Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Post Office

I walk past the post office on the South West corner of Djemma Elfna almost every day when I'm in Marrakech.
You have to go there once a month to pay the telephone bill - I wish you could mail the money in, but you can't.
I have learned by experience to go at 8 in the morning when it's almost empty - if you wait until 11am. the whole PO is a seething mass of people collecting pensions and sending money to family abroad and the whole thing gets quite impossible.
Since I'm basically British, I like queues; Moroccans are not much interested in them.
My friend J. who is much more assertive than me taught me a useful phrase: "Ana Louwel" - I'm first!
I only use this when I get really fed up!
This is a picture of the front door. I would like to take pictures inside but think there is some sort of rule against it.
The basement - where they store your packages is cavernous and vast.

If you have been reading the blog for a little while, you know that the airport is being enlarged and made modern and swanky, ditto the railway station.
I have a certain affection for the old and the charming - so, needless to say, the day after I took the picture of the front door of the Post Office, I noticed they had put up metal barricades and were setting about doing 'renovations'.
So far they have removed the stucco to reveal the mud-brick beneath.
The French colonial building is something of a landmark so I hope they don't do anything too drastic.

Our mail - not that we have much of it - is delivered by a very nice man on a yellow moped who sensibly knocks on our door when he has something important for us. Sometimes letters arrive from America and England in three days.
Sometimes three weeks.
Most of our Christmas cards arrived in January.
There is no way of knowing what items are swirling round somewhere out there..........


Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

It is just wonderful to see a Post Office...there!

I'd return the favor and post a picture of our bland post office in our community, if only to underscore how interesting yours is by comparison.

Yeah! I got to visit the post office in Marrakesh today, via the magical carpet of blogdom.

Vienna for Beginners said...

So good you managed to capture an image of that Post office building's front door before they started renovation work! It looks really very interesting.
More than once I planned on photographing landmarks that then were torn down before I got to it. There's a lesson there.

sukipoet said...

Hello Elizabeth. Lovely photos and buildings. Thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry it took me awhile to visit you, but I thought you were the other Elizabeth and had just changed your icon. Well. Glad I checked it out. Be well, sukipoet

sukipoet said...

PS I will try to order your novel. How wonderful. I too have an out of print novel. Catching the Light published by Viking. Available only via used book websites.

Sara said...

Salaam Alaykim (or something like that) Elizabeth!

I'd be happy to join you, Frank and Jennifer on a door's post next Wednesday....oh boy, I shall get out there and walk around looking for more interesting doors.

I'm sad to see what they are doingto the Marrakesh post office - looks like they are taking down some or the ornate trimming too...I hope they keep those doors, they are amazing.

Willow said...

The first time I went in to an Indonesian post office (in Bandung) I got the shock of my life. No lines? No order? Moroccans and Indonesians grew up on the same side of the street when it coems to 'queues' and 'lines'.

Frank Gardner said...

We used to have to pay our electric like that. No mail in, just line up with the whole town, and usually they were in front of me.
They finally made it easier and we can now pay at a grocery store or two around town. Gotta go there anyway.

travelingmama said...

I have often gotten a kick out of the fact that there are seemingly no lines in Morocco. Not on the streets, not in the stores, and certainly not at the post office!

High Desert Diva said...

oh dear....modernizing

Britt-Arnhild said...

Give me your address and I'll mail you a letter from Norway :-)

Britt-Arnhild said...

Elizabeth, I would love to learn more about the door posting.....

rochambeau said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Nice PO facade! You're smart to go early and beat the aggravation!
Really great news about your friend!
Yes count me into the for the door parade on the 12th!


An Aesthete's Lament said...

Bulldozing the Guéliz villas. Wrecking the train station. Belittling the original airport. The 1920s/30s charm is being sucked right out of the place. And don't get me started on the demolition of Bagatelle.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

It's a different world and a different life, isn't it. I hate when old buildings are renovated - and unsympathetically at that. I loved the doorway shot of the PO - I hope the magic of it is able to remain in some way.

Elizabeth said...

I will post pictures of the PO when they have finished renovating it.......we'll see.
I think I am the kiss of doom for old buildings - I should keep away from the.

I promise I did not go near Bagatelle........I once had delicious liver and bacon there......and now it's a hole in the ground.....


The doors idea came from several people. I'm sure you must have lots of lovely Norwegian ones to share

Marja said...

What a lovely post office. I was used in holland to stand in lines too but find it a delight not to have too here in NZ. Her the post is unpredictable. Sometimes i get post from overseas quickly sometimes it takes ages.

Passementerie said...

Ah - bill-paying in Marrakech... We didn't have to pay for our electricity ourselves, but we did have to pay for the telephone at the Maroc Telecom office, and as I would flatly refuse to go, it was poor John who would have to get up at half past seven to get there for 8am to join that queue. Everyone would wait outside the door and because he was always the second or third person there they were very noble and pushed him ahead to the ticket machine when the doors opened, but it was understood that people who had arrived in cars would be first for some reason. One guy turned up in a Mercededs SUV - everyone was very impressed.