When Abdo—or Abdul—dropped me off back at the Medina, I'd headed up to Bab Bou Jeloud to find some dinner. There are a half-dozen or so restaurants there that cater to tourists. I can't just drop into any restaurant as many of them are patronized only by men. I doubt I'd be turned away from a men-only establishment, but it would be awkward.
I had only been in Fez about six hours—not long enough to work out where to eat cheap and be in a non-male-only environment.
Josephine had mentioned that a restaurant called Kasbah had a rooftop terrace, so the the tout in front of Kasbah had only to wave me in. I climbed several levels of steep, ancient stairs to reach the top terrace.
Tourists restaurants don't run cheap anywhere, so though I was getting a screaming bargain by American standards, the go-local traveler in me balked at the $10-ish for the harira soup, tajine, and Moroccan cookies. But the food was fresh and delicious.
I sat right by the railing and watched life buzzing in the Medina. Men, women, and donkeys of all ages and sizes walked or waddled below. Some were in traditional gear while others wore jeans and T-shirts. To the right, bright vegetables adorned stalls. To the left, diners sat at alley-side cafes and watched the pedestrians from street level.
And then, the evening call to prayer rang out from dozens of mosques all at once, over the terraces, the ramparts, and the erratic maze down below.