Recent Goings and Detour

After, Meknes I traveled to Fez – the center of handicrafts in Morrocco.  It’s medina, the old city, dates back to the 8th century and unlike the other medinas I visited this one feels like it is lived in as oppossed to just shops.  Water is fetched the same way it has for centuries – from one of the many fountains.  I hired a guide from the hotel for a whopping 20 dollars for a tour through the old medina, otherwise I would probably still be lost somewhere inside.  I’d probably cry!

I was pleasantly surprised that my guide was not only a female but spoke excellent English.  She took me every which way and she showed me all the handicrafts made in the medina.  Of course, they all had shops attached, but for the most part it was ok if I didn’t want to buy.  I did splurge and picked up a handmade, hot pink Camel skin bag next to the smelly tanneries.  I did a lot in one day which is not surprisingly the first day in Morocco I didn’t take a mid-afternoon nap.  Nap!  Heck yeah, it’s part of the culture!

Today, I took the train to Marrakesh… seven hours long!  I even forced myself up early so that I would arrive at a decent time.  Marrakesh is the tourist epicenter of Morocco or so I’ve read.  There’s a hugh open space where when the sun sets a bunch of food stands pop up and the story tellers, snake charmers and such emerge.  If you were to tell a citizen of Fez that you are going to Marrakesh they would ask why and tell you that there’s only a square.  A bit of a rivalary!

On to the detour… I am leaving Morocco a week early and going to Rome before heading off to meet Meaghann in Athens.  I bought a new ticket to Rome for the 22nd.  My orignal flights included a layover in Rome anyways and I’m still hoping to catch the second part of the orginal plans which would be the Rome to Athens flight.  But, I need to cancel the Casablanca to Rome flight on the 29th so that the airline does not cancel my entire original intinerary because of a no show in Casablanca on the 29th.  Whew!  Does that make sense?

I politely asked my mom to call for me from the US (Thanks Mom).  The Expedia rep said that I am confirmed on the Rome-Athens flight and that just because I miss the first flight it does not cancel the rest of the itinerary.  I’m inclined not to trust the Expedia rep, so hopefully I will work this out at the Casablanca airport or when I arrive in Rome.  I only booked five nights in a hostel just in case I have to take the overnight ferry to Greece – much cheaper than a last minute air ticket (I know I’ve checked).

Ok, so to the reasons for leaving.  Firstly, the people of Morocco have been nothing but genuine and nice even saying “Welcome to Morocco” as I walk by.  But, in all honestly, it has been very lonely.  I thought it would be easy to meet other travelers (as the Morocco Lonely Planet says) and I have done everything I can think of to meet other people including hanging out in common areas and eating at Lonely Planet recommended places.  The other tourists are either part of a tour group or are traveling as a couple.  On top of that, the official langauges are French and Arabic.  Therefore, Morocco has a lot of French-speaking tourists.  My two years of high-school French over a decade ago doesn’t help so much.  So, imagine being with only your thoughts and your thoughts alone and not being able to communicate for the better part of the week.  It starts to get to you.

And just when I’m getting used to these keyboards! (If I were to type like I would in the US the last line would look like this: Qnd just zhen Iùù, getting used to these keyboqrds1)

One last humorous antedote.  On two occasions the following coversation took place with a Moroccan woman and also at Soumia’s house:

“Are you married?”
“Have you not thought to get married?”

No, I forgot.


7 Responses to “Recent Goings and Detour”

  1. 1 John April 17, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Be careful with EXPEDIA. THey tried to scam me once.

    Read my cas eand hundreds more at:

  2. 2 Angela F April 17, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Enjoy Bella Italia. If you want any contact info for my friends in Naples- they would be happy to host you. Let me know.

  3. 3 Mom April 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    That’s the nice think about your trip. You answer to no one and can make changes when you want. Isn’t that great! But I still miss you. Love, Mom

  4. 4 Mom April 17, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Thing, not think. Sorry!

  5. 5 Aunt Jackie April 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Glad Kathy hooked me up to your blog, am enjoying your trip.

    Love Ya

  6. 6 Vanessa April 21, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    You are frickin hilarious!

  7. 7 mandy April 24, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    obviously people around the world need a little education about independent women, thank you for your efforts!! and snake charmers? dude, if i saw someone take the lid off a basket with a snake in it, i’d be running!

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