I have been to Morocco three times. My obsession with the country began after I cracked open “The Sheltering Sky,” a book by Paul Bowles. Bowles was an American writer of the beat generation, a contemporary of Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. The book was a revelation. I subsequently devoured everything Bowles and his wife Jane published, including their memoirs of being expats in Tangier. I decided to go to this exotic place to soak up its magic.

My first visit to Morocco was a tour of its major cities. I went alone — my boyfriend, befuddled by my obsession, stayed behind — but I wasn’t alone for long. I joined a group of American tourists of the white tennis shoe set who were suspicious of our tour guide and wouldn’t dream of tasting the harissa. Needless to say I was the only blonde in the hammam.

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