Can anyone guess what this is?
Wandering through the market in Marrakesh we came across two guys in a shop taking turns working on a bow lathe. It is operated by using one hand to draw the bow back and forth, spinning the wood. And then a hand and a foot were used to carefully move the gouge to carve out intricate little designs. It was mesmerizing and I stood and watched for a while. I’ve taken two photos so you can see a close up of how it works.
As we kick off the 2017 working year, it seems fitting to post a photo of the lady that got my Vietnam trip going for me. As I was sat, tired from the long journey, and queasy from the small boat I was in on my first day in the Mekong Delta, my mood was lifted by my first Vietnamese coffee. It was delicious and gave me a jolt of caffeine that set me up for the day. It also resulted in me talking non-stop for the next hour, as my travel buddy can attest.
The coffee is being served by the lady in the small boat in the middle of this picture, who stopped to deliver her wares to each boat at the market. She had everything she needed to make hot or iced coffee on board, and blend it with super sweet, condensed milk. I’m pretty sure my face looked a lot like the kid on the left before I had a cup too.
Walking through the markets in Marrakech is a disorientating experience, but it’s an interesting place to get lost. I didn’t get many pictures while in there as there’s just so much stuff it’s difficult to get it all in. This shop selling hammered metal lamps inspired me though and I spent quite a while trying to find a decent angle.
I went on a really good food tour in Marrakech. We tried all sorts of food from lamb cooked underground for hours to amazing sardine-ball sandwiches. As a bonus we also stopped off at some interesting spots, including the village bakery, where people would bring food in to be baked in the oven to be picked up later in the day.
If you’re ever in Marrakech I would definitely recommend it! You can find their website here:
Our second stop was at an olive stand, we were allowed to just eat all the olives that we wanted off the stall. The seller seemed to have an endless supply of different types of olives.
A wander through the market always yields interesting sights, such as this lady selling a huge pile of yellow flowers.
On this day we went in search of what our guide book described as a local delicacy, tiny preserved tangerines. We were supposed to find them in amongst all the woven baskets inside the market building. We wandered through without having much luck. We were being mobbed by locals asking what we were looking for, making it difficult to scan the stalls for the little delights. Eventually, Shannon decided to try to explain what we were after. She was less than successful in this endeavor, but it took the attention off me and I was able to scan a stall carefully. Then, I saw a plastic jar, tucked in amongst everything else, full of gooey little orange spheres. I knew I had the right thing when I noticed the picture of tangerines on the label.
The lady gestured that I should open the jar. Upon doing that, I was hit by a strong citrus smell. They smelled delicious and I was instructed to taste one. At this point, things took a turn for the worse. They were horrible, bitter, chewy things smothered in a sickeningly sweet gloop. After the ladies hospitality we wanted to buy something, but we did not want a jar of those tangerines! Eventually, we remembered some delicious coconut cracker things we’d wanted to buy. The lady didn’t have any but quickly ran off somewhere, returning with a whole case. They became our long distance bus journey snack of choice.
I really like photos of markets, but have never had much luck. People either look at you funny or strike poses, which puts me off a bit. This place was great as everyone just went about their business as if I wasn’t there. I really wanted to center the dome in the background between the two buildings, but there was a post in the way. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t contort myself into a position around the pole that would let me get it centered.