Good news is, we found the right cemetery on our last rainy day in Paris. That is the Père Lachaise Cemetery, where the only way I can describe it is that every grave is a piece of art in itself.
Frédéric Chopin's grave
Singer/songwriter Jim Morrison's grave
You can see people left beer cans and cigarettes on his grave that's now blocked off!
The columbarium -- can't say that I knew at the time this is where they keep cremated remains
Afterwards, we went to visit a completely different venue. We hopped on the metro to the 5th arrondissement to visit the Paris Mosque (“Grande Mosquée de Paris”). It had the most beautiful Moorish architecture, and looked so serene after the light rainfall.
entrance to the Paris Mosque
beautiful garden courtyard
inside the mosque
By this time we were starving! We wanted to find a place where we could just have a quick bite, a panini and a drink. We stopped at a bunch of cafes, but decided on a more affordable meal at Crêperie Epi D’or on Rue Daubenton. I have to say, the crepes the guy was making here looked soo good, but we wanted a sandwich, so we settled on a beef panini with mozarella and tomatoes. The boeuf panini was soo good — the bun was crispy and the meat was tender and it didn’t cost as much as most places (it was less than 4 euros).
I’m an olive fiend. One of many things that made me a happy camper are the olive starters at practically every restaurant you go to in Tangier. We stopped at Restaurant La Merveille near the oceanside strip for a lunch break after a long day of interviewing, and had some delish kebaabs and chicken tagines. I love chicken skewers, so I’m biasedly telling you that was my favorite.
Another starter, eggplant mix I think
Yes, this is a salad.
I was too optimistic in thinking I’d find the menus online, but most of the dishes are about 35 to 45 Moroccan dirhams, which is about $4-$6 an entree!
Moroccan women have beautiful — I mean BEAUTIFUL — hair. With enough prodding, a couple of girls let on to me that they use argan oil as a regular conditioner. Argan oil comes from nuts of argan trees, and I kept thinking to myself to pick some up before I left but totally forgot. Lucky for me, my sister-in-law was on the same wavelength as me and surprised me with some on our last day there!
I read up on it more and found that it’s said to be one of the rarest oils in the world, donned “liquid gold” in many places like this New York Times article. Indigenous to Morocco, people here have used it for skin and hair treatments for centuries. It’s packed with Vitamin E to revitalize strands; fatty acids to coat and condition the hair shaft; and Omega 9 to strengthen. It’s a savior for brittle or damaged hair, and also known to tame the frizzies and keep hair super shiny. Okay, now I sound like an ad for argan oil, but it’s good stuff!
She also got me argan soap!
I’ve read on the downside, that it its oleic acid properties can make it clogging for the skin, so not the best for acne-prone types; however, it’s nourishing properties have been used to treat conditions such as psoriasis.
I tried to look up where you could get some yourself stateside, and the most affordable I found was here, where 100% argan oil sells for $28.
One of our afternoons in Morocco was well-spent at the relaxing and celebrated Café Hafa in the La Marshan quarters. It has a stunning view of the blue ocean, and has been serving the same delightful mint tea since 1921, which we think has a hint of ginger and honey. We’ve had some pretty phenomenal mint tea here already, but this tops them for sure.
Model Lakshmi Menon on the cover of Dazed and Confused
A friend passed this article on to me, which appeared recently in an nymag.com article, and speculates why there are so few Indian and South Asian models who are making it big. Lakshmi Menon (above) has been among the few models (who hasn’t been tied to Bollywood films and the like) to make it major with her Hermès ad and Indian Vogue cover.
Is it cultural taboos? Being afraid of taking risks? Prejudices?
I think the cultural taboos may have to do a lot with it. Kind of conjures up memories of Season 3’s America’s Next Top Model, where Indian model Julie Titas gets the ax for saying she’s hoping modeling will be a stepping stone into the world of apparel manufacturing. Tyra didn’t like that too much.