It took us an old taxi with dirty seats to get to the Old City where a blind old man is quitely sipping coffee in the bus stop waiting seats as we wait for old friends before I was hustled into an old trick of holding a snake which I have to eventually pay with several old coins while the shadows of the old Koutoubia Mosque's minaret faded from the pavement of old Djemaa El Fna.
Welcome to the Medina, the old heart of the new Marrakech!
Welcome to the labyrinth of Souks where we got invited in just to look and went out buying a thing or two, including silver teapots, leather bags, Moroccan plates, and more through a long walk that took us to Aladdin's slippers and the workshops where I intentionally lost myself as the ladies bargained for more Arabian blouses and shawls, to the Musee de Marrakech and the argan oil and soap we bought that came with a free crystal rock and a Berber lipstick pot.
And that was how ALDAB's lead negotiator facilitated the discussion on the emerging outcomes in the negotiations on adaptation [the NAPs, the AC, and the NWP] and agriculure, on the road so to speak, before she called a break and ushered us to a rooftop tajine lunch where we watch street acrobats perform and the fabled square fill up with trucks, tents, and people.
The remaining agenda item on loss and damage required another long walk to the tannery, the heady waft of spices pickling our brains so the ladies picked up more leather wallets, African antiques, more Arabian blouses along a really old part of the Old City where magic carpets hung from balconies, riad guests emerged from narrow alleys, and a blue lizard got stuck on the wall.
It was late afternoon when the meeting adjourned, with synthesis and the way forward easily done over milkshakes, so we parted in front of a fruit juice stand and made our way through the throngs enroute to the Old Square of the Old City, for the snake shows and many other things, and negotiated an 80-dirham cab ride to the sterile environs of the uptown just in time to launch the Asian Kung-fu Panda campaign with delegates from Bangladesh, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, and imprints left by a colleague from Pakistan in attendance.