The old lady is richer than she seems

For a short weekend trip we ventured into the historical capital of Morocco, Fez. I have heard so many wonderful things about this city from Dr. Amster as this is where she spent the majority of her time and studies. We were given a brief handout on the city, but other than that I had no particular expectations except for the fact that it would be really fun! I was not let down! As soon as we arrived, I noticed that it was already much hotter than in Rabat. The hotel that we were staying at was beautifully decorated and in the style of a riad. As we learnt, a riad was a traditional style of building where large families would live in as their house. The immediate and extended families would all live in the same building and this allowed for the great maintenance and community that the riad provided. Although Fez was extremely hot, the riad’s spectacular architecture allowed for a cool breeze. During our time in Fez, I would later learn about the many aspects of Moroccan and French colonial architecture. To my disbelief, the common and extravagant patterns formed by mosaic tiles that were designed in every part of the architecture were all done by hand. Fez housed the old medina (medina qadima) where various trinkets and large pieces of furniture and ornaments could be purchased. Alike the one in Rabat, it had tiny alleys. However, being the old medina the pathways were much narrower and tourists flooded the area. The shopkeepers at the old medina had better English, probably due to the large population of tourists that visited Fez. As we walked through the old medina, I noticed a number of old women who would be sitting outside mosques begging for money. I overheard a conversation between Dr. Amster and the Professor, in which he said that the old woman might be richer than she seemed. This shocked me and I still do not fully understand or believe this description. The old woman appeared tired and worn out by the years of heavy sun exposure. It was sad to watch the old lady continue to sit on the very same step when we passed her again for the second time later on during the day.

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