A teenage boy grabbed my arm, checking if I was ok, telling me to be careful, before he was tossed away. And two shopkeepers hauled me to their window, anchoring me with their shouts of “madam” and their hands on my backpack. They also warned me to watch it. I assured them it was locked. I think they would have hauled me over their window ledge, into dock, if I had wanted. So kind.
Paul and I somehow, separately made it through and found each other on the other side, right before the main square.