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Its topography, more than anything else, I think, saves it; the city is built along the crests and down the flanks of a series of small hills that stand between the sea on one side and a low slightly undulating plain on the other, with high mountains beyond.
There are few level stretches in town; at the end of each street there is almost always a natural view, so that the eye automatically skims over that which is near at hand to dwell on a vignette of harbor with ships, or mountain ranges, or sea with distant coastline.
Paul Bowles remained in Tangier until his death on November 18, 1999, at the age of 88.
Paul Bowles explored all regions of Morocco, including the Sahara, and he learned much about Moroccan culture, languages and dialects, religions, customs and its people―all reflected in his writings.
The Moslems account for roughly 70 percent of the population; they still sit in their tiny cafs, drinking tea and coffee, playing cards, checkers and dominoes, shouting above the din of Egyptian music on the radio. And even when the veil has been removed from the face of the last woman to wear one, so she can do her shopping sporting a rayon-satin evening gown four sizes too large for her, and the final old house with a fortresslike faade and one great studded door is demolished to make room for a six-family concrete dwelling with fluorescent lighting in every room, the town will still look very much the same.
With everything old being systematically destroyed (and the new European buildings are almost without exception eyesores, while the ones the Moroccans put up are even worse), how is it that Tangier escapes becoming an aesthetic nightmare?
Today, where this thick vegetation grew, are the cracking faades of new apartment houses; the Moslems have discarded their frogged Oriental jackets and enormous trousers of turquoise, orange, pistachio or shocking pink, to don Levis, and secondhand raincoats imported by the bale from America; the population has augmented at least threefold, and I’m afraid the city would never strike a casual visitor as either quiet or attractive.