Shop Girl Blues – Chefchaouen, Morocco
Somewhere In Time is back! One of my biggest resolutions for 2013 was to bring back the Somewhere In Time photo series on the blog. I’ve really missed doing it but last year we were so busy it became next to impossible to keep up with them. Here’s to 2013!
I chose to open with this photo because it’s been one of my favorites for a while now and I’ve never published it before. I hope you like it as much as I do. It’s a photo from Chefchaouen, Morocco and with the colors, the slice of life feel and the young girl’s determined expression – I’m in love with it.
Chefchaouen is known as the blue walled city, because all the buildings are blue – which you see a sample of here. It’s an amazing place to visit – small, windy Moroccan corridors covered in every shade of blue imaginable. EVERY SHADE! The city has a bit of a hippy vibe to it as well and you can get pretty much anything you want – from jewelery, to rugs to pot. Yep, one of my first encounters in Chefchaouen was a man asking me if I wanted to buy some pot, which I guess isn’t terribly surprising. About a week later in Tangier a guy walked up to me and simply said “You want some blow for your head?” which totally caught me off guard. So in retrospect, you could say that Chefchaouen is very mellow.
Chefchaouen is also stunningly beautiful. It’s easily been one of the most photogenic places I have ever visited. The colors, the people, the endless stalls of spices and textiles – you could spend a week wandering the alleys and still find something new to fall in love with.
A couple times a week a market pops up and everyone floods the streets to sell their wares. This little group of peddlers was an interesting mix of women and one young girl. She was the only one that noticed me, as the others continued catching up on stories and neighborhood gossip. I couldn’t tell if she was happy, completely bored or simply annoyed at her mother but she is certainly the star of this image.
Her determined expression reminds me of how I felt when I was a teenager trapped in a small town. A town with zero anonymity and even less opportunities. There were cows at the end of my street and we only had one stop light. At the time, my best friend and I felt that if we stayed there we would have been doomed to a life of mediocrity. We daydreamed about leaving it and wondered where our lives would lead us.
I have to wonder if this young sidewalk peddler feels the same. Chefchaouen is bigger than my little town but it feels just as small – everyone seems to know everyone else. I can see my 14 year old frustrated self when I look at her. Of course there is the possibility that she is completely happy where she is but she also might not want to spend her life selling greens on the sidewalk. Maybe she wants to see the city lights, go to college or travel around the world.
I don’t know this girl and my thoughts are based entirely on speculation. Speculation and the fact that thousands of miles away, in this little sliver of time – we looked at each other in a blue walled alley and I saw my own reflection in her. One thing I do know is that growing up in a town too small to hold big dreams is suffocating, even when it is as beautiful as Chefchaouen.
Do you remember what you dreamed about when you were 14 years old?
*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!