Friday, May 28, 2010

On Al Mazar

Think Peace Corps. Think small mountain village. Think a worn soccer ball rolling across red African dust. Think of kids in sandals, their clothes a patchwork of old Americans fashions.

Now forget all that.

For three hours on Sunday I was not in my little mountain village. I was not leading my sandal-clad feet across the red dust of Africa. I was not surrounded by the worn clothes an America gone by. I was somewhere quite different.

Think Ikea. Think Virgin Megastore. Think Wal-Mart…

 Now you have got a better idea of where I was.

This weekend I went to the brand new Al Mazar mall in Marrakech. And I could not believe it. The nicest, fanciest mall I have ever been to in my life is in Africa. On the bottom floor was Carrefore, basically Wal-Mart but bigger. My entire village could have fit into its cavernous depths. On the next level there is the Viennese version of Starbucks complete with Frapachinos for three dollars, wildly beyond the sixty cents most coffee in Morocco costs. There were also two United Colors of Bennington, a small kitchen and dinning version of Ikea, and a version of Clair’s accessories. On the top level, shoppers can access the nicest restaurants that Marrakech has to offer. TGI Friday’s coming soon. And to top it off a Virgin Megastore with electronics, music and dvds, and a bookstore which even had an English section.

Of course I could not afford more then just lunch, but even so, real New York style pizza, in Morocco. The only difference… the salami was Halal.

I wish America had malls this nice.

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