Bou Inania Madrasa in Fes

Bou Inania Madrasa in Fes

Morocco. The very name of the country always had a mythical meaning for me. Deserts meet mountains in North Africa. Pictures of Tuareg nomads riding in the sand instantly flicker before my eyes. The names of the cities were no less fascinating. Casablanca, of movie fame. Marrakesh, with the red gates and walls. Fes, with the old medina. And the infamous Tangier, once a city where anything went, home to the Beats and spies. Many of my friends have been to Morocco, several have lived there for long periods, everyone highly recommended it. The excitement was high as Charlene and I stood on the top deck of the ferry from Spain, approaching the old port of Tangier in September 2013.

Plans – and life – rarely, if ever, go as hoped or expected. Twist and turns always happen. That is a good thing, even if at times tough or disappointing. That is what happened to me.

Turns out I was not ready to leave Copenhagen behind. It was the best two months of my life and impossible as it was, I wanted to extend our summer indefinitely.

Morocco was a complete contrast to the magic of Copenhagen. Mobility became an issue as Charlene got sick and could not do much. I did walks on my own but the pleasure of sharing experiences, something that was very new to me, was gone. The lack of personal connections and my very un-Moroccan apperance meant I stuck out like a sore thumb and did not manage to get below the surface. We had to leave Morocco after two weeks and head back to Spain, so Charlene could recover. So we did not spend enough time anywhere to cultivate connections.

Of the time we did spend in Morocco, one thing especially made an impression. Time. Most people seemed to have time or make time. Nursing a mint tea or coffee in one of the many cafes for hours was the norm, and it was a great way to watch Moroccan life go by and enjoy the fact that we too had time.

I was not able to make the picture I had in my head of a Tuareg rider in the sand, striking blue veil against the gold dunes. But I did make random images walking the streets of Tangier and Fes. Personal work that I value a lot, more than a clichΓ© I might have produced of a Tuareg rider in the desert.

And there is always next time.

Some day I will be hungry to visit again.

For now, here is my Morocco portfolio.

Tangier and the Strait of Gibraltar

Tangier and the Strait of Gibraltar

Streets of Tangier

Streets of Tangier

Tingis Cafe in Tangier, Barcelona football game

Tingis Cafe in Tangier, Barcelona football game

Medina in Fes

Medina in Fes

Streets of Fes

Streets of Fes

Charlene at Dean's Bar

Charlene at Dean’s Bar

Cafe in Fes

Cafe in Fes

Walls of Fes

Walls of Fes

Charlene in the medina of Tangier

Charlene in the medina of Tangier

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24 thoughts on “On Moroccan Time

  1. Charlene 4 years ago

    For all your disappointment at not having been able to experience Morocco the way you would have liked, you did come away with some decent images.

    I’d say that the one thing that Morocco did impart to you, is the value of doing nothing (enforced, in your case, by me). We don’t always need to be out and about chasing things to be living life. The more I observe people in go-go-go societies (especially the one I’m in at the time of this comment), the more it seems that boredom is a kind of anxiety. People feel like they need to be DOING something, or they’re losing out in some way (the “kiasu” you hear so often about).

    Idleness is not always evil. Having time to contemplate stuff (and confront yourself) is a good thing.

    This, of course, comes to you from the master of doing nothing, and so is suitably disclaimed πŸ™‚

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 4 years ago

      The donkey image should be credited to you! It was your shot, I just happened to shoot it next to you with an 18mm so I could get the road and the two guys πŸ™‚ GrΓ¦srΓΈv πŸ™‚

      Yes, I am quite happy with a couple of these images. And I did learn (I think?!) quite a few lessons in Morocco. On clever days I might even remember some of the lessons! πŸ™‚

      1. Charlene 4 years ago

        Well I was standing more or less next to you for every single one of these shots and none of mine turned out half as good, so don’t sweat it.

        They’re not my shots at all… be thankful for that! πŸ˜€

          1. Charlene 4 years ago

            No I’m the lucky one. You’re just fancy πŸ˜‰

  2. Charlene 4 years ago

    Also I am insanely jealous of that donkey image.

  3. Marvin 4 years ago

    Thank you for all your heartfelt stories! I like the Medina in Fes photo the most, wonderful light!

    If you ever come to Germany, you definetely have a place to crash for some time!

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 4 years ago

      Thanks Marvin! Will probably be in Hanover this Summer actually, where are you?

      1. Marvin 4 years ago

        Thats great! I actually live relatively close to Hannover in Paderborn. It’s about 120 Kilometers from Hannover. Would be nice if we could work something out!

        1. Flemming Bo Jensen 4 years ago

          That sounds great, let us keep in touch and I will let you know when we are there and maybe you feel like buying us a coffee hehe πŸ™‚

            1. Marvin 4 years ago

              Hey, do you already know the month you’ll be here in Germany?

            2. Flemming Bo Jensen 4 years ago

              Hi Marvin, no but it will probably be sometime during the last two weeks of September.

  4. Bruno 4 years ago

    Oh boy I did not see the donkey at first sight πŸ™‚
    Morocco has the time to wait for your second appearance and by the way, i’m doing absolutely nothing right now, just chilling on the sofa, listening to my tunes and it feels sooo just right πŸ™‚
    Just got yesterday two old vintage Takumar lenses, 50mm and 135mm, for my X-E2. Can’t wait to use them ^..^
    Cheers from Swizzy
    Bruno

    1. Bruno 4 years ago

      ps: I hope next time my picture shows up πŸ™‚ not sure i like that pinky avatar πŸ˜›

    2. Flemming Bo Jensen 4 years ago

      Thanks Bruno, have a good time chilling and hope the lenses work great for you!

      (upload an avatar at gravatar.com to get your own picture hehe)

      1. Bruno 4 years ago

        hehe thanks for the other avatar but maybe i got my own now if i use just the right email address πŸ™‚

  5. JerseyStyle Photography 4 years ago

    A famous, fabled place indeed. Like Mick and the boys said, Time is on your side. Looks like you made the most of it. You chased the light and bottled it nicely in many of these. Thanks for sharing. ~ Mark

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 4 years ago

      Thanks Mark. Fortunately yes, there is heaps of time. It is quite funny in a way that I made pictures that are much better than my actual experience of being there (not by any fault of Morocco).