Today was the first day since my arrival in October that I wore a t-shirt out of doors, something to celebrate, a day to note in my calendar. I know weather talk is tiresome but rain, cold, and general gloom have been the main topic of conversation since my arrival. I can now discuss pig weather (bad), dog weather (very bad), and just generally shitty weather* with fluency. And speaking of animals, this week in French class, we learned that French babies are not delivered by storks but spring fully formed from cabbages. I suppose a baby sprouting from a cabbage is no more preposterous than one delivered by a stork but storks are slightly more poetic. Cabbages are a dime a dozen but storks are flying dinosaurs**. In a roundabout way this gets me to Bab Aganou. Bab Aganou was built by the Almohads in 1147 and is said to be the most beautiful of all the Medina gates***. Like many tall structures in Marrakech, the Bab Aganou gate is topped with mammoth stork’s nests and, in the spring, nesting storks.
*(Colloquial) French weather terms:
temps de cochon, mauvais temps
temps de chien, très mauvais temps
temps de merde
**The name pterodactyl is, apparently, out of date. The proper name is “pterosaur”. Pterodactylus, where we get pterodactyl from, is a genus of pterosaur and the only member of the family Pterodactylidae.
***The entrance to the royal palace is directly across from Bab Aganou. You can read more about Bab Aganou and the fortifications encircling the Marrakech Medina here.