Our room was all tasteful dark wood and rich shades of reddish purple. Beaten bronze basins and the biggest bathtub I have ever seen outside the Piazza Farenesi. Turned out, next morning, that I could stretch out completely flat in it. Rested, refreshed, ready for anything; off we went to the Jamaa el fna. Would it ever pale? Possibly. But to be back after only 16 months was no less wonderful than the first time. There is simply so much to see and experience, even if one understands only the bare outlines of universal interest in stories, music, food and human oddity. I can’t get over the idea that even though I cannot understand a word, I know nevertheless that the same stories have been told night after night by the same storytellers to the same audiences in the same place without a break for something like 900 years. And what matters is not the story or how it ends -- everybody surely knows -- but the way it is told.

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