Friday, December 12, 2008

Souq- Visit II

I went to the souq again. This time I went with Zourikha, Brahim's wife. I was able to observe souq life from the perspective of a woman.

On my initial visit, I reported that there were more women than men at the souq. Turns out, that's only true when you go to the souq around noon. That's when the main meal of the day is served, so most of the women are at home preparing it. My second visit to the souq happened at about 4:00 pm. There were loads of women shopping then.


This is Zourikha picking out mint-like herbs for tea. They all have different nuances of flavor. I am not quite adept at picking them out. I can tell when my herbal tea tastes different, but I can't tell why.


Potatoes. They are generally used in tajines for lunch or dinner.


Carrots. Zourikha was a lot more selective than Brahim was when he did the shopping. Every woman likes carrots of a certain size and shape. Some prefer big ones. Zouriha seems to prefer skinny ones.


These are turnips. They serve the same culinary function as potatoes.


Here's another view of Zourikha choosing her produce. She was insanely embarassed that I was taking pictures of her. I think she only looked at me once the entire time.


All of the produce was weighed with this scale. Zourikha would tell the produce man how much (weight-wise) she wanted. If what she selected ended up weighing more, the produce man tossed a few out until it was the right weight.


I don't know why seeing the cauliflower in a bowl like this struck me as funny, but it did. It still does. I'm chuckling even as I type this.


These are Moroccan green peppers. They taste much like the green bell peppers I buy in America (I can even buy them in Shishmaref sometimes!!!). The only difference is that they're shaped differently. They're skinny and pointy.


Oranges. I love oranges (just ask my mom. She has to buy crates of them at Costco when I come to visit). Moroccan oranges are little and very sweet. We have them as dessert after every lunch and some dinners.


This is a truck filled with wooden crates. I was almost ran over by the men stacking the crates onto the truck. It was like they didn't even see me.


This picture is to illustrate a story. As Zourikha purchased her produce, she would hand it to Loubna and me. We would stash it in the large wheeled back brought especially for that purpose. Toward the end of our shopping trip, the large bag got kind of full. So Loubna, being the innovative girl that she is, tied the last bag onto the handle of the wheeled bag.

When we got ready to go home, Zourikha noticed the knotted bag. She was immediately embarassed and NOT going to walk home with a plastic bag hanging off of the cart/bag combination. She and Loubna "discussed" it for a while (I couldn't understand the conversation because it was in Arabic, but I imagine it went something like this:

"Mom, seriously, it's not a big deal."

"Please take it off."

"Why? Just leave it. Nobody's going to care."

"I'm not going to walk home with that bag hanging off."

"It's fine."

The conversation ended with Loubna trying to untie the bag. She was unsuccessful, so Zourikha tore the bag off the handle. The remnants of the knots are probably still there. :)

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