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Showing posts from February, 2017

Atay Maghrebi: Eating Snails and Adam's Tale from the Sahara

As the maghrib prayer was called, a small group of us were left watching the dust-blown orange sun setting and, as ever, it put on quite a show as it lowered itself below the tops of three palms in the middle distance.
The multitudinous adhans started as, one by one, the muezzins called "Allahu akbar… hayya'alas-salāh" in a rippling effect that hums across the massiveness of the sky over the hostel’s roof terrace. 
Save for the soft fizzing sound as hot atay hit the cube of sugar at the bottom of my glass, we were left silenced.

As with the previous day, there is a rolling cast of bit part players coming and going within the hostel.
Shortly after maghrib, I had wandered to the Jemaa el-Fnaa. Encouraged by my stolen guidebook, I had decided to brave one apparent local delicacy - snails!
The snails are sold at small stalls in the centre of the market place, slightly away from the larger food stalls in the middle and adjacent to a line of orange juice sellers. The propri…

Københavnske Dagbog: The Colours of Djibouti @ Davids Samling

When I arrived at the Copenhagen Backpackers Hostel, one of the first things that caught my eye was a leaflet for an exhibition called Djiboutis Farver or The Colours of Djibouti in English. The picture on the front was of a wall with a small window cut into it, the bottom half a dirty salmon and the top a washed out baby blue.
The name of the venue, and the leaflet, had slipped out of my mind until my friend Signe said over lunch, “I really want to visit the Islamic art museum.”
I asked her where it was and what it was called, looking for a chance to build on my exploration of Essaouira’s Museum in the summer. She made a noise that sounded a bit like, “dad’s salmon.” Then she spelled it out and it was the same place that I had been looking at the leaflet for.

After chasing the changing of guards around town for a bit and having a coffee in the Grønlands Repræsentation, I wandered towards the innocuous entrance to the Davids Samling Collection, opposite the Kongens Have or King’s …

Atay Maghrebi: The Koutoubia Mosque and Hotel La Mamounia

I didn’t really feel that Marrakech and I had got off on the right foot. This morning, after a really good night’s sleep, I had resolved to have a calm day, take in a few sights, and limit my spending to 200dh.
Perhaps most excitingly, it was my first Jumu’ah spent in a Muslim country. The day already had the feel of a Sunday morning in a Christian country and when I finally got out of bed the hostel was very quiet. By 8.30, there were only two others on the roof terrace.
Breakfast was, as expected, a bit of a bread fest, but there are also the options of cake, yoghurt, coffee, atay, pancakes, all accompanied by the worlds sweetest and thickest apricot jam.
I took my time eating and made the most of the sun’s mild temper to write the previous days misadventures into my notebook, accompanied by a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a pair of sparrows who insisted on monitoring my every move lest I drop a crumb.
I also reflected on how humourless I had been the day before. Plent…