Yesterday, in a quick cab from the Hassan II Mosque to the Casablanca train station to catch a train home, the driver pointed this out to us as we drove by:
A SIGH IS JUST A SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH!!!!!
“It’s the original Rick’s,” he said earnestly, “the original. Vous avez vu le film?”
Beezy, pleasy, I thought. DUH HAVE I SEEN THE FILM PSHAW BUT I ALSO KNOW THAT THE entire film was shot in the studio in L.A. I’ll believe you, though, snap a photo out the window, and say I’ve been to (driven by) Rick’s!
I rather dumbly sprayed chocolate milk all over myself with a straw this morning, but it was worth it because MOSQUE.
WeeeEEEeee (by we I mean a few girls in our cohort and our Moroccan pal Qaiss) went to Casablanca today! Sadly, I must inform you all that Casablanca is neither romantic nor well-liked among Moroccans; it’s not a cultural hotspot, it’s all business and is considered just a big, stinky city. Still, it’s Casa-friggin-blanca, which I insist is awesome no matter what you say. We went to a book fair (trilingual book fair, cool! I got a free Islamic sex-ed book, and bought a cookbook), and visited the largest mosque in Africa, the third largest mosque in the world: the breathtaking Hassan II mosque. It’s…big. And art. It’s big art.
This is what it looks like on the outside:
After a strange pizza and questionable Maghribian ketchup that tasted like a cross between Cholula and Sriracha, we ran to catch a tour of the mosque that we quickly abandoned and that nobody listened to anyway.
We were encouraged to take photos, but were also called Japanese tourists once or twice, so I’m not sure what their deal was with cameras. After an attempt or two at photographing the cavernous, beautiful interior…
…I concluded that the wings upon wings, the pillars, the alcoves, the carpets, the floors, the doors, the chandeliers, the ceilings, such an overwhelming amount of beauty all in one huge place—was all too much to attempt to capture in a photo, or twelve, or thirty-six. Relaxing the pressure to prove I was here and felt emotions while here made the experience much less stressful, and I found myself instead wandering around the enormous mosque, clutching the plastic bag containing my shoes, mouth open and eyes cast upward.
I thenceforth relegated myself to preserving bits and pieces of the intricate details and patterns inlaid everywhere throughout the mosque, which I hope you enjoy!
After a lot of staring at things, we finally stepped back into the bright Moroccan sun, and the overload of art-beauty-awesome-big caused some kind of blip in my excitable system. I proceeded to skip around, yelling stuff like “PRETTY THINGSSSSS!!!!” and “THIS IS BIIIIIIIIIIG!!!” and taking pictures with wild abandon.
…And that’s all I have to say about that.