Within many of the cities in Morocco, a second, smaller city can be found. The traveller, while wandering through such a city may happen upon a long wall lined with stone gateways and be compelled to enter.
Passing through, they notice the wide roads and orderly buildings replaced by narrow passages and a maze of crossroads. Within seconds of walking, the arched portal from which they entered recedes behind a curved wall, the memory of its location fading in their mind like the details of a dream just awoken from. The jumble of slender houses lean over slightly, as if in curiosity at this newcomer. Inhabitants, familiar with the bewildering twists and turns, appear from doorways and dart confidently down a side street, following markers of their path visible only to them. Others sit in somber discussion at a cafe table, each sipping a steaming glass of mint tea.
The aromas drifting from the clay tagine pots mingle with the acrid smell of a nearby tannery. Without warning, the call to prayer erupts from surrounding minarets, joining in a vocal symphony more beautiful and chilling for its layered atonality.
Once in the markets, the traveller's eyes will be drawn to the numerous wares adorning every surface; the huge rugs with cryptic patterns that the eye struggles to follow; the flowing kaftans and silky shirts; the spices and herbs of every colour stacked in precariously high pyramids. Each store retreats within itself and the traveller can only ponder how far the warren of treasures goes and where such items may have originated from.
The more time spent in the markets, however, the more it begins to repeat itself. At first glance, that intricately woven blanket suggests a hand-crafted, unique personality, imbued with the memories of its long journey to this city, to this market, on this day. But soon the objects reappear, duplicated on each corner with the same odd details and imperfections. Perhaps the traveller has simply lost their way and is passing the same store, they can't be sure. Regardless, the medina is caught between the familiar and the unknown, a series of ever shifting symbols.