I’m staying in a small city in Morocco. It’s not really much of a city at all come to think of it, at least not in the classic sense of tall buildings and the bustle that comes along with a large population. Taroudant is relaxed. You will find no one rushing from place to place within its narrow streets. People amble about, chat in groups in front of vendors, and mill about in cafés watching football and drinking copious amounts of frothy green tea at a pace that a sloth might call dilatory.
It’s a life style that isn’t for everyone, especially because I’m told the slow pace here is due to high levels of unemployment. Regardless, a volunteer arrived last week and upon his first walk through the city he spoke of how he was “in love” with life here. But two days later he confided in me that he’s thinking of leaving earlier than anticipated. He feels like he’s not doing much here, not going out every night and constantly meeting new people. I understand his desire to go somewhere else. He wants excitement from a city that feels as content as a cat that’s sleeping in a sun beam on Sunday afternoon.
I’m okay with the pace of life here, though. I imagine this relaxed lifestyle is nice for the retired among us, which would explain why my flight over here was packed with French people in their golden years. I’ve discovered a lot about who I am as a traveler. When I travel I like to eat a lot, walk around a lot, and mill about as much as possible. So Taroudant is perfect for me. There’s surely no lack of street food here, and walking along the old walls that surround the city is great way to get some exercise after sitting at the table for two hours, and best of all there are numerous cafés where I can sit and drink tea and no one will bother me.
This couldn’t be my life though. It’s good to live like this for a little while, but my will to work and to be constantly engaged with something overpowers my somnolent travel ways.