WFD came through Morocco and – of course – demanded to eat as much authentic Moroccan food as possible. Rabat has fantastic restaurants serving up great tagines and brochettes, though after a few days WFD demanded the real thing, the stuff that people eat while they’re on the go – the street / market food.
Off to the medina.
While walking through the Rabat medina – small in comparison to its cousins in Fes and Marrakesh, though infinitely easier to navigate – I saw WFD’s nose twitching and leading him towards a stall crowded with young men and women. Stacks of fried eggs took up one edge of a small counter-space, flanked by roasted eggplant and peppers, raw onions, various spicy concoctions and a small mountain of fried fish fresh out of a deep pan of hot oil cooking away over a giant open flame. All of the ingredients are piled inside of fresh traditional Moroccan bread and then gently mashed and handed over to the customer.
The customers walk up, order a sandwich and are chomping away within about a minute. All for the price of 8 or 9 dirham (about $1). Want more eggplant? No problem. Extra super spicy sauce? Of course. “Safe” fried fish on a 100 degree day? These guys were frying fresh fish the entire time we watched the action – nothing sat for long.
So, of course, WFD had to have one.
Using my caveman French I ordered a sandwich with all of the fixings and we found a shady retreat for WFD to get down. He jumped right in.
He loved it. Despite the incredible heat, he finished the sandwich with gusto and looked like a natural chowing down on it.
Notice that I said “natural” and not “like a local”. Both my father and I dress to avoid any and all contact with the sun and tend to stick out in warm places like Morocco, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, etc. We’ve had a great run traveling together and I am looking forward to many more adventures with him, and while we may not blend in with the locals we sure like to eat like them.
Camera note – We both set off with our camera bodies and only 50mm lenses. I recently upgraded from a Canon 50mm 1.8 first edition to the second / current edition and am blown away by the improvement in lens function. The old version – about twenty-five years old if I remember my serial number research – refuses to play well with modern AF and is best used mounted on a tripod and utilizing live view. The new lens plays very well for being a “cheap” lens and I can’t recommend it enough.
If you don’t have a “nifty fifty”, you’re missing out. Just remember that your DOF / depth of field will be razor thin at 1.8 (and your contrast may be a little lacking until around 2.8).
Anyways, have fun and carry less stuff when you’re out making photos.
Note to self – just because you can shoot at 1.8, you don’t need to all of the time. Don’t utilize tricks too much or they will become crutches.