Sunday, 21 May 2017

Tangiers 1970.



Before the above photo was taken, I had never tasted Coca Cola.

Morocco was alcohol free in those days, so I had no alternative (other than Fanta or Pepsi). Nowadays things are different.

In 1970 you could openly buy large blocks of hashish (they looked like big cellophane wrapped chocolate bars and contained a government stamp) but a beer or a glass of wine was verboten. You really wouldn't have wanted to drink the water!

On entering the country some evil man had made me have my hair cut short. Lady Magnon had a small pair of nail scissors in her bag, and my luscious locks were unceremoniously left at the port of entry.

Still, nothing can detract from that pleasant shock of entering the Maghreb, with it's medieval ways and customs. The dark cool souks, the henna tattooed women, and the men all dressed in djellabas; it was like entering another era. 

Amazingly it is still much the same; and all within a very short flight from London, Paris, or Toulouse. An essential destination.




37 comments:

  1. To travel with a baby to Morocco in 1971 must have been a challenge.A wonderful country, wonderful people and wonderful food.

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  2. We happened to be in the UAE on a alcohol free day. We were not happy.

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    Replies
    1. It was very hot in Morocco, and a cold beer would have been perfect. Alas....

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  3. Much the same can be said of Marrakech - I love it. And when I was really mobile the whole visit could be enhanced by walking in the Atlas mountains.

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    1. We adore Marrakesh; one of life's great experiences.

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  4. Essential indeed. On my more recent than you visits I can confirm that it is still almost impossible to obtain alcohol unless one is with someone in the know about such things.

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    1. In our Guerliz (Marrakech) hotel, beer was on offer, and I seem to remember than wine was served in the better restaurants.

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    2. In my hotel in Marrakech it never is but then it is totally Moroccan.

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    3. The first and only time I drank coca cola was in Romania in 1974 and only through necessity because of the water. I have never touched it since.

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    4. The hotel we stay in is mostly for French tourists or business people. Beautiful tiles everywhere but no real ambience.

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  5. That's heartening, I've always wanted to visit and keep wondering if I've left it too late! It'll have to wait til the little chap is a bit older but we'll get there.

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    1. May I suggest a 'weekend break' as a taster. Once visited you'll want to return for a longer stay.

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  6. I thought for a second that you were sporting and ear ring and you didn't strike me as one who would.

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    1. I think it must be a little mark on the photo. No, no earrings, piercings, or tattoos on me.

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  7. When we were in Utah, we had been on a very dusty and bumpy trip in a mini moke type vehicle. We went in a restaurant for dinner and, my husband was desperate for a beer ..... we were informed that no alcohol was served as the were a hundred yards from the schoolhouse !!!! Another restaurant sold beer but not wine and others no alcohol at all !!!!! But you could buy a gun !!!! XXXX

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  8. We never lack alcohol in all Maghreb countries ,it's like in Iran. You can find everything as under the counter sales. And in private circles it's very usual to drink alcohol. If you could see the young Iranians at their dancIng evenings you would be surprised. No difference with Europe.

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    1. I'm sure you're right. They preach but don't practice.

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  9. The photo looks like an ad from a magazine. Lady M did a good job with the haircut.

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    1. It was taken on the roof terrace of our very cheap hotel.

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  10. I was about to compliment you on how smart you look. Those Moroccan border guards have very good taste.

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    1. I wasn't very happy about it at the time, in fact I was furious.

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  11. That is a great picture of you, Cro. That certainly is a very large bottle of Coke.

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    1. Yes, I suppose it is. 50 cl maybe?

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  12. In a North American world where many children have consumed some sort of pop (soda) before they are school age, I find it remarkable that you had never tasted Coke before that picture was taken (and also, Rachel's comment, above). But then, maybe burgers, fries, and pizza weren't a big part of your diet (as it is here, for many folk). Jenn

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    1. I was very lucky to have a mother who discovered Elizabeth David before such things were fashionable. We ate extremely well at home, and never drank fizzy pop. It simply wasn't a part of my life!

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  13. You must have had a very protected childhood never to have drunk Coca Cola. Coke and crisps was staple fodder for me and my brother when our parents were in the pub. Evil stuff.

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    1. See above, and at school Coke and Crisps were simply never mentioned. We had a Belgian chef (at my upper school) and he would have given us a good slapping had we touched such things. Honestly.

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    2. I dont believe Coco Cola had arrived in England when I was at school. It has never featured in my life.

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  14. Cro you are not alone. Fizzy drinks played no part in my young life either. I don't think that was unusual for our age in England.

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    1. I certainly don't think of it as unusual. Obviously many people did drink it, but not all of us.

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  15. We did not drink Coca Cola when we were young but we did drink Chinotto sometimes, it is similar but made from a fruit. I like the photo of you.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. When I was very small I used to buy some lemon flavoured crystals that you put in water to make a drink. I liked that!

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  16. My daughters are aged 28 and 21 and I never bought fizzy drinks for them; they just weren't something that featured in my life and I saw no need to introduce them to sugary drinks either. I was regarded as something of an oddball because of it!

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    1. We never bought Coke for our children. And I still never buy it for my grandchildren. It's amazing the Co makes any money!

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  17. That pic looks like an advert for Coca Cola!

    Amazing to think that hash was readily available, but alcohol was not.

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  18. I had a taste of Coca Cola at a party when I was about 13 and have never repeated the experience. Just sipping the first elderflower cordial of the season and on your recommendation have laid one bottle down in the garage to explode or be drunk in due course as 'champagne'. My mother started travelling independently in 1967 so I grew up with her experimental international cuisiine via the books of lElizabeth David. I met Elizabeth once during my wine industry days when she was a very old lady and we dined off white plates - I'm afraid I can't remember what we ate but I've stuck to the white plate rule. Finallly, we went to an English wine tasting on Sunday, just down the road from us in Chilworth. They had suffered 30 per cent frost damage despite extensive use of bougies but less damage than Denbies. I've lost all my plums, most of my pears and the apples from two trees in the -6 degree temperatures. Still climate change means that it won't be long before the Surrey Hills has its own appellation.

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