Friday, 13 February 2015

A Month in Marrakech

We've already been a month in our new home town in North Africa. We are really settling in to our new lifestyle, a slower pace and the ultimate luxury to actually have a lot of time on our hands and no absolute must or duties.

"Western people have watches, Arabic people have time"
 -Moroccan saying.

The ancient medina of Marrkaech

It has been suprisingly easy to let go of our every-day-jobs and the routine of going to an office every day. A big part of our western identity is related to what we do jobwise and what your position is so we were wondering what it would be like not to wake up and go to your desk and scheduled meetings, the way we both have been doing for almost 20 years now.
It was both satisfying and a bit shocking to see how fast and well the companies we used to work for function without us. The theater and design worlds in Sweden go on perfectly without us and our colleges continue to make great decisions and do good business. It puts things in to perspective when you see that all those things you used to pay so much attention to and work so hard to achieve get done so well also without us.

We have instead been focused on building our daily routines here in the ancient medina of Marrakech.

We start every day with breakfast on the roof terrace and listen to the prayers from the minarets and have a great view of the crisp Atlas mountains. Then its time for yoga and a walk with Disco in the neighbourhood.

Breakfast with a view from La Sultana
We found an amazing gym/health spa and a great PT called Yousef, so more or less every day we work out with Yousef and then go for hamam at Palais Es Saadi. Once a week we go for a shave at the barber of the palace.

Entrance to the health club and Dior Institut at Palais Es Saadi

We also take many long walks to find the best parks and routes for Disco. Its great to see how much Disco likes Marrakech, all his senses are running wild and he loves the smells (and garbage) of the alleys. He is now a well known character in the neighbourhood and everyone shouts his name as we pass by. (Disco being a dachshund of course totally ignores them).
Disco is now a Marrakchi dog

We also got some other animals to the riad: a cameleont and two turtles

Owning an old riad is a responsibility and there is always something to do or fix. Allthough Riad Arabe was already in good condition we initiated some new projects like getting some new furniture and storage custom built, re-painting most of the house, building a pergola on the roof terrace etc. More about this in a future blog post.

So what else? Per has had three board meetings and some travels to Sweden for these meetings. Patrick has been busy studying French with a private tutor four hours a day and has also been working a few hours a week with the theatre. We have explored both the cooking of our own great cook, Rachida, and discovered some new restaurants as well as returned to old favorite spots in town. We have met some new nice people, joined and expat forum. The days pass by in a very nice way, the house is often full of people carrying out different projects. 

Patrick's private tutor in French, Madame Aisha

Per on his way to the Lindex board meeting in Sweden

These great ladies are part of the Lindex board of which Per is the chairman. Eva Hamilton (former CEO of Swedish Television), Tracy Stone (global sales director of Gant), Rossana Mariano (CEO of RMPR) during our board meeting in Göteborg, Sweden in February.

This is Rachida, our amazing housekeeper who takes great care of us and the riad

New friends: Jabranne, Maria and their beautiful daughter at our place. Maria is the owner of Riad Saba, an excellent hotel riad.

Patrick and Eric, who is the French owner of amazing Palais Lamrani, where we enjoyed once again an great lunch in the lush palace garden

We have planned some exciting trips to discover more of Morocco: in February we will go skiing in Oukemaiden, in March its time for desert adventures in the Sahara, in April we will tour the northen parts of Morocco as well as the coast for 14 days and in May its time to visit Richard Bransons Kasbah.

Marrakech is a fantastic city and for the first time in our lives we have time and can really enjoy and appreciate also the smaller things. We meet fun people, we eat and drink well, we relax, we work out, we read good books and as always continue to have endless fantastic diacussions about everything. We are really living in the moment, (almost) no watches or deadlines, no musts. Its a great life!

Our hoods

Since February 10 it is officially spring in Marrkaech!

The first month has been fantastic, now the adventures continue.

Happy Valentine's day all lovers out there!