Keith thought he saw Pharrell Williams in the Easyjet Bag Drop queue at 5am at Gatwick. I thought this unlikely. We wondered where he might be going. On this occasion, most of Gatwick consisted of single sex (posh) school skiing parties wearing identical hoodies purchased for the trip. I watch the teachers in charge of Other People’s Children in fascination and awe. They look so relaxed and appear not to be counting their charges every 30 seconds. Not once did I hear one shout: ‘Where’s Jenkins? WHERE’S JENKINS? Ah, there you are Jenkins. Where’s Smith? WHERE’S SMITH?…’. In my 27 years of parenting I have never helped out on a school outing. The responsibility of my own child has been almost more than I could bear.
So, we’re on our way to Morocco for a pointless 8 day trip. Because we can and because I’d run out of preserved lemons (about 5 years ago when I last came). Morocco and I have a lot of history, but more of that later. We decide to buy some neck cushions as we fall asleep a lot. Keith quickly exhausted all hilarity options involving neck cushions and a human head.
Practical details: 8 nights in mid December. £80 each Easyjet flight, 3 nights in riad in Marrakech with breakfast £72, 5 nights in riad in Essaouira on coast £120. Bus (3 hours) from Marrakech to Essaouira £5, taxi from airport to city £4.50. Food is cheap as £1 a day or as much as you want to spend. Much cheaper accommodation can be found but we figure £25 for a double room with breakfast is something we can afford, and for that you can stay in some pretty fabulous places in Morocco.
As my grandson, Ben, said when went to Portugal: ‘It’s a bit scruffy, Grandma’, I’d hate to think what he’d make of Morocco. Morocco is dirty, scruffy, utterly overwhelming and in your face, and I love it. Well, I say I love it but I can only handle being out in it for a couple of hours at a time before needing to scuttle back indoors for a lie down. But, then I’m like that with Worthing so perhaps its nothing to do with Morocco after all.
Today its raining in Marrakech, hence the cloudy sky from the roof terrace of our home for 3 nights, Riad Les Jardins des Lilas, which is in a particularly labyrinthine part of the particularly labyrinthine medina of the city.
On our first outing we got lost. Then we made a classic rookie error of Being Lost in the Medina, which is Don’t Look As Though You Are Lost in the Medina. Like penguins in a sea of sharks we attracted the attention of a ‘helpful’ young gentleman who offered to show us the way. Experience says that this service will cost, but stupidly we did not agree this cost in advance. A faux pas which resulted in a minor disagreement of rates of pay for unofficial guiding services in Marrakech and some phenomenal fake offence taking by the young gentleman and some impressive (given my level of language ability) French indignation by yours truly. Adrenaline increases cognitive processing. Welcome back to Marrakech!
Despite being annoyed at ourselves for losing at Morocco, we did manage to successfully purchase our bus tickets to Essaouira-by-the-seaside for 2 days time, so we’re calling today a draw.