On my first trip to Morocco 12 years ago, I landed in Marrakesh and was hit by the blunting effects of culture shock. I quickly headed up into the mountains, where some confusion with my grand taxi driver led to me getting out in the wrong village, one having no truck with that interloper, electricity. That night, wandering streets lit only by moonlight, a man in full pointy-headed djelleba came out of a door directly in front of me, swinging a brazier of hot coals from a long iron chain. As he briskly turned and walked away the brazier swung out and sent up a great chorus of sparks, swaying and dancing towards their sisters in the stars. Straight away, with a rush, the culture shock melted away and I realised I was here, in this place, and in this place, this was what passed for reality.