Mr Lavage

A tricycle on which a frame is built on the metal trunk that is covered by a tightly stretched plastic sail. The plastic has been sprayed blue and colored letters and symbols indicate what it contains: Mr Lavage. Mister, or monsieur, Lavage. Your personal car wash on demand in front of the door. Phone-number clearly…

Moroccan scene

They sit at a table on this modern square in Marrakech far away from the crowds on the Jemaa el Fnaa square. A modern neighborhood with shops in the more expensive segment, luxury apartment complexes located near the grand cafe de la Poste. This must be their regular meeting place. In the corner of the…

A muddy soccer pitch in Rabat

Rain. And not just rain. No it is terrible in Rabat. Between the heavy showers brightens up ‘the Moroccan way’; A world that dries up because of the wind that breaks the cloud cover and gives the sun all the space to dissipate its heat. It is Wednesday evening and with the darkness of the…

Cracks in the varnish …

I walk out of our house during a weekday in Rabat. The sun knows in between rain showers how to shine and even though it is early in the morning its sparks are clear. Our slightly sloping street has become extinct. People are at work and the waste containers are neatly lined up on the…

From crooked man in Rabat to Brussels (and back)

Today he flashes into the corner of my eye while I am walking the dog. Well, falshes. Rather shuffle: An older, completely bent man, who manfully tries to descend a small slope to cross our highway, the roccade of Rabat. I stand still and look breathlessly at the scene. First the down the low slope,…

Dark and Light

Rustic village in the south of the Netherlands. The place where my mother lives. At home with my mother in the house that never feels like our parental home. That is close to Rotterdam. This house in Brabant is the home of my mother and, now deceased, father. Here they wanted to grow old together….

Stroll through Rabat

The day begins with a visit to a coffee house in Temara. Here I meet my Moroccan-Dutch friend who is so often my translator of Moroccan culture. The beauty is that he also understands my Dutch hype and scribbles under the Moroccan sun. Around us are mostly men, sometimes only with newspaper and their coffee,…

A warm winter in Morocco

There is a lot of rain this week in Morocco. There is snow in the Atlas and the south. It may still rain for a week and that is particularly good for the country that is green everywhere. The cold comes with the rain. Real, greasy cold, which cuts into your body and is difficult…

Naive hope?

Near the large bus station in Rabat against a stone wall above which the railway has been built, a small tent camp has developed over the past few years, where mainly sub-Saharan immigrants such as Senegal, Ghana, Gambia and Ivory Coast try to survive. I would say more a tolerance zone than a tent camp….

Morocco-Netherlands

The ‘Churchbridge’ in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. A typical small Dutch wooden bridge over the water. The ground is crackling under my feet. In the night a wafer-thin layer of ice has settled on the ground. Not hard enough to make it too slippery, just enough to let a familiar winter sound rise from the…