March 16, 2016
Life in the medina in Fez is very different than the life I come from. The medina is a physical environment so different than anything I know. It is one thing to describe it but another to be in it. It is an endless maze of alleys filled with either markets at your elbows or mysterious doors that lead into people’s private worlds. There is no privacy outside but inside it is an oasis from that public sphere. There are no green spaces in the medina, only occasional intersections of alleys that create very small squares of commerce. Here on the roof of Anne’s riad (house) there is privacy and the open space of the rooftops around me, the blue sky above, and mountains to the east.
I rest and read and write for a bit up here while Anne has gone off to teach classes and Richard is getting a shave and beard trim somewhere in the medina with Abduliteff. In a moment, I will descend the long stairwell and freshen up. Richard and I will take a petit taxi to the new city where Anne teaches and be the guest speakers for her students at 6 pm.
Our visit here is different than our visit to Sicily. It is a visit to see Anne and her life here and to meet Abduliteff as well. We are like the other tourists we see in the medina but different. Being here with Anne and for Anne makes our immersion in this different world more intense.