So Morocco was AMAZING. And CRAZY. Amazingly crazy. A lot of times the crazy overwhelmed the amazing. Although now that I’m in the comfort of my own home again, and can just look at the pictures, the crazy is starting to sift down a bit to the bottom of my brain and I see mostly amazing. :) Seriously though, I have a real respect for people who travel to really different places now- not just Europe which is not so very different from the US now that I compare it with Morocco. And I’m sure that compared to some places, Morocco is tame. Anyway, it was awesome but unlike a relaxing, beachy-type vacation I do feel like we had to come home so we could finally rest a bit- body and mind.
Before I forget though, I just have to mention that we were sooooo excited to see our kids again! I wouldn’t say that we pined away missing them or anything, we did mention them a few times and how cute they are and when it was getting close to going home time we were so excited to see them. I already said that, didn’t I. We walked home from the train station the little ways to our house and got to our apartment adn started up the stairs and Brett kept trying to run past me to get there first and I was trying to keep him back and then I rang the doorbell like crazy and ran inside and the kids ran in and Talmage gave me the biggest hug and everyone was yelling and hugging and they all looked SOOO DIFFERENT! Smaller. It was weird. I felt like I hadn’t seen them in AGES! (And it wasn’t really that way when I went to Arizona for a week.) Orrin didn’t like us. It was so sad but a little funny because he would turn/hide his head in Damaris and then peek out at us again and then hide again. Then I took him and held him and he was so shy and nervous and then he started to cry and I was the worst mom ever. Poor kid. But seriously he seemed SOOOO changed. I don’t know how it happened in one measly week but the kid got older and bigger and his feet were plumper and he talks a bit different. Wild.
And I have to tell real quick about our trip home because otherwise I’m sure I’ll forget, but by the end I was so stir-crazy from sitting in the plane and then the train all day and had gotten no energy out whatsoever so I was just giddy and I was giving Brett a kiss on the cheek and then I gave him a wet willy and he just sighed like it was just the cross he had to bear, and then we got to our final train ride which was crowded and we were standing and I started singing little songs and laughing at nothing and he was trying to pretend he wasn’t with me, and then I wet willied him again and it was so hilarious because he just shook his head a tiny bit with a long-suffering expression and said to the heavens, “Such a disgusting habit.” I laughed so hard.
ANYWAY. So. Morocco. Everybody wants your money and they are GOOD at taking it. I mean, you can read about haggling and mentally know that they are salespeople who depend on getting you to buy their wares, and another thing actually experiencing it. And I’ve never had drugs offered to me in my life and now I’ve had many offers, and I’ve also been called many things, some good and some bad, depending on whether I was giving the person money or refusing to give the person money. AND I have THE. MOST. AMAZING. PICTURES. in the history of pictures of myself and Brett that I DEARLY want to share, but I’m going to post everything in order and save the best for last and HOPE that I can remain firm and unflinching in the face of such temptation and not show them off before then.
Soooooo. First we got to the Tangier airport wherein was the cool bathroom we had been told about by our friends in our ward that used to live in Morocco for about 4 years I think? while he worked at the embassy there (they were a WELLSPRING of helpfulness to us!). Anyway, so they had told us about the men’s bathroom that had a fountain that you just pee into which her boys thought was sooo cool and Brett went to the bathroom and refused to be all that impressed and wouldn’t take a picture or anything. The nerve of him.
Which actually already leads to a funny, or tragic, story. You see, since we had all this money Brett decided to split it up and hid some of it somewhere. Well, that was all fine. We ran out of money a few days into our trip and got some cash out of the ATM, which was also fine. And then when we got home and Brett was unpacking, I heard him exclaim, “I’m an idiot!” and guess what he had found. The other bunch of money that we had forgotten about. What a shame!! Much more money we could have been playing with! Grrrr. Oh well.
So anyway, we rented a car there and drove to Asilah for the afternoon and evening.
We found our hotel luckily pretty easily, and quite by accident, and it was really nice. Pictures from our hotel:
Then we ventured into town. Asilah is a white, coastal city, with murals painted in several locations throughout which are left there from the last art festival when they paint a bunch and keep the best.
There were some shops but not a ton. Though that didn’t keep the salesmen from trying to get our money. There was this one guy who was actually the most tenacious of any salesmen on our whole trip in any city. He was trying to sell us paintings and man alive he tried hard. They all start out with, “Where are you from?” And when we say America they ALL say, “I have a ______ [insert brother, cousin, friend, etc.] that lives in _________ [Florida, California, New York, the Peace Corp]!” EVERYONE has a SOMEONE who lives in America. Anyway, so then we try to walk on by then they say, “Just look! A look is free!” Anyhoo, so this guy had to show us all the pictures, and he started out with some big price we didn’t want to pay at all, all the while we were assuring him we weren’t interested in a painting, and he just goes on and talks about how the colors are the colors of Morocco- the yellow is saffron, the blue is indigo (or something), etc. And it is painted on a paper that will not get ruined, goes easily in luggage, etc. We again assure him we don’t want a painting and he continues saying, “For luck. Just for luck. I haven’t sold one today. You just buy for luck to start me.” Then we try to walk away, and he argues more and the price comes down, and down, and down. I think he started at 90 dirham and came down by bits to 25 – and he says, “That’s only 2.50 euro! That’s nothing!” And we’re like, WE KNOW how much it is! We probably would have just bought it at that price honestly, cause we were newbies and Brett just wanted to be rid of him, but the thing is- we had no change very small at all (this continued to be a problem throughout) and we didn’t want to break a 200 dirham bill just for 25. So I finally just literally pulled Brett away and Brett kinda said, “She said no,” and the guy started yelling after us, “SHE TREAT YOU LIKE A HORSE!!! She tell you when to stop and go!” yadda yadda yadda. It was exhausting. Brett reallllllly didn’t like it (I mean in general, not just this guy).
We stopped at a random restaurant and had the best couscous of our whole time in Morocco. Actually it was Brett’s, I had something else that I regretted ordering because it was too plain (much like chicken nuggets, not what I was expecting), but Brett shared with me and it was divine. Everywhere serves olives for your appetizers. I don’t really care for olives.
And the sea!! The ocean is amazing, it really is.
This is pretty much the shot that everyone gets of Asilah, from this walkway thingee? part of the ramparts? that goes out a way. Obviously I am very knowledgeable about it.
I think these are where some people are buried. I really should go look it up in my book (wiki doesn’t have anything about it) but I’m not feeling the urge to get out of my chair.
This is outside the medina in the new town.
And back inside again. Kids going home from school.
And back to the sea walkway thingee.
Quite a few people there hanging out.
And more pictures of our hotel- where we ate breakfast the next morning. (By the way, if anyone has any interest in going to Morocco, I have all the deets of all the hotels and things where we stayed, a budget list, maps, and the like that I could give you. Although as I’m giving you practically a step-by-step tour, no need, right?)
Too bad we had to take off- don’t you just want to sit here all day?!
The end of Asilah.