Peddler, Jemaa El Fnaa Square, Marrakech, Morocco
Peddler, Jemaa El Fnaa Square, Marrakech, Morocco

The Loneliness of a Peddler, Marrakech

This was taken from a terrace of the Cafe de France along the edge of the frenetic Jemaa el-Fnaa Square in the center of Marrakech, Morocco. I decided not to carry a tripod that day so it’s a hand-held shot, stabilized the best I could on a terrace railing. There’s still a bit too much movement in the focal point but I like how it illustrates the solitude, or loneliness of a chaotic crowd.

Just a few minutes before taking this series of shots, I experienced another interesting contrast. I was reading River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado by Wade Davis, one of my favorite writers, and certainly my favorite ethnobotanist.

While reading his description of a drought that nearly wiped out the Anasazi Indians, I was blasted from all sides by the 5 pm adhān, the Islamic call to prayer. The high concentration of mosques in Marrakech’s medina make the calls exceptionally loud; sitting on a third story terrace amplified it even more.

It was an unlikely soundtrack for my afternoon reading, but it fit remarkably well.

Image Specs:
ISO 100


And for the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 1,037th straight, was snapped on 17 September 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco. Click on the image to view the full uncropped version.


  1. I had never had this thought of what a peddler might be thinking while taking his cart from place to place amidst crowded streets, of what he must be feeling. Your post has made me think..

  2. I was awaken during the night by a call to Islamic prayer in Turkey – I was so frightened that I just stood at attention and stood like that for a long moment after which I realised what it was – really funny. I just didn’t know they call for prayer even at night!

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