In the earlier stage of my life, I tended towards the “grass is greener” mantra. This is a common affliction in our consumerist society…for what is there to sell you if not a better car, handbag, house…life? As I’ve matured (ever so slightly) and realized that material things exude only a fleeting luster, I find my green-eyed monster in search of the intangibles. I covet the poise and confidence of an older woman, whose grace is surely the most magnetic trait in any room of beauties. I envy talent – the pianist, the soprano, the painter – and contemplate doubtfully whether all beings are truly created equal.
I admire bravery. Bravery, like any enviable trait, is subjective. For me, the bravest are those who shun the status quo and shimmy to their own rhythm. Such is the life of an American expat.
How perfectly romantic to renounce your 30-day tourist visa, sink your heels in the clay earth of some exotic land and make it your own. I think of Hemmingway & his wife and son, in A Moveable Feast. Poor as Parisian mice, living on meager portions of wine, oysters, poetry and prose. Yet, as any expat knows… the wine is more intoxicating and the prose more profound when imbibing on soil not of your birth.
And so begins my affection for expat stories…and my love affair with the technicolor fairy tale that is My Marrakesh.
Once Upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away (not kidding about the kingdom part) an American couple with two children decided to eschew any plans that they might have had for house with a white picket fence (do people still have those?) and move to a city that was not their own. This blog is their tale to make that city their home, to make it their Marrakesh.
My Marrakesh is the tale of Maryam, a brave woman living in a foreign land.
Finding beauty in the everyday things (although, in Morocco, this does not seem to be to difficult a task).
Colors bleed from this woman’s website, from her exotic life. My keyboard is stained saffron, and my screen is leaking this magenta goo that smells like a Moroccan sunset.
And because this brave woman is also wise… she understands that when you find beauty, peace and adventure…you pass it along. And so she and her architect husband have created Peacock Pavilions, a boutique hotel in Marrakesh that will open its doors in November 2008.
Much of her adventures revolve around the building of this dream… a home of one’s own. A familiar topic that conjures up excitement, fears of financial peril, joy, and uncertainty. But when viewed through the rose colored lenses of this eloquent tale-teller, My Marrakesh is an enticing read. It has opened up a place on the earth I never even considered visiting, and now I cannot wait to go.
And so, while my instinct is to envy this expat for all her talent, her circumstances, her bravery… because she so generously shares it with me everyday, I will not begrudge her. I thank her.