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What Caught My Eye

To talk simply on what has caught my eye since arriving in Morocco would require far too much time and space on the page to be remotely useful to anyone interested in the larger theme distinctions that permeate life in Fez. As such, I will refrain from examining all the little gems that are so bountiful and easy to point out. Those are for everyone to discover on their own. Furthermore, I am in no position to comment on the most significant of them, as the time I have been has only allotted for my discovery of what I’m sure is a practically negligible percentage. Instead, I will try to articulate the experience I have had in being witness to the dramatic yet almost subliminal distinction that exists in the overall interaction of society, one that manifests itself in a variety of ways and one which I have come closest to describing as a sort of beehive.

The first manner in which I found this beehive-esque society to manifest itself was in traffic, both automotive and pedestrian. The consistent disregard for rules and distinctions adhered to in a far more significant manner in the United States caught me off guard upon my arrival, despite having read about it previously. Something I said to a friend while walking across the street was that the cars and their drivers act as if under the delusion that they are pedestrians and not the drivers of very dangerous vehicles. However, such a system appears to be working. For although such a dynamic between cars and pedestrians seems inherently more dangerous than that which is found somewhere like the United States, a higher degree of engagement comes along with it. For example, in the time I have spent here I have not seen a single pedestrian or driver on his or her cell phone. Now, while I’m not saying that this system is by any means one that should replace ours, for the apparent cavalierness with which pedestrians conduct themselves, which in fact is an innate comfort in this style of life, is not one that Americans could adopt easily. However, it might go to show that having a bit more chaos in our lives, while inherently more dangerous, may force us to be more engaged and aware when conducting ourselves, as chaos always does.


John Argentino

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