In a tiny place only known by locals, they gather around drinking 1 pound beers and watching the magnificent sunset. This bar that was called 'A Bar' had one of the best views of the old city. Said, the guy looking after the Riad we were staying in told us where to find this bar but the entrance was so small that we missed it the first couple of days. On one of the days two of my friends finally found this bar where they met Abdul who invited them and whom ever wanted to join to a little party hosted by a local band who were known for their Gnawa music. Gnawa originated from North and West Africa from the ancient Ghanians. Gnawa music has got a lot of repetition where the phrases are repeated over and over while other people join in and repeat these phases. That night when we went to the party the atmosphere was great and the music was very mesmerising. I kept on looking around as it all seemed very surreal, in a small room on the second floor listening to incredible music whilst being surrounded by locals. I felt a harsh wake up call when Abdul excused himself, the music stopped and the band began to bag us all. It was very strange sitting there and listening to someone bag you and all of your mates and not being able to say shut up I can understand every word you're saying!
That night we ran to the Riad whilst being followed by one of the guys and he wasn't satisfied until my friends handed over some money. The next day we bumped into Abdul outside of the bar and he invited us for a drink but this time we paid for all of his. By then, we understood that what happened was a scam where Abdul brings in tourists in hope that they spend big money at this party. He sat there apologising for his friend who chased us home and wanted to invite us to another party as an act of forgiveness. I made sure then to open my mouth and speak to him in Arabic. I explained to him that last night was extremely difficult as I understood everything that was being said. In a second Abduls face went white his hands were holding his head tightly as he got up and started walking around the bar amazed at what just happened!
By that time Abdul came back to the table and began to utter praying words and shaking my hand. We stopped for a few minutes to watch the sun setting on this fascinating town. That was the last time we saw Abdul, despite his messages that he sent to my friend wanting us to come to a party and the suprise that was waiting for us!
My favourite part was the extreme mixture and collision between the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. This photograph sums it up and it's probably the snap that made me stop for a second to wonder how this place functions. People come from all over the world to Essaouria as it's known to have the best waves and great for wind surfing. Seeing a camel on the beach with a surfer lying on his surfing board was fascinating to say the least.