405 DAYS LATER - WHAT I DID IN MOROCCO
4 coffees later and it’s 6 am, day of departure. Essay is getting haphazardly referenced. Most used sentence in the past week is ‘I hate my life/essays/work’. Somehow finish things and sleep occurs - for one hour.
Get to airport. It will be nice to see Sam. Haven’t seen him for 8 months. Suddenly I realize it won’t be nice to see Sam, not in this state. Try to look less frazzled.
Catch plane. Reaffirms my belief that Vueling is not as lousy as Easy Jet. Airline staff pretend to speak English. This is not held against them. Languages are hard.
Anal staff make us put every article in the overhead lockers. Kelly’s favorite jumper is lost. By me.
Get to Morocco. It’s hot. Have a strong desire to undress , despite being well aware of the country’s culture. Desire contained.
Get into a taxi. Get ripped off. Driver speaks to Sam in French and makes fun of us. Lucky Man. Driver switches to Arabic and then drops us off in the middle of nowhere. Entirely predictable.
Chaos, everywhere. Get approached by a slick rick kinda guy. He offers to take us through the labyrinth to our hostel. We accept. He later charges us 10 euros for this five minute service. Lucky Man.
Arrive. Hostel is not hostel, but Riad. Amazing. There is a pool. Try to get a tan in one hour - it doesn’t work.
Venture out to the ‘main square’. Snake charmer, Henna Ladies, Man selling junk etc. Snake charmer spots us taking photos of him. He approaches with snake. Snake is thrown on Sam, we laugh. He then repeats - Snake on Kelly, Snake on Me. All is jolly until he demands 5 euros. Each. We protest and give him our shrapnel. He vehemently complains -
THIS?!!?€&@7 THIS IS NOTHING, NOTHIINNNG!
If it was any more dramatic, he would have thrown the snake at us. He didn’t.
Today we do so many things, I don’t even remember them all. Medina, Tomb, Palace, following a middle aged tour group. Get lost, again. Man approaches claiming to be friendly, and best of all, free. He takes us (‘no cost’) to the Jewish Quarter. Jewish Quarter is in fact, his friends shop. Friend remarks - ‘this man, so nice, he does all, no money’. We are lead inside. Man does magic and tricks us into buying everything for inflated prices. Charm is disarming. I now possess over 6 bars of amber perfume, which I have discovered make me sneeze.
Undeterred, Kelly and I go shopping. Again. We buy what supposedly are ‘the only genie pants of the most special material in Morocco’. We pay a lot, because we believe him. Later realise that these exact pants are in every second store.
Realise we have seen pretty much everything. Visit Marjorie Gardens. Yves Saint Laurent is responsible for said gardens. See eccentric gardens, see giant phallus monument and exit via the eccentrically priced gift shop. Leave and spend 10 minutes attempting to cross the road. No one stops for us.
Rise early. Today is Sahara Journey Day. Driver tells us it’s cold in the mountains. I look at my cardigan and weep.