soul of my shoes
The tagline alone is enough to draw you in: “You pass through places and places pass through you, but you carry ’em with you on the souls of your travellin’ shoes.”_Molly Layde
“The places we have known do not belong solely to the world of space in which we situate them for our greater convenience. They were only a thin slice among contiguous impressions which formed our life at that time; the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fleeting, alas, as the years.”
Reviews Written by John P. Jones III (Albuquerque, NM, USA) The 40 days of Ramadan…, September 20, 2013
No question the author is enthralled with the brilliant sun-drenched landscape of Algeria, a sharp “depaysément” from the “gris” of his native Normandy. He can wax lyrical with descriptive passages such as: “wild pomegranate intolerably acrid with aromatic astringencies”; and, “syrupy figs, and grapes both violet and golden, so sweet I could eat only four, the rest I gave to children.” My favorite is “an avalanche of sun.” Now, why had I never thought of that before? But the book is an eclectic mix of highly impressionist wanderings, seemingly random and with no purpose. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, he complains of the other tourists, citing examples of his interactions with the natives that are far more authentic.
The streets in market days, happy with hot motley colors and spices, of lavender, saffron, and paprika, that faintly scent of musky dust was the clime of the Sook; perfumes, of oranges, mint, and lime, melt in the air, make you drunken, burnous and white silk veils, red tarbush dancing, and your eyes burning, with an unfathomable sun,just hung over your head as if it was your conscience, and your proper shade at your feet _ in the Sahara desert, you must be two to have a shade, and that a paranoid sky, too blue that turned to white, made you linger for the infinitesimal freshness around. Mirage, mirror of images of the past that stick to your mind, whether it was in the small oasis of Touggourt, or under the arcades of the Casbah of Algiers, or Tanger.