1st Day

March 21

Ted and Jeff spent a few nights in London while I toured Seville, Spain for two nights.  We planned to meet in Madrid where we would all hop the same flight to Morocco. At 2am on the morning of my flight, I realized I couldn’t beat the jet lag and returned to my book until my dawn wake up call.  Earlier in the day I’d spoken with the cute hostess of my temporary apartment and scheduled a taxi.  The taxi was slated for 5am (5:45am would have worked just fine but I didn’t expect anyone to show up and wanted enough time to find a back up ride). As I made my way to the early taxi, sharp pain (caused by maneuvering along cobblestone streets for multiple days) assaulted my foot and radiated to my ankle.  I was forced into an undeniable limp.  This was not a good start as the remainder of the trip will require a great deal of walking.  An injured foot would greatly impact my experience.  Exhausted and frustrated, I trudged my gear along the cobblestone streets one more time to find the taxi pulling up at 4:59am.  Spanish-taxi-driver-stereotype… ruined. It struck me as I got on the plane that I was a full head taller than any of the older Spanish men in my immediate vicinity.  It equally struck me that none of these men had the good sense to stand in any sort of a line… I easily met Ted in Jeff at the Madrid airport while catching up on email. We arrived into the Marrakech airport effortlessly and met our Marrakech host and tour guide, Samir.  I promptly pulled out my camera and interviewed him, a process I’m not sure he was comfortable with.  Samir took us in a taxi to our new temporary home.  On the way we stopped at a gas station.  Unbeknownst to us, a man was waiting there for us with a cart… we had actually arrived at our destination and would be walking the remainder of the way through the maze of streets known as the medina. After settling in, we had a simple lunch of vegetables and fresh juice.  Ted quickly and easily declared the carrot dish, “the best he’d ever had.”  The carrots were, in fact, quite good but I couldn’t let him have the superlative so easily.  I pushed back referencing the fact that a starving man would make a similar assumption of just about anything edible (We were, in fact, quite hungry).  My argument was quickly refuted and, to this day, Ted continues to stand by his statement.  Good carrots. At night, we ventured to a swanky Moroccan restaurant in the “newer” part of town.  After a few drinks, belly dancers appeared and put on an beautiful show, balancing candles, fruit and Jeff’s gawking.  They paid particular attention to Ted whose hat and stature prompted an earned focus.  I began chanting, “take it off, take it off”…  No one else found me amusing.  After a few more beverages, a fantastic dinner and 4 packs of second hand smoke, we returned home for a night cap and much deserved sleep.