Casablanca was not Casablanca. The movie was not shot, nor could the story even be set in the city. Given the time and place in history, Tangier would have been a more plausible setting. Everything I knew about Casablanca was fake AF. To top it all, Tripadvisor reviews generally dismissed it as an unavoidable but unnecessary pit stop as travelers made a mad dash to Marrakesh and Fez. Casablanca was tabula rasa in more ways than one.
“Some places we stay in forever. Some places are mere stopovers. Just like Hong Kong.” That line opened Hello, Love, Goodbye, the Philippine movie that broke local box office records of all time. Ki and I made our stop at Hong Kong the previous year. Much of the movie was shot in places we had visited. We should’ve been the movie’s location scouts. A location tour usually followed the success of a movie or TV show (think Sex & the City in NYC and The Sound of Music in Salzburg). Done the other way gave us a sense of deja vu while watching the movie.
Female energy – girl power, as my favorite band of all time proclaimed – pervaded my visit to the Louvre Museum. Although the artworks I saw were created by men, their female subjects exuded different facets of the fairer sex. Among thousands of pieces in the world’s largest art museum, ultimately, these women depicted in sculpture and painting left a lasting impression on me.