Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 3 [morning]


Smells: indistinct, sweet, penetrating, spicy, malevolent.
Noises: the turbolent whirl of life crying through a thousand horns in the traffic.
Eyes: some staring at us, some ignoring us, some following our path. Looking at us passengers in our golden carriage, the mechanical bubble which smuggles 43 intruders through their sight.
While our guide recites his litany he betrays only a hint of disgust for us, often masked by the proudness with which he speaks of his country.
We, an opulent herd flocked out of a steel floating paradise. The coach screens us from the outside reality, flowing before our eyes like an old black and white movie already fading in our memory.

Eastern architecture: jewels in the mud,
colors on the city gray canvas.

and the awareness to be before a compelling beauty engraved in stones, only glimpsed by the casual visitor.


  1. a smell as malevolent...never thought of it that way but i knew what you meant as soon as i read it.

    your description of an encased opulent herd (love that) puts a weird feeling in the pit of my gut. i must say that i much prefer a blended backpack walk amongst the locals (though i would unlikely ever "appear" local) when traveling than what you describe. we have traveled both ways in central america (off the ship & onto the bus that screams "tourists with money" & off the plane, melting into the sea of locals looking like anyman in the crowd)...your words have taken my feelings of discomfort for the first way & fit them to a "T".

  2. Queste sono foto da vero professionista,mi inchino al maestro!!! bravo bravo bravo.

  3. thank you for taking us on this journey with you...

  4. I love your impressions of Casablanca. I remember being impressed by the stone lace and the vast contradictions of the city.

  5. Hi there...

    I love your photographs! Absolutely stunning. And the poems/prose that go with them... Really interesting.

    I like your style.

    I look forward to seeing more!

  6. Really beautiful as usual. I love the one of the turqoise floor ( at first I thought it was water), and the floor cleaner standing in front of that intricate window. STUNNING

  7. Thank you for all your comments.
    In my view, the central picture of this post is the first one [b&w "right/left"]. It summons the feeling in a place which, far from being without beauty, still fails to provide the basic needs to many. Yet there is no single shack without its satellite antenna.
    As spacedlaw correctly noted, contradictions and [I would add] a general feeling of abandonment impressed me as soon as our bus moved into the traffic.
    @ qualcosa di bello: yes, the cruise isn't really the best way to "know" a place. If you're lucky you just browse. I cannot deny though I did use the detachment provided by the trip on certain occasions. Very lazy of me, I know, but hey.. I was on vacation!
    @ Kristin: ...the turquoise floor IS water! That room was the central bath of an underground hammam, right below the gigantic Hassan II mosque. That place offered many nice views and I took several shots there. The flower/mushroom shaped fountain belongs to the same place too.

  8. @ charli: welcome to my blog :-) and thank you for your kind words.
    As i see you are into poetry too, I hope to read your contribution to the next "Far&Near" post.

  9. For my Italian friends:
    [Odori: confusi, dolci, penetranti, speziati, maligni.
    Rumori: mille clacson gridano il vortice turbolento della vita nel traffico.
    Occhi: alcuni ci osservano, altri ci ignorano, altri ancora ci seguono. Guardano noi passeggeri di una carrozza dorata, la bolla meccanica che ci contrabbanda nei loro sguardi.
    Mentre la nostra guida recita il suo sermone tradisce una punta di disgusto nei nostri confronti, mascherata solo dall'orgoglio con cui parla del proprio paese.
    Noi, un gregge opulento radunato fuori di un paradiso d'acciao galleggiante. Il pulman ci separa dalla realta' esterna, che scorre davanti ai nostri occhi come un film in bianco e nero, sbiadito nella memoria.

    Architettura orientale: gioielli nel fango, colori sulla grigia tela della citta'.

    e la consapevolezza di trovarsi davanti ad una bellezza estraniante scolpita nella pietra, solo sfiorata dal viaggiatore occasionale]

  10. Accidenti...non solo mi inchino...mi prostro ai tuoi piedi!!! :D