1. Have yet to see a TV on anywhere.
2. Plenty of tourism, but surprisingly little gentrification as I recognize it. A couple galleries, some artisan/Master's Courtyard areas, a place called Wok Wok near the main square, and 2 km down the beach, a very laid-back terrace cafe geared to the French and their children, which has WiFi.
3. People are always looking out for kids. In cafes, they move away when they light up. The salesman who invited us back for green tea poured Morgan's beverage from glass to glass a hundred times or so to cool it off.
4. There's a big difference between muezzins, just as with church bells. Except unlike a church bell, I imagine what their faces look like. The guy in the nouvelle ville near the beach sounds very mellow, and I envision him riding a dolphin catamaran, Funkadelic style, while the guys in the mosque in the medina are tenors and shrill. The sound quality is that of a megaphone.
5. There is no drop-off in the amount of street traffic when the muezzin comes on. Pretty secular place.
6. Croissants are good here, but pain au chocolat filing is not very chocolaty. Coffee is generally robusta, it's strong and I drink it sweet.
7. Petits taxis in Essouira refuse to take more than three passengers, even if the fourth is a baby. No exceptions. This can be a logistical drag.
8. Essaouira is still a living breathing place, but Jimi Hendrix would roll over in his grave to see what has become of Diabat, the village on the other side of the river where he held court in 1969 or 1970. The five-star hotel construction is going ahead. The land is private and the beach is basically behind barbed wire, although you can probably walk down the river bank to get there. Bummer today -- we took two petits taxis there from Essaouira and found ourselves stranded. No tourists saying "dude", no happy empowered villagers gathering and pressing argan nuts, just a near ghost town and construction site. Had to walk 3 km to the main road and finally flagged down a local bus back to Essaouira.
9. People no longer assume that any European speaks French. They often try English first.
10. "Amlou" is an excellent local spread -- almond butter and honey in a base of argan oil. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't real argan oil, but some of the varieties at the souq have peanuts as well as almonds, which is not nearly the same.
11. We have yet to eat dinner at a restaurant -- we had a local woman cook a chicken-preserved lemon-olive tagine for us, which I always wanted to try.
12. A good tactic is to buy fish at one of the markets, have it cleaned, specify "for tagine". Buy spice mix from spice merchant, usually a stone's throw away, rub fish. Saute some vegetables, throw on top of fish and bake in covered dish.
13. Bought some roe at market for 20 dh, ran home and salted and fried in butter, olive oil until medium rare. Best snack so far.
14. I don't know the species of any of the fish or roe I've eaten.
15. I feel odd wearing shorts, and keep pulling them down home-boy style, to cover the knees.
16. Water is about 18 degrees C. If it were 15 or 16 like in California, I would go comfortably numb and could stay in for a while, but 18 is just cold.