As I approach the red city of Marrakech, the landscape behind the window of the train I am on, is changing as well. Yellow sand and sparse palm trees are replaced by dark-brown soil, and in the distance the horizon is getting painted with rocky slopes of innumerable hills. Here there are almost no palms, and only bristly bushes are diluting this bleak, marsian-like landscape. In this terrain there are no trees that can throw a shadow, where a traveller could hide from a scorching sun.
In the comfort of an air-conditioned train (yes, such luxury is available in Morocco), it’s difficult to imagine the heat that burns out the green-fodder and vaporizes all water form the soil, making it unsuitable for the growth of fauna. Notwithstanding, eucalyptus offering oil and honey, and cactuses with nutritious fruits grow in abundance here in some places, allowing simple, low-tech production in this region. But still I was wondering, how deep do you have to dig to reach water and how scarce is it? Coming from the places abundant in water, it is easy to forget that big part of this world is facing really serious problem, i.e. shortage of water. How often do people here feel how their tongues swell from the heat, especially during the holy month of Ramadan?
In the periods of draught people have to reserve to such measure as simply praying to Allah to grant them some rain. Once, while I was working in El Jadida, the whole of Morocco prayed together with the king; strangely enough, coincidentally or not, but it did rain the next day. God Bless =)
Periodically, small villages or settlements emerge on the hills. They almost merge with surrounding environment, being built from stones and clay of the same colour. In the distance I start noticing high mountains, it means we are getting closer to Marrakech. I shift attention to my coupe. Morocco has always surprised me with how nice Moroccan travellers are to each other, complete strangers sharing a deep sense of communion. No ipads or iphones (unfortunately books either) distract people from each other, so they are happy to start a simple talk that doesn’t abide anyone to anything. Sharing some stories, some jokes, a couple of laughs and smiles – touching and simple Moroccan warmheartedness, helping to pass long hours of travel and uplifting one’s mood.
One guy helps to get my luggage down, I say a humble ‘shokran’ and in a few minutes I am standing under burning sun, breathing dry air, feeling as if I have just entered a mild Finnish sauna. I get my bags, and I am on the roll to find a sensible driver with whom I wouldn’t have to bargain too much. I smile widely inside of my heart as it is my final days in Morocco, another one of my stays in Kif-Kif hostel in the old medina, and not even heavy bags or the heat can ruin my happiness. ‘Cause this is how I choose to perceive and feel, as it is the perspective that makes our reality what it is. Also, knowing that this experience is to be continued... I choose to end it as positively as possible.