One day, in the middle of summer, I went to the souk with my mom and a Moroccan friend. We walked about twenty minutes from our house to the nearest vegetable souk with our small cart.
It was a busy day, and the crowds of people along with the colorful sights, smells and sounds were overwhelming. I watched the bustling market and observed the many interactions of buying and selling.
It seemed so chaotic and yet everything was exactly as it should be. Men yelling prices into the crowd, people weighing vegetables and fruits for customers, little boys running around offering to carry bags for some change, and the many people shopping for their groceries, choosing the best from piles of apples, carrots, potatoes, bananas, onions, or whatever produce is in season.
As we walked through the souk, purchasing the things we needed for the week, I listened to the many voices and tried to discern words that I recognized from my limited vocabulary.I looked at the colorful displays of fruits and vegetables wondering how people decide who to buy from.
Finally, after we had finished shopping, we walked up the hill towards home. I looked back at the souk and thought how different it looked from a distance. You couldn’t hear the noises, or smell the smells, and you couldn’t feel the crowds around you, or taste the grapes for sweetness. You could only see the colors from afar, and see the crowds almost as if they moved in slow motion. It was a much more peaceful and quiet version of the souk, but it was much less an experience and definitely less real.