El Jadida

20141101_161818All I do is grade, grade, grade no matter what… But grading can be done on trains and planes and buses and I only teach three days a week. On a Friday morning, I packed up a pile of ungraded homework assignments and clothes for the weekend and hopped in a grand taxi to Tangier. In the train station, I drank kahwa halib, standing at a cafe counter, and chatted with a Korean woman who was also waiting for her train. She was a tour guide for Korean visitors to Morocco. We chatted in French, the language we both had in common. Then I met up with a friend and we boarded our train and set off for El Jadida, six or seven hours down the coast, to stay with another friend from our program who teaches there.

El Jadida has a distinctive look, with its stone ramparts left over from Portuguese occupation several centuries ago. We explored its “Portuguese cistern,” which reminded me of the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, except smaller and less well maintained. We wandered through the souks in the evening, found a variety of yummy street food, and shared a sandwich made with fresh fish, a fried potato cake, chopped onions and eggplant.

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Portuguese cistern
Portuguese cistern
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