Eye- and mind-opening experiences

Berber women selling produce in the medina, Tangier

Sunday, my minister said that in growing  older he was becoming less judgmental and slower to make assumptions. For those of us who feel that aging isn’t making us wiser, perhaps travel can step in and help us achieve the same results. Take, for example, my preconceived notions of what women in predominantly Muslim countries normally wear, namely, black, black, and more black.

Asilah, Morocco

Tangier medina

Our guide told us Moroccan women  had the freedom to choose how much they would cover up when they went out in public. I was, and still am, skeptical about his claim. My skepticism notwithstanding, the clothing styles I saw here challenged my assumptions about women’s fashion in a Muslim country. The black outfits I expected to see were still there, but these were outnumbered by kaleidoscope-hued robes and head coverings.

Many teenagers wore colorful print headscarves over chiffon tunics and skinny jeans, the typical dress of any adolescent Muslim girl in an American high school. After dark we saw small groups of women charging across the street — an action not for the timid — in five-inch stiletto heels peeking out below sparkling scarlet and emerald-green robes and matching scarves. I was astonished by the number of women wearing robes with calf-revealing side slits, a fashion statement I never expected to see anyone making in Morocco.

I can’t say that growing older has made me any less likely to pre-judge, but personal experience is an equally good teacher. I’d better plan on more travel experiences to bring about that wisdom I hope for as I age.

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About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness.
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