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which day again ? Taroudant

I sometimes wonder if I'm too predictable, a creature of too much habit.

Here I am in Taroudant, staying once again (as at Xmas 2015 a year and a bit ago) at wonderful Palais Oummensour, and back, this morning, to the Sunday market just outside the city walls to the north of the city.

I do have two excuses, sort of, one of which I've acted upon: tomorrow, I'll drive back to Marrakech not by the motorway but over the Tizi n'Test Atlas pass, stopping to visit Tinmel mosque along the way - and today, I spent a good 5 hours or so exploring and photographing this chaotic market - which I wasn't able to do last time round, my wife and children having lasted all of thirty minutes or so. I was determined to come back and shoot away to my heart's content, and here I was !

Truth to tell, I suddenly felt like a right git in this dusty place, devoid of much opulence, idly engaging in what could be thought of as a bourgeois pursuit, with a ridiculously expensive Leica M Monochrom hanging from my neck (left the M7 at the hotel, switched cameras for my afternoon run at the same market).

This place is huge and chaotic, set on a wide open patch of dusty land north of the city, to the side of a road leading to a newly built area with identikit buildings mushrooming haphazardly here and there and patches of rubble in between.

The first part you encounter is the cattle market - actually one of the two cattle-selling areas, appropriately on either side of a calmer, almost serene space where hay is traded.

Strangely for such a place solliciting people's attention at every turn, most are acutely aware of being photographed - and generally not so chuffed about it - in odd contrast to footage, in some Youtube documentary I was just looking at, of Steve McCurry just walking up to within a couple of feet of people in New York with a huge Nikon D3 and taking shots of them.

In case you're wondering how this sits with the above photo, well I had sat my camera on my low table (showing a bit in the left-bottom corner), live-view activated, and was sneakily pressing the shutter-button.


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